Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Michael Wright

Michael Wright

Michael Wright was named the head diving coach of South Carolina on Monday, October 10, 2022.

“We’re very excited to welcome Mike to our coaching staff and have no doubt that he will bring an energy and passion that will help us build upon the great diving tradition that has existed at South Carolina,” said head swimming & diving coach Jeff Poppell. “He’s been an instrumental part of the success of Tennessee’s diving program over the last nine years. In addition, as the head club coach in Knoxville, he has consistently developed some of the top young diving talents in the nation.”

Prior to South Carolina, Wright served two stints as a volunteer coach at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. Additionally, he served as the head coach of the Tennessee Aquatics diving club since 2014, coaching athletes to the USA Junior National Team and to a combined nine USA National Titles. His efforts earned him the opportunity to coach the Junior Pan American Team, which featured divers winning two gold medals as well as a silver and bronze medal during the 2017 and 2019 games.

As an athlete, Wright was an SEC champion and All-America performer at the University of Tennessee (2009-11) and became the first African-American to ever win a title at the USA Diving Winter National Championships in 2010.

Prior to competing for Tennessee, Wright helped Indian River State College to back-to-back NJCAA Championships by sweeping the one- and three-meter events in 2007 and 2008. He was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Truly a gifted athlete, Wright has become well-known outside of the diving world as the “Speedo Ninja” on American Ninja Warrior, competing in five of the seasons. He advanced to the National Vegas Finals during season 10.

Wright earned his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee in fine arts in 2011 and then completed his master’s degree in sports psychology in 2013. He and his wife, Hali, have three children: Kylee, Camden and Kobie.