A rare commodity: longevity at the assistant coaching position
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2011 11:12
Change is an inevitable part of life. In UNC Wilmington assistant swimming and diving coach Marc Ellington's case, a more prosperous professional opportunity brought him from Massachusetts to Wilmington, a distance that requires a certain amount of risk-taking.
Formerly the assistant swimming and diving coach at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Ellington joined the Seahawk staff at the beginning of the 1982-1983 season. Now, 29 years later, the Seahawks' diving coach could not be happier with his decision.
Ellington knew head coach Dave Allen as they both attended Springfield College in Massachusetts. A diver and swimmer himself throughout high school in Massachusetts and at Springfield College, Ellington saw the diving coach position at UNCW open in the fall of 1982. He traveled to Wilmington for an interview and was offered the job. Having been on the staff for so long, Ellington has experienced countless memories during his tenure.
"The memorable moments blur together after 29 years, but the championship seasons always stick out," Ellington said. "Probably the most memorable season for the program was the first women's CAA championship in 1998. That was the first CAA championship the university ever had so that was very memorable. Then in 2006, when the men and women won in the same year that ranks right up there with the most exciting memories I've ever had."
Ellington does not have any aspirations of becoming a head coach, instead choosing to focus on his future with the Seahawks while building off his success in past seasons, including winning the CAA Diving-Coach-of-the-Year honor in consecutive seasons of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Along the way, Ellington has coached numerous all-conference and All-American divers while also forming a personal connection with the university, something he says he will always cherish.
"I've enjoyed my experience here at UNCW," he said. "I've been fortunate to work with numerous talented athletes and Coach Allen for so long. We have some great coaches that work here and the student athletes have been great for the university. UNCW is a very special place to be."