Diving began around the age six or seven for Eastern Michigan University senior Kevin Douglas. Douglas said diving was his mother’s idea.
“When I was six or seven years old, my mom caught me doing back flips off of our fence in my backyard and was not thrilled about it,” Douglas said. “After some thought, her solution was to take me to a neighborhood pool to get diving lessons because doing flips into water would give her less gray hair than flipping off of our fences.”
After the first lesson, he fell in love with the sport. Douglas played around at the pool in the summer with friends,having fun and trying to invent new tricks, but he started diving competitively in 7th grade and has stayed with it ever since.
While diving for East Kentwood High School, Douglas was named All-State during his junior and senior seasons. He was the MHSAA Division I State Runner-up and placed second at both the OK Red Conference meet and at Regionals.
He was named All-Conference after his senior year and was captain during his senior season. He placed fifth at the state meet during his junior season and was named to all-academic teams during 2005, 2006 and 2007.
He pursued diving after high school and considered EMU as well as Wayne State University, Oakland University and Wright State University. In the end, he picked EMU not only because of its diving team, but also because it was the best choice for his major.
“I tried to find a balance between a great diving team and college of business that had an established supply chain management program,” Douglas said. “I felt Eastern Michigan provided both of those better than anyone else.”
Since coming to EMU, he says his diving has improved in many ways.
“The biggest improvements I have seen in my diving is becoming better at the fundamentals,” Douglas said. “It was my weakest area coming in as a freshmen and I still spend a lot of time doing drills to improve my mechanics today. After learning the correct fundamentals, the harder dives were much easier to compete and my consistency improved dramatically.”
In his four years with EMU, Douglas has seen many new faces join the diving squad, and this year’s set of freshmen is his favorite aspect of the team.
“Eight freshman divers joined our team this year, nearly doubling our team from last season,” Douglas said. “It has been a blast getting to know each of them on a personal level and watching them grow athletically in just the short time they have been at EMU.”
He also holds great confidence in this class.
“The MAC conference continues to become more competitive every year,” Douglas added. “ I truly believe this freshman class has the athletic talent and leadership abilities to achieve great things in the future for EMU Diving.”
Douglas has won quite a few awards while at EMU, including qualifying for the 2012 NCAA Zone Diving Meet, which will take place at Indiana University’s Aquatic Center on March 9. He also placed second at EMU’s Invitational on the one-meter springboard event, scoring 320.4 points and third on the three-meter springboard next to two teammates, Jeff Craig and Andrew Saunders, with 332.40 points.
The thing he is most proud of is his academic accomplishments while diving at EMU, which include the Mid-American Conference Honor Roll and the MAC Commissioner’s Award (given to athletes with a 3.5 GPA or above) his sophomore and junior year. He was also the Top Scholar Athlete on the team his junior year, with a 3.96 GPA.
One thing people might not know about him is that he was the first student from Eastern Michigan University to be a Richter Scholarship Program recipient. The Richter Scholarship is largest national scholarship program in the field of supply management.
Douglas is studying Supply Chain Management at EMU’s College of Business and has accepted an offer to work with Amway as a Process Reliability Engineer in Orange County, California. As a process reliability engineer, he will work to optimize the performance of manufacturing operations by ensuring capable processes and equipment.
Douglas does not have much free time when school is in session, but over the summer he has found a unique method of relaxation: barefoot skiing.
“I don’t have time for many hobbies but I do find time in the summer to relax by barefoot skiing,” Douglas said. “Most people don’t think skiing behind a boat with just your feet at speeds over 40 MPH has anything to do with relaxing, but I find it to be very peaceful and love hanging out at the lake whenever I get a chance.”