Jim Stillson begins his 29th year (2012-13) as head coach of the SMU men's and women's diving teams. The 2011-12 season saw Stillson coach freshman Devin Burnett to a sweep of the C-USA title in all three diving events, a strong performance in the Zone Diving Championships, as well as Burnett's first appearance at NCAAs (20th platform, 27th three-meter, 31st one-meter).
In 2009-10, Stillson guided women's diver Audra Egenolf to NCAA All-American honors, and men's diver Matt Culbertson to C-USA Men's Diver of the Year honors. Stillson's success in recent years adds to the national prominence the SMU diving program has enjoyed since his arrival on the Hilltop.
In his 28 years at SMU, Stillson has coached six Olympians including 1992 silver medalist Scott Donie. Since 1970, Stillson has guided 44 student-athlete divers to All-American honors, included three NCAA Diver of the Year award winners. Stillson has coached four NCAA champions in seven different events, and since 1974, 10 U.S. National Champions have been crowned champion under the tutelage of Stillson.
In 1989, Stillson was named the NCAA Men's Diving Coach of the Year and in 1990 and 1995, the NCAA Women's Diving Coach of the Year. On the conference level, he has earned 15 conference diving coach of the year honors while at SMU. Stillson served as one of the U.S. Diving National Team coaches from 1987-91 and again in 1997. His successful coaching ability in 1999 earned him that year's United States Olympic Committee Diving Coach of the Year award.
Stillson's success with SMU student-athletes has been overly apparent in the individual success of his divers. Besides the 44 All-Americans under Stillson's direction, SMU divers have earned over 50 conference individual championships, numerous conference Diver of the Year awards, 10 U.S. national champions and four NCAA champions.
In 1992, Stillson received the Mike Malone Memorial Award, given for outstanding contributions to diving by the national governing body of the sport, U.S. Diving. Stillson has coached the U.S. National Diving Team in competition in Europe, Australia, China and the Soviet Union. He was the 1984, 1988 and 1990 Texas Senior Coach of the Year. In addition, he was selected as a team leader for the USA Diving team at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He is a member of the NCAA Diving committee and Chairman of the U.S.A. Diving Rules committee.
Stillson was born in Aberdeen, Md. and attended Campbell High (Calif.), where he was a high school All-American diver. A 1974 graduate of Ohio State, Stillson earned NCAA All-American honors his senior year in the three-meter competition. Stillson has four very important ladies in his life, his daughters, Katy, Chanelle and Mariah, and wife, Elisabeth.