Patricia Salvatore head coach for new City College dive team

New+Diving+Coach+Trish+Salvatore+on+Monday%2C+Feb.+20%2C+at+the+Santa+Barbara+High+School+swimming+pool.+Salvatore+is+the+new+diving+coach+for+the+City+College+women%E2%80%99s+swimming+team+and+she+is+the+head+dive+coach+at+Santa+Barbara+High+School.

Michaela Wahlstroem

New Diving Coach Trish Salvatore on Monday, Feb. 20, at the Santa Barbara High School swimming pool. Salvatore is the new diving coach for the City College women’s swimming team and she is the head dive coach at Santa Barbara High School.

Gerardo Zavala, Sports Editor

Master diver Patricia Salvatore leads the new dive team into its first season at City College.

Salvatore coaches her divers at the Santa Barbara High School (SBHS) pool. Both her high school and City College divers take turns plunging into the water from three separate diving boards. The divers add twists and somersaults as Salvatore shouts words of encouragement from across the pool.

“I am lucky to have [Salvatore] with us at SBCC, she’s a true game changer,” head swim coach Chuckie Roth said. “Diving was not existent before and I think we could emerge as one of the best diving programs in the state.”

Salvatore, who goes by “Trish,” has been coaching since 2007 starting at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, California. She launched the school’s first Northern California Diving Invitational which is an event that continues today. She was also head dive coach at Turlock High School and most recently assistant and head dive coach for Santa Barbara High School and San Marcos High School.

“It keeps you young, it keeps you active,” Salvatore said. “I have great divers.”

Many schools have been lacking in diving programs because there aren’t many dive coaches. Salvatore is the first one that has tried to get diving started again here in Santa Barbara. There are many students who want to dive but can’t because their school doesn’t have a team.

Gina Jacobson, 20, is one of Salvatore’s two divers from City College. She is from Wisconsin and has been diving for nearly 10 years. When she found out that City College was starting a dive team she immediately met with Salvatore.

“I’m just so used to other coaches; her style is different than what I’m used to,” Jacobson said. “It’s helped me push myself a little bit more. She’s giving me more confidence to do either harder dives or push myself out of my comfort zone to reach the boundaries that I thought I’ve already reached.”

Salvatore started diving as a child but didn’t take it seriously until her daughter got very involved in the sport.

“I started getting involved in diving as a little kid cause that was the only way that I learned how to swim was jumping off a diving board,” Salvatore said. “But then my daughter and I watched the Olympics and she said ‘mommy that’s what I want to do.’”

Salvatore coached her daughter through most of high school developing her into a multi-award winning diver who would go on to become captain of the Cal Poly dive team.

The commitment to her daughter and the love she developed for the sport led Salvatore to become a coach who tries to bring out the best in her divers.

“Trish has an amazing presence on the pool deck,” Roth said. “She is passionate, caring, supportive and is truly a professional coach.”

Aside from diving, Salvatore is a graduate of Mills College and Bancroft School of Massage and is a California licensed massage therapist. Her private practice specializes in sports massage, injury recovery and prevention and women’s health.

Salvatore is a member of USA diving, a non-profit organization that attempts to take diving and its athletes to higher levels. She is in the master’s level which means she dives and competes with other people in her age group.

She is currently in the process of becoming a certified USA diving coach.