2007 Paragon Award / Competitive Diving
(USA) / Executive Director, USA Diving
As one of very few persons in the world to be all things to an Olympic sport - competitor, coach and national administrator,
Todd Smith has had a rare and unique career in diving. In a career that spans almost 45 years of his 55 years of
age, Todd has been able to participate on all levels in the sport which he loves and to which he has given so much in
Smith is a graduate of Ohio State University where he dove for Hall of Fame coach Ron O'Brien. Todd was a three-time NCAA All-
American and a 1972 NCAA National Champion on the 1 meter springboard. During his senior year, he was co-captain of the Ohio State
Swimming and Diving Team.
Upon graduation, he attended law school in California while continuing his diving with another Hall of Fame coach, Glenn McCormick and
competing as a member of the U.S. National Diving Team through 1976. In 1977, the Mission Viejo Nadadores hired the team of Todd
Smith and Ron O'Brien as diving coaches. Todd served as coach the first year and was joined by Ron in 1978. Then, Ray Bussard at the
University of Tennessee hired Todd to coach the college diving team, a position he held until taking the reigns at United States Diving in
1981. He was coach to several national and international champion divers.
As Executive Director of USA Diving for 27 years, Todd was instrumental in much of its growth. He developed a budget more than ten times
its original size and initiated the U.S. Diving Foundation to help sustain funds for diving. With the development of a Trust Fund, he helped
bring U.S. Diving from amateur status to more open funding for its athletes so that they could compete longer and extend their careers. He
solicited and negotiated sponsor relationships with Speedo America, United Airlines, General Motors, Bank of America, Texaco, Colorado
Time Systems, Phillips Petroleum, McDonalds, Olin Corporation, Alamo Rent A Car and Pan American Airlines.
Todd established a trusting and supporting relationship with the United States Olympic Committee and developed a program which continues
to bring funding and assistance to diving. Since 1981, he has budgeted for and overseen the operation of the International Diving Grand
Prix, the world's annual premier international diving competition. To provide technical support for U.S. coaches and competitors, he hired
his college coach and nine-time Olympic diving coach Ron O'Brien as National Technical and High Performance Director.
Though unusual for a staff member of a volunteer-driven organization to receive an award, Smith was honored in 1990 with the inaugural
Phil Boggs Memorial Award which recognizes an individual who has achieved individual excellence in diving and has given back a part of
himself to ensure the sport's continuation and success.