University of Florida men's and women's diving coach Donnie Crane dies in a boating crash

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Donnie Craine, the University of Florida head men’s and women’s diving coach, died Thursday from a boating crash off the coast of Bokeelia. He was 61.

Florida Fish & Wildlife, the agency investigating the incident, says the boats were meeting in Jug Creek when the both turned the same direction and hit each other.

Craine and another person were aboard one boat and four people were in the other.

Florida Fish & Wildlife, the agency investigating the incident, says the boats were meeting in Jug Creek when the both turned the same direction and hit each other.

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The University of Florida released this statement on the crash:

“Our thoughts are with Mindy, their family and all who had a chance to know and be coached by him,” said Athletics Director Jeremy Foley. “This is such sad news about Donnie Craine. Donnie loved being a Gator and spent his career here coaching our men’s and women’s diving athletes. He will be missed.”

“You’ll never meet a nicer guy than Donnie Craine,” Head Coach Gregg Troy said. “He was caring for not just the athletes he worked with, but for everyone he came in touch with. He was a tremendous family man. This is a great loss to everyone.”

Thirty of Craine’s 37-year coaching career was spent with the Gators. He started his Gator coaching career in 1976 after graduating from the University of Michigan. Craine left after five years and then coached at Schroeder YMCA in Wisconsin, Arkansas and Louisiana State before returning to Florida in 1989.

A four-time Southeastern Conference Diving Coach of the Year at Florida, Craine coached five NCAA champions, including Florida’s first – Chris Snode in 1978 (3-meter springboard).

Craine is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mindy, and three children - Keith (31), Christopher (30) and Stephanie (26).

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