The University of Florida and Gator Nation lost a family member on Thursday morning when it was announced that longtime men’s and women’s diving coach Donnie Craine had died. Craine passed away in a boating accident, according to a report from GatorZone.com.
UF athletic director Jeremy Foley released the following statement on the loss: “Our thoughts are with Mindy, their family and all who had a chance to know and be coached by him. This is such sad news about Donnie Craine. Donnie loved being a Gator and spent his career here coaching our men’s and women’s diving athletes. He will be missed.”
Throughout his 37 years coaching, Craine made four total stops (three schools) in the NCAA, bookended by stints with the University of Florida. Craine was the head diving coach in Gainesville from 1976-81 and 1989-present. He also coached at Arkansas and LSU.
Craine was 61 at the time of his passing off of Bokeelia – an island in the Fort Myers area. NBC-2.com has the following details on the accident:
Florida Fish & Wildlife, the agency investigating the incident, says the boats were meeting in Jug Creek when the both turned the same direction and hit each other.
Witnesses say the vessel with four aboard had little damage, but the boat Craine was on sustained heavy damage.
The others involved in the crash suffered only minor injuries and did not require treatment.
FWC does not know if Craine died in the crash or suffered a medical incident prior to it. His body was taken to the Four Winds marina by a Good Samaritan.
To read more about his career highlights, including coaching multiple divers to national championships, visit GatorZone.