FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Yale diving coach Ryan Moehnke was honored with the prestigious Robert “Moose” Moss award at the YMCA Nationals in Fort Lauderdale for his work as the head coach of Next Generation Swimming at the Norwalk, Conn., YMCA. The award is given to the coach, athlete, or administrator who embodies the values of the YMCA, and best encourages the development and growth of the sport of diving.
The award is named for the legendary diving coach "Moose" Moss, whose small diving facility in Moultrie, Georgia, built in the 1960s on his own farm, has grown to become one of the best outdoor facilities in the country, where several Olympians have trained, and has been the site of many national and international diving meets.
“Few coaches in the country have done as much as Moss to promote the sport of diving,” said Jeanine Orburchay, Moehnke’s assistant coach with Next Generation. “For our coach, Ryan Moehnke, to be awarded this honor is truly indicative of Ryan's dedication to his divers, to the sport of diving, and to the values of the YMCA.”
Moehnke has mentored Yale’s divers for six seasons, and has coached 16 Ivy League finalists and 18 NCAA Zone A Championship qualifiers. In 2005, he coached Melanie Loftus '05 to the Women's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships and in 2008 he coached Jeff Lichtenstein '08 to the Men's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Loftus was also the Ivy League Champion on 3-meter in 2005. In 2007, Moehnke coached Jeff Lichtenstein to a 3-meter Championship at the EISL's and a 1-meter Championship in 2008. Loftus and Lichtenstein were named Divers of Meet for their performances. Lichtenstein was also named to the 2008 Division 1 Mid-Major All-America first team for his performances. Moehnke is also responsible for Loftus's 3-meter Yale record and Lichtenstein's 1-meter and 3-meter Yale records.
Moehnke has also experienced meteoric success with the Next Generation Diving Team, which won the team title at the 2008 YMCA Diving Championships. Prior to arriving at Yale, he was the head diving coach at the Schroeder YMCA in Brown Deer, Wisc., and coached at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ryan started his coaching career as the assistant coach at the US Diving Training Center in Indianapolis, Ind. Moehnke's accomplishments as a coach have also included 5 Senior National Qualifiers, 21 Junior National Qualifiers, 8 Junior National Finalists, 2 AAU National Champions, 8 YMCA National Champions, and 18 AAU National Qualifiers with 8 finalists. He helped coach the 2000 Junior World Gold and Bronze Medalists, 3 Senior National Champions and a 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. Moehnke also co-authored the USA Diving's S.T.A.R.T. Program for coaches. In 2003, Moehnke was selected to coach the USA Diving Junior Pan Am Team in Belem, Brazil and has served as a coach for the Junior National Team Camp 6 times. Ryan has a BS in General Studies of Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in Indiana, where he competed for the Cardinals.
Report by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity