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Abel Sánchez enters his third year as the Diving Coach at the University of Arkansas. Sánchez was a three-time All-American at the University of Michigan and a 2000 Summer Olympics participant.
Looking ahead to the 2023-2024 season, Sánchez said, “I’m excited for the new season. We have five freshmen joining the team along with returning Sophomore Malea Martinez. We have a young and talented squad. The future is theirs to gain, and I look forward to seeing their contributions to the team.”
Sánchez was selected to serve as the Diving Coach prior to the 2021-2022 season. “I would like to thank Neil Harper for this opportunity in leading the diving Razorbacks,” Sánchez said. “I look forward to working with Neil and the entire staff in creating a TEAM environment conducive to learning, having fun, and winning. I appreciate the entire athletic department for welcoming me and my family.”
Sánchez was the CEO/Head Diving Coach at Dive Calgary where he helped build and develop the Western Canadian Regional Training Center. During his time in Canada, Sánchez and his staff identified and developed divers, three of whom will compete on the Canadian National Team in the Junior Pan Am Games this year. Sánchez remarked that “Canada was great to me and my family and I am thankful for the opportunities and people we met in Calgary.”
Sánchez served as the head diving coach at North Carolina from 2013-2018. He was rewarded for his efforts by being named the 2017 ACC Men’s Diving Coach of the Year and the 2016 ACC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year. While at North Carolina, Sánchez completely transformed the school’s diving program, with a number of his divers qualifying for the NCAA tournament as well as the U.S. Diving Nationals during his tenure. Sánchez brought in some of the most talented recruiting classes in the program’s history, and the team’s record and honors serve to demonstrate this. A number of his divers notched All-American honors, which were firsts in many decades for the North Carolina Diving program.
Sánchez came to Chapel Hill from the University of New Mexico, where he had served as the diving coach 2004-2013.
At New Mexico, he was the 2011 and 2012 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year. He coached six Mountain West Conference champions, two NCAA All-Americans, 37 MWC finalists, and three divers who earned the MWC Diver of the Year.
A standout diver in Ann Arbor as a collegian at the University of Michigan, Sánchez was a four-time All-America and an Academic All-America. He helped the Michigan Wolverines to four consecutive Big 10 titles and a National Championship for the Maize and Blue in 1995.
Sánchez went on to represent Peru, on three-meter springboard and platform at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Sánchez, a Holland, Mich., native, is married to Leanne and the couple has two daughters, Bryze and Maizie, and a son, Rio.