Indiana diving legend Lenzi passes away at 43

A very unfortunate story indeed for a Hoosier that died much too young. Lenzi was NCAA Diver of the Year in 1989 and 1990 during his time in Bloomington. IU athletic department release follows after the jump:

Hoosier Diving Legend Mark Lenzi Passes Away

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Olympic Gold Medalist and former Indiana University diver Mark Lenzi passed away April 9 in Greenville, N.C. He was 43.
Under the direction of legendary coaches Hobie Billingsley and Dr. Jeff Huber, Lenzi won NCAA titles in 1989 and 1990, winning the 1-meter springboard both years. Lenzi was a four-time Big Ten Champion, winning all three disciplines in 1989 (1-meter, 3-meter, platform), and taking the 1-meter title in 1990. He was named NCAA Diver of the Year in 1989 and 1990.
In 1991 and 1992, Lenzi was recognized as the Phillips 66 Diver of the Year. Lenzi represented the U.S. at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where he won the gold medal on the 3-meter springboard.
After a brief retirement, Lenzi return to the sport in 1995 and qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics on the 3-meter springboard, where he won a bronze medal.
Lenzi won 18 international competitions in all on the 1- and 3-meter boards. He was the first American to win a gold medal at the Pan American Games on the 1-meter springboard and was the first diver to score over 700 points (762.35) on the three-meter springboard for 11 dives.
He became the first diver to score over 100 points on a single dive (reverse three-and-one-half tuck), which he accomplished twice. Lenzi was also the first American to complete a forward four-and-one-half somersault in competition.
Lenzi spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons as men and women’s diving coach at East Carolina University. Prior to that Lenzi coached the junior diving team at IU, with divers winning four national age-group titles.


  1. Hoosiernation very sad news he was fun to watch. He showed class, and what all Hoosiers divers where made of. He will be missed but looking at all those Championship banners in the pool area we know he had a hand in a few of those.

  2. I knew him while at IU. A stud athlete that blended in as though he was just any other student. Curious what he was doing this year 2011-12 and cause of death…

  3. I remember seeing him walking along 3rd street by TIS after the Olympics and being star struck.

  4. So it’s very frustrating to hear that an athlete from IU passed away and the cause of death is omitted. Even if he passed away from contracting an auto-immune disease it’s still good journalism to include the cause of death.

  5. So why would it be frustrating? Perhaps, for whatever reason and without us making any presumptions, the family wished to keep the cause of death private. And, we can be respectful enough to bow our heads and remember him for all he accomplished and the honor he brought to us in his life.

    RIP, Mark Lenzi, Hoosier

  6. Just read this right now… Mark was a friend – we spent lots of time in the early fall on trampoline and this is heartbreaking. He was a year or two older than me and was very helpful for me in my transistion to IU. I haven’t spoken to him for close to 20 years and I am so sad to hear this – and ashamed that I didn’t stay in touch.

    My cousin and roommate Steven Ely who was the terror of Teter before we moved into our modest house off campus also passed away in the past year. I am only 43 – I shouldn’t be losing two old friends the same year already. Sad year for my IU family.

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