The Huskies finished fourth in last week's inaugural Conference Championships
University of Connecticut diving coach John Bransfield wrapped up his 17th season at UConn this past spring, leading the Huskies to a highly successful 2014-15 campaign.
Both diving programs helped the Huskies finish with winning records during the dual meet season this past year, and multiple UConn divers earned conference honors along the way. Junior John Brice was tabbed the American Athletic Male Diver of the Week twice last season, while junior Taryn Urbanus and Alexandra Butera each grabbed Female Diver of the Week honors once throughout the dual meet portion of the year.
Urbanus, a 2014 All-Conference selection, broke through this past season, as she became the first Husky diver to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Danielle Cecco in 2013. The Quincy, Mass. native competed in both the 1 and 3-meter events at the NCAA's after finishing it the top-three in both at the Zone A Meet this past March. Urbanus was one of five Huskies in action at the Zone Meet, and Connecticut made program history at the event when four UConn divers reached the finals of the 3-meter.
At the 2015 American Athletic Championships, both Urbanus and Brice earned a spot on the All-Conference Team. Brice finished second in the 1 and 3-meter events at the Conference Meet, while Urbanus placed second in the 1-meter and third in the 3-meter. She was tabbed UConn's Outstanding Diver of the Year at the team banquet following the 2014-15 season, and Urbanus will enter her final season in Storrs with hopes of contending at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Developing champions is not something new to Bransfield, the 2012 Big East Women's Diving Coach of the Year. In his 38 years of college coaching, he has had many conference champions and at least one conference champion at each and every school that he has worked at, including Army, Maine, Springfield and Northern Michigan. Bransfield has coached several national qualifiers, including a four-time NCAA Division II Champion. In 2003, Melissa Kull became the first Connecticut diver to compete at the NCAA National Championships. Stephen Ferreira (`10) competed at the NCAAs, followed by All-American Danielle Cecco ('13), who competed at the National Championships three straight years, in `11, `12 and `13.
With a background which extends beyond the collegiate realm of diving, Bransfield enjoyed many years of success with U.S. Diving as a Junior Olympic coach. He was been recognized by the National Governing body twice in that phase of his career with stipends to work with two U.S Olympic Coaches. Bransfield has considerable experience in the sport away from the pool deck as well. Four times he served on the NCAA Diving Rules Subcommittee, and in the early 90's he was appointed as a Regional Technical Director of United States Diving. While coaching at Army, he hosted numerous clinics for U.S Diving Coaches involving several U.S Olympic Team Coaches. In 1998, he served as the Competition Manager of the Goodwill Games in New York.
Bransfield has taught numerous coaching clinics for Grass Roots fundamentals, Spotting Training and Safety Certification. In the summer of 2003, Bransfield spent close to three weeks in the People's Republic of China. The opportunity allowed him to closely observe the training programs at two Provincial sites and attend the Asian Junior Championships.
Bransfield is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where he received his bachelor's degree from St. Francis College. He earned a master's at Northern Michigan and continued to study biomechanics while coaching at Springfield College. Bransfield and his wife, Ginny, have four sons, and presently reside in Storrs.