Team Colwill practices at BSAC.
Nicole Russell has taken over as head diving coach of Team Colwill at the Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center.

Nicole Russell has taken over as head diving coach of Team Colwill at the Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center. The founder of the team, Chris Colwill, was named head diving coach at the University of Georgia on August 2. The team consists of divers aged 6 to 18.

Russell and Colwill grew up together and have remained long-time friends. She was eight and he was six when they first started diving training under Coach Joe Greenwell at Brandon Swim & Tennis Club which is now BSAC. They later went on to be on the Junior Olympics and National Teams and competed in East Coast Championship competitions together.

“We share the same vision for what we want out of the program here and how we want it to continue,” said Colwill. “We know what works and what doesn’t. She has already developed a great rapport with the team. Having that relationship is definitely going to be helpful, and not only that, she is a fantastic coach.” Russell was previously as assistant coach under Colwill.

When Russell was 15, she started coaching summer camps at BSAC. She stopped coaching when she went off to college and got back to it with Team Colwill when she moved back to Florida a couple of years ago.

“I always had an affinity for sports and diving in general,” said Russell. “I picked up coaching well and was able to relate and explain it well to children. When my coach saw that, he offered me an opportunity and I took it and that was it from there.” Russell is a middle school math teacher at Winthrop Charter School in Riverview as well.

Russell said that this chance to be head diving instructor was unexpected but that it means the world to have this opportunity. “I’m looking forward to the future and what it will hold with our team and for their growth within the sport of diving,” she said.

Russell thinks that Colwill being the head coach at Georgia will offer opportunity’s to their divers and to their program overall with dive camps and other things of that nature. “The realm of possibilities just expanded for both of our facilities,” she said. “The ultimate goal is to grow the program.”

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.