Swimming + Diving Coaching Staff
Co-Head Coach & Head Diving Coach
The LSU diving program is one of storied tradition, and no one has had a more profound impact in the Tigers’ recent success than Doug Shaffer.
In his 16th overall season with LSU, Shaffer was promoted to co-head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs along with Dave Geyer in April 2010 and enters his eighth season as head diving coach. After seven seasons, Shaffer and Geyer have LSU on the path to becoming one of the nation’s elite programs.
In 2016-17, the diving team reached new heights. For the first time in program history, four male divers qualified for the NCAA Championships, the most in school history. Andrew Suchla and Juan Celaya-Hernandez, along with women's diver Lizzie Cui, earned All-American honors for their performances in Indianapolis.
Celaya-Hernandez shattered all three LSU records in his rookie season and finished third and ninth at NCAAs in the one-meter and three-meter, respectively. The SEC platform champion and runner-up on both springboards, Celaya-Hernandez was named the 2017 SEC Male Freshman Diver of the Year.
Suchla qualified for NCAAs for the first time in his career as a senior. He finished 14th on the one-meter board and 30th off of the three-meter event in Indianapolis.
In her sophomore season, Cui set the LSU record in the three-meter and was the runner-up at the 2017 SEC Championships. She would go on the finish fifth in three-meter and 17th in the one-meter and platform at the NCAA Championships.
Shaffer was named the 2016-17 SEC Men's Diving Coach of the Year based on his team's success in the diving well.
The 2016 season capped off one of the most successful career in the school’s diving history. In total, Cassie Weil set school records on three-meter and platform, was a two-time NCAA First Team All-American, a four-time NCAA All-American and SEC Champion on platform.
During her senior season, Weil earned first team honors on platform after a fifth-place finish on platform. The Oregon native’s six All-America honors rank eight-most in school history and fourth-most by a diver.
In addition, Shaffer helped lead freshman and Olympian Lizzie Cui to NCAA Honorable Mention All-America honors on three-meter. After NCAA’s, Cui went on to represent New Zealand in the Rio Games.
The men finished another successful season under Shaffer. Andrew Suchla along with newcomers Matthew Phillip and Matt McClellan scored at SEC Championships and all three finished with top-15 finishes at NCAA Zone Diving Regionals.
During the 2014-15 season, the men and women earned five SEC medals, set an SEC record, broke three school records and earned two NCAA Honorable Mention All-America honors.
Daniel Helm provided a strong point scorer for the men at SEC’s. Helm earned silver on both one-meter and platform at the meet. Helm’s score of 411.30 on one-meter was a school record and Helm went on to qualify for NCAA Championships at Zone Diving Regionals.
Madison Sthamann made an immediate impact and became the 12th All-American on platform for LSU. Sthamann finished fifth on platform at SEC Championships. Early on in her freshman campaign, Sthamann set the third-highest platform score in school history at the Texas A&M Invite.
During the 2013-14 season, the men and women smashed three school records. Weil qualified for NCAA Championships where she earned an NCAA First-Team All-American honor on platform behind a program record score of 311.55.
Weil also earned her third Honorable Mention All-American honor, this time on three-meter. At SEC Championships, Weil secured bronze medals on both platform and three-meter and brought home a second team All-SEC honor. Bettridge provided another solid year on the women’s side, setting the program record on one-meter.
Weil showed that her time as a Tiger was going to be a success after setting LSU’s three-meter record (372.68) in her first collegiate dual. Weil excelled in her first collegiate season, picking up a pair of NCAA Honorable Mention All-American honors and scoring 11 team points at the NCAA Championships. At NCAA’s, the Hillsboro, Oregon native dove to 11th on the three-meter with a total of 337.50 and to 12th on the platform with a score of 287.15.
Weil was named Shaffer’s seventh SEC Freshman Diver of the Year after finishing in the top-eight in two events (fifth on the three-meter and sixth on the platform) at the conference championships and named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
McKinney showed the potential in his third season that Shaffer had been praising since the moment McKinney stepped on campus. The Springfield, Virginia native set the LSU all-time three-meter record with a score of 415.50 and qualified for his first career NCAA Championships
Helm put together a fine SEC Championships and captured the bronze medal on the one-meter with a season best score of 372.10. Helm took fifth on the platform with a score of 352.90 after totaling 360.45 in prelims. During the season, Helm totaled his career best on the platform with LSU’s all-time second best score of 369.90 at the Phil Hansel Invite.
Bettridge competed to fourth on the one-meter at the SEC Championships with a total of 301.85. The Austin, Texas native narrowly missed qualifying for the championship final on the three-meter and ended her run in ninth place with a score of 313.15 at SEC’s.
Senior Elle Schmidt put together her best year with career best finishes at the SEC Championships. Schmidt finished 10th on the one-meter (282.75) and 11th on the platform (243.10) at the conference championships. Freshman Allie Alter added depth by scoring on all three boards at SEC’s.
In 2012, Bettridge and Helm added their names to the prominent divers that have come through LSU. Both divers became NCAA Honorable-Mention All-Americans after scoring points at the NCAA Championships.
Helm became LSU's 13th NCAA All-American on the platform after diving to a 12th place finish with a total of 324.50 at NCAA’s. Helm showed his diversity in different events after capturing a silver medal at the SEC Championships on the one-meter springboard with the program's second highest all-time score of 376.55. His performance earned him All-SEC second team honors.
Bettridge became Shaffer’s sixth SEC Freshman Diver of the Year and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. She set the program's three-meter dive record (366.85) with a bronze medal performance at the SEC Championships.
Bettridge placed 15th on the three-meter with a score of 306.30 at the NCAA Championships, earning NCAA Honorable Mention All American honors.
During the 2011-12 campaign, any LSU diver had a chance at earning victory in every event. All six divers qualified for the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Regional.
Senior Matt Vieke finished up his illustrious career with his best collegiate season. Following his senior season, Vieke possessed the program's third best three-meter (388.20), fifth best one-meter (352.60) and fourth best platform (314.75) scores. He secured his first championship final at SEC Championships and posted a fifth place performance on the one-meter (352.60).
Vieke was named the Tiger Athletic Foundation Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a recipient of the Wally Pontiff Jr., Academic Excellence Award during his junior season. The Indianapolis, Indiana native was named a finalist for the prestigious SEC H. Boyd McWorter Post-Graduate Scholarship his senior year and graduated with a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average in management.
The LSU diving corps embarked upon another successful season in 2010-11, helping both the men’s and women’s teams register top-five finishes at the SEC Championships for the first time since 2000.
Furthermore, all six divers -- including four underclassmen -- qualified and competed at the NCAA Zone Diving Regional, while Helm developed into one of the conference’s top newcomers.
After a fine first-year campaign in which she garnered SEC Freshman Diver of the Year honors, Rebecca St. Germain took her craft to another level, capturing a silver medal and breaking the program record in the one-meter springboard with a phenomenal performance at SEC’s.
Helm emerged as yet another impact freshman performer for the LSU diving program, claiming fifth-place in the men’s three-meter at SEC’s and receiving SEC All-Freshmen team recognition.
In addition to St. Germain and Helm, Vieke barely missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships after his fine effort at the Zone ‘D’ Regional where he was tabbed the first alternate to NCAA’s, while junior Brian Gemberling, Schmidt and McKinney each contributed points at the conference meet with top-16 finishes.
Prior to his promotion, Shaffer served eight seasons as LSU’s diving coach where he maintained the program’s tradition of excellence.
In 2009-10, St. Germain became the fifth LSU diver in six seasons to emerge as the SEC Freshman Diver of the Year and was named to the SEC All-Freshmen team, while Gemberling proved to be one of the most improved divers in the SEC in his sophomore campaign.
In 2008-09, the Tigers’ diving coach helped one of his athletes earn an invitation to the NCAA Championships for the seventh-consecutive season as senior Niko Dalman competed at the national meet for the third time in his career. Dalman also added the school’s one-meter record to his collection and finished his career as the LSU record-holder in both the one- and three-meter springboard events.
Records and Achievements at LSU