Michael Grapner is in his third season as the diving coach for the Mountaineer Swimming and Diving program after joining the team in December 2010.
The 2011-12 was the most successful diving season in school history with Richard Pokorny and Haily VandePoel attending the NCAA Zone “A” Diving Championships and three divers scoring at the Big East Championships. For the men, Pokorny finished third on the 1-meter and third on the 3-meter, and Matt O’Neill took second on the 3-meter and 10th on the 1-meter. VandePoel finished sixth on the 3-meter for the women.
In his first season at the helm, O’Neill and Pokorny each qualified for the 2011 NCAA Zone “A” Diving Championships, while both divers also earned points at the Big East Championships.
Prior to joining WVU, Grapner served as the head coach of Redhawk Elite Diving (Aug. 2010-Dec. 2010) and Talawanda High (Jan. 2007-Dec. 2010). He also served as head coach at U.S. Elite Diving Academy in the Oxford, Ohio satellite (Aug. 2006-July 2010), Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (Oct. 2007-March 2009) and was the interim coach at Miami (Ohio) for the 2006 fall semester.
While Grapner was coaching for U.S. Elite Diving, the team won the 2010 USA Speedo Junior National Team Championships and the 2010 U.S. Diving East National Team Championship. He has also coached at the USA Diving Junior National and International Championships for five seasons.
Grapner’s high school athletes have seen much success as well. Grapner has coached finalists in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. He specifically coached the Kentucky men’s state champion, Kentucky’s two-time women’s runner-up and Ohio’s women’s runner-up.
Grapner was the meet director for the 2010 USA Diving East Junior National Championship, the 2009 USA Diving Region 4 Championship and the 2006 Miami University Diving Invitational. He also served as a three-year coach at the Indiana University and Miami University Diving Camps.
At the collegiate level, Grapner was a two-year member of the UNC Wilmington diving squad from 2003-05. While at UNC Wilmington, the squad won two conference championships and Grapner was a finalist at the championships. He also represented the squad on the Student Athlete Athletic Council in 2004.
Grapner graduated from Miami (Ohio) University with a bachelor’s degree in health sports studies in 2008, while earning his master’s from Ohio University in sport science and coaching education in 2010.