Beloved diving coach “Tuna” dies

Santa Monica College diving coach Eduard “Tuna” Gorodetsky, 39, passed away last week at home. According to head swim coach Steve Contarsy, Gorodetsky was facing some health problems with diabetes and alcohol. Gorodetsky passed while sleeping on early Tuesday morning, April 17, 2012.

The memorial happened this past Monday, April 23, and the entire SMC swim team was present to honor him and say their last goodbyes.

According to Contarsy, Gorodetsky came from LA Trade Tech College and entered the Santa Monica College program in the fall of 2000. During the fall semester he played water polo. Later, he volunteered to be the electronics specialist, and ran the time system.

He also volunteered to be the assistant for the men and women water polo team. By 2006, he became the dive coach. In 2009, he coached Sara Ritz, who won the three meter at the diving State Championships.

“He lived for two things: his parents and Santa Monica College,” said Contarsy. “Everything he wanted to do, everything that he existed for was being around these young people, helping them, making them better, and being on the deck at Santa Monica College. That’s all he wanted to do. I don’t know how many more years, even if he hadn’t passed, we would have been together as a staff, but I think he wanted do it for the rest of his life.

“It’s pretty hard to lose a member of your staff. You don’t want to have to say goodbye to a coach, to one of your staff. Definitely it’s devastating for the family. We are a family, and the quad is a family, a tiny family. Santa Monica College has always had that familiar feeling. So we lost one of our family members.”