Olympic Medalist Michele Mitchell to Lead Mission Viejo Nadadores Foundation

Michele Mitchell, a two-time Olympic medalist diver, has been named the executive director of the Mission Viejo Nadadores Foundation, it was announced last week.

Mitchell’s position oversees the Nadadores’ swimming and diving programs. She will begin the role in January 2022. Mitchell followed her outstanding athlete career by earning a master’s degree in sports administration and a Ph.D. in education psychology from the University of Arizona.

Mitchell was hired as the Nadadores’ head diving coach in 2017. She led the squad to its first team diving national title in 18 years and has grown membership by 300 percent. She also helped Mission Viejo host the 2018 USA Diving Grand Prix as well as various invitationals, regional meets and the AAU Western Nationals.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Executive Director for the Nadadores,” Mitchell said in a press release. “Since the grand re-opening in 2018, the program has returned to the prominence it once held in both swimming and diving. I want to continue the Nadadores’ legacy as a top-notch organization in Mission Viejo, while engaging the thousands of alumni and citizenry, all of whom have fond memories of this place. I invite the world to return to Mission Viejo. This is a unique relationship between a city who understands the value of aquatics and a club with a long, storied, successful history. I am delighted to continue the work to move us forward toward 2028.”

Mission Viejo has long been one of the premier clubs in the nation, but it is undergoing a seismic shift. Iconic coach Mark Schubert, long a fixture on the staffs of USA Swimming teams for international meets, has announced he is stepping away from the team. Schubert led the club’s rise to prominence starting in the 1970s.

Mitchell was an outstanding diver and is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree. After a standout career at the University of Arizona as a four-time All-American, she won silver medals in the 10-meter platform event at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. The Phoenix native also won gold at the Pan American Games in 1987. She was a nominee for the 1986 Sullivan award and was named the USOC Athlete of the Year four times.

Mitchell returned to Arizona as the head diving coach for 17 seasons. She also worked for five years in the athletic department there. He other professional endeavors include as a television commentator for diving and as the former chair of USA Diving’s board of directors.

“After an exhaustive search for the right leader to steer the Nadadores toward LA2028, we realized our new leader was right in our midst!,” said Andy Titus, the board of directors chair. “We are thrilled to move her into this new role. She is beloved and trusted by our community and a former Nadadore herself. She possesses a strong business sense of swimming and diving and has forged a close relationship with the City of Mission Viejo. She is a strong leader with a long history in aquatics.”