UNCW swimming and diving community mourns loss of longtime coach

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

The UNCW swimming and diving community is mourning the loss of longtime coach Marc Ellington, who died earlier this week.

Ellington became UNCW’s first diving coach when he was hired before the 1982-83 season, spending three decades as lead diving instructor alongside longtime Head Coach Dave Allen. In his long association with the program, he coached numerous CAA diving champions and was honored twice as a CAA Coach of the Year. 

“He was a great mentor to many people,” said Beau Bunn, a three-time titlist under Ellington’s direction and current UNCW diving coach. “His graduates of the program have gone on to do some great things professionally and he helped mold those individuals.  He helped create not only champions in the pool, but adults that he could be proud of saying that he knew them.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Allen, who retired during the summer of 2014, posted a tribute to Ellington on the UNCW Swimming and Diving Facebook on June 8. His excerpt is below.

It is with a heavy heart that I write you this e-mail.

Marc Ellington. Photo courtesy- UNCW Swimming and Diving.
Marc Ellington (Photo courtesy UNCW Swimming and Diving)

I need to inform you that sometime mid-afternoon yesterday, Tuesday, June 7, Coach Marc Ellington passed away. Marc as we all will remember was a Coach, Educator, and Friend to all of us. Who can ever forget his big warm smile and the life of the party entrance into a room.

I wish to remember Marc as the wide open, free spirited individual who would totally take over a room when he entered. He was not only a member of our coaching staff for 30 years, but he was a good friend who loved his teams and OUR University. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and really cared about people. I think it is safe to say that he had a really big heart!

I hope all of you will find, like I have, that as I think about Marc and all the times we have spent together, I find myself smiling and almost laughing at some of these memories. That was the beauty and joy of Marc. He brought much happiness and joy into all of our lives. We are all better people today for having had Marc Ellington as our friend.

Arrangements have not been finalized at this time, but I would ask all of you to keep Marc and his brother Greg and his family in your prayers.