By Sarah Hart, Morgan Andrews, Alison Giblin, and Lauren Knisbeck
Miles Rohrbaugh is a fifth-year senior graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB). In his fifth and final season on the UWGB diving team, Rohrbaugh set the team record on the three-meter board only a few weeks ago, breaking a roughly 10-year-old record. Rohrbaugh regularly qualifies for the very esteemed event of the NCAA Diving Zone.
This season marks Rohrbaugh’s 10th year of being involved in the sport. He has been diving since the 8th grade and swimming since he was 8 years old. “Unlike some divers, I had zero experience in a sport like gymnastics prior to beginning my diving career. I was a swimmer, I had a trampoline in my backyard, and that was about it,” recalls Rohrbaugh. He says that his favorite part of the sport is the community surrounding it. “[Diving] has a relatively small community when compared to other sports, so it isn’t uncommon to have regular interactions with Olympic-level divers and coaches and divers from all over the world.” In his college diving career, Rohrbaugh says that he has gone toe-to-toe with a total of 6 different Olympians, a handful of NCAA Division 1 National champions, and other talented competitors.
Tom Stover, the diving coach, has been Miles’ coach for five seasons. Coach Stover says, “Miles has been selected by his peers to be one of the members of the team’s leadership group. Beyond his exceptional athletic skills as a competitive springboard diver, Rohrbaugh is also outstanding as a role model for practicing hard and committing to his continued growth in his sport.” Rohrbaugh broke the 10-year record and has qualified many times for the NCAA diving zone meet. “One of the many things I appreciate in Miles is his dedication to challenge himself to get better every season,” says Stover.
“He wanted it, he worked for it, and he achieved it, so I’m just really proud of him.” Rohrbaugh’s record-breaking dive seemed to come as no surprise to Emily Herman, one of Miles’ teammates on his diving team. Herman says, “He’s a very confident person and very determined, which I think definitely contributes to his successes. He’s able to get on the board, know he’s capable of greatness and achieve it.”
Herman has known Miles Rohrbaugh for two years and says they practice together daily. For Herman, Rohrbaugh is not only known for being a successful diver but for being a great teammate as well. “He’s also just a person who always makes me laugh,” Herman says at practice, the two have bonded over their similar music tastes and Miles’ ability to make light of any situation.
Overall, his teammate thinks that the news of a record being broken is influential for the growth of the team. Herman says, “I would say that any positivity and success that the team can have been really important right now as we try to regrow our team and build it back up again.”
Coach Stover’s job as the diving coach is to give the swimmers feedback and guide them through the practice season. Coach Stover says, “Miles has flourished in this environment at Green Bay, and we certainly have enjoyed watching him grow and compete in this beautiful sport of springboard diving.”
Rohrbaugh’s love of diving also expands beyond athletics. “My past work as a summer camp counselor across the Midwest speaks to my love of mentoring and instruction, and I intend to make coaching diving at least a part of my future plans,” Rohrbaugh says. “As soon as I graduate, I will move to Indiana to work as a diving coach at a diving camp, studying under a several-time Olympic diving coach just north of Indianapolis.” Rohrbaugh closes with some advice to future divers: “Diving is a very self-driven sport. The only person that can really help you elevate yourself to the highest level of competition is yourself.”