Coach Donna O’Brien to be inducted into the Palatine High School Athletic Hall of fame

donna o'brien


Coach Donna has given back to the sport of diving in many ways and she has done this because she believes that this sport has done some great things for herself.

While coaching at Palatine High School, Donna has also coached Palatine Park District, Sharper Diving Academy, Schaumberg Park district, Harper College, Windy City Diving Team and Lake Forest College.

Over her 29 years of coaching at Palatine high School, she has had divers qualify for the IHSA State meet 40 out of 58 possible times. She had divers qualify annually to the IHSA State meet 26 years out of 29. She has had finalist at the MSL Conference Championships 51 time and 4 MSL Conference Champions. Her divers have won 5 IHSA Sectional Championship Meets and had 11 All-State Finished. Eighteen of her divers met the NISCA All-American consideration qualifying scores and 2 were named NISCA All-Americans. 2002 – Jen Hatzold, and 2005 – Alyx Korn.

As a member of the PHS Swimming and Diving Coaching Staff, the team finished in the Top Ten 12 times and earned 4 State Trophies – finishing 2nd in 1983, 1988, 1995, and 1996.

As a club coach, at the developmental and junior levels, she has had a hand in the development in multiple time Illinois State Champions – Hanna Shin (2 time state champ), Sara Hershman (2 time state champ), Christina Loukas (3 time state champ and IHSA record holder, 2 time Olypmian), and Kerrin Seymour (2 time state champ).

A number of Donna’s former divers and palatine High School graduates have become diving coaches at various levels in and out of the state of Illinois. Robin Yactor is the coach at Conant High School and Windy City Diving, Melissa Holback-Morris, Bridget Griffin, and Ian McNair are all coaches at Windy City Diving, Becky Schulewitz has coached at Libertyville High School, Heather Golem and Justin Sorenson have coached at Palatine Park District, and Adrienne Weir was the coach at harper College.

Her motto has always been –
“If you always do, what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

She has always encouraged her athletes to get out of their comfort zones and to attack their fears n the board and in life and she has seen the sport of diving do great things for her former and present athletes!

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