​Diving industry insider with 37+years of experience specializing in freediver, sport diver, technical diver and cave diver education, team building and unification, professional career training and leadership development, talent acquisition and retention, program development, writing, publishing, public speaking, international cross-border policies, ANSI, OSHA, ISO, NPFA, WRSTC, RSTC, IDSSC standards, regulatory compliance, strategic marketing, and technical emergency analysis and management. He is certified as an instructor trainer evaluator for all open-circuit scuba programs offered through the Professional Scuba Association International (PSAI), an ISO 9001 certified limited liability company.


  • SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Diver Award for 7500+ lifetime dives
  • Hal Watts Elite Cave Diving Award for 1000+ cave dives in 38 systems
  • Abe Davis International Safety Award for 100+ cave dives in 5 countries
  • PADI Aquanaut Recognition Award for JUL MIssion #4109
  • Winner of the 2007 Northeast Regional Ultimate Diver Challenge

​Professional Affiliations

  • Board of Advisors, Professional Scuba Association International (PSAI), 2016 
  • Board of Directors, Professional Scuba Association International (PSAI), 2011 - 2016
  • Board of Directors, Agnes Milowka Project (AMP), 2011 - Present
  • Board of Directors, Professional Diving Instructors Corporation (PDIC) 2007 - 2011
  • Board of Directors, Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC), 2007 - 2011
  • Board of Directors, World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC), 2007 - 2011
  • Board of Directors, Hydronautics - Diving for Science & Adventure, Inc. (H-DSA), 2001 - 2004


  • Technical Instructor, St. Lawrence Scuba Company, 2016 - Present
  • Consultant, International Diving Safety Standards Commission, 2016 - Present
  • Owner, Scuba Coach Trace/Tech Expeditions, 2006 - Present
  • Commercial Scuba Diver, Kyle Conti Construction, 2015 - 2016
  • International Training Director, Professional Scuba Association International, 2011 - 2016
  • Technical Training Director, Professional Diving Instructors Corporation, 2007 - 2011
  • Beach Lifeguard Supervisor, Appletree Management Group, 2001 - 2005
  • Scuba Instructor, various dive centers in USA & Caribbean, 1989 - 2000


  • USA Freediving (USAF), 2018
  • International Underwater Cave Rescue & Recovery (IUCRR), 2007 - Present
  • United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), 2004 - Present
  • National Speleological Society - Cave Diving Section (NSS-CDS), 2003 - Present
  • Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), 2001 - 2012


  • PSAI Freediving Sport Diving, Technical Diving, Cave Diving, and Technician Instructor Trainer Evaluator
  • PDIC Freediving, Sport Diving, Technical Diving, Cave Diving and Technician Instructor Trainer
  • SDI/TDI Sport and Technical Diving Instructor
  • YMCA Lifeguard Instructor/American Red Cross Lifeguard
  • GUE-F, GUE Tech 1, GUE Tech 2 Trimix Diver
  • NSS-CDS Cave Recovery Diver
  • 100+ certifications from PSAI, PDIC, GUE, SDI/TDI, IANTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, PADI, NAUI, YMCA, etc. 


  • Co-founder & President of the East Coast Freediver Club
  • 37 years diving experience throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean
  • 29 years teaching experience in 9 countries having trained 650+ students
  • Developed over 20 sport, technical, cave, solo & freediving programs for PDIC and PSAI
  • Explored 38 cave systems and 96 shipwrecks
  • World's first certified Solo Cave Diving Instructor 
  • ​​Underwater Habitat Specialist, JUL Mission #4005, January 11 - 12, 2009
  •  Aquanaut, JUL Mission #4109, January 10 - 11, 2011
  • Assistant Lacrosse Coach, Marywood University
  • ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
  • Author of PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control, Trim & TechniquePSAI Freediving: A Guide for Breath-Hold Divers; and ​PDIC Extended Range Freediving
  • Series Regular Cast Member, Ghost Town Divers.
  • Appeared with Cristina Zenato in the shark documentary Gimme A Hug
  • Rediscovered ancient Lucayan remains with Cristina Zenato in Burial Mound Cave for Brian Kakuk, Jill Heinerth, the Bahamas National Trust, and the BBC
  • Appeared with Manny Puig and Mark Rackley of the Wildboyz
  • Appeared in the National Geographic TV series Auction Packed

Favorite Dives

  • Cave Dives: Anything at Ginnie Springs or Mill Pond, Little River, Cow Springs, Ben's Cave on Grand Bahama
  • Cave Traverses: Mile Run at Peacock Springs, Owl Hole to Mermaid's Lair on Grand Bahama
  • Wreck Dives: A.E. Vickery and Keystorm in the Thousand Islands, U-853 off Block Island, Rhode Island
  • Drift Dives: Deep drift into J.B. King or Lillie Parsons Drift in Brockville, Ontario, Canada
  • Shore Dives: Catalina Island, CA; Narragansett Pier, RI; Porthkerris, Cornwall, UK; Delaware River Train Wreck
  • Reef Dives: Molasses Reef, Key Largo; Bloody Bay Wall, Cayman Islands; anything on Bonaire
  • Night Dives: Superman's Flight drift in St. Lucia, Devil's Eye/Ear at Ginnie Springs, Centeen Park in Brockville
  • Classroom Dives: Ginnie Ballroom at Ginnie Springs in FL or Dutch Springs in Pennsylvania
  • Love It: Any cave diving class!
  • Love It or Hate It: Roy A. Jodrey wreck at 250 feet in Alexandria Bay, NY
  • Hate It: Blending gas for trimix classes!

Trace Malinowski's Resume


"My philosophy is simple. My job is to give you the class your mother would want you to take."

Author: Trace Malinowski

FREEDIVING, sport, technical, & cave diver training

Scuba Coach Trace

Authors: Gary Taylor

& Trace Malinowski

Trace Malinowski has enjoyed an almost unparalleled 38 year career in the diving industry. At age 13, he walked into a dive shop hoping to buy new snorkeling gear and walked out enrolled in a scuba class. That dive shop wasn't just an ordinary shop, it was the retail and training facility for PDIC International, a respected certification agency, that had a rigorous US Navy style diving program at the time. 

Since then, he has amassed over 100 scuba and lifeguard certifications, made over 7500 dives, 1000 cave dives, and trained over 650 students in 9 countries with a perfect safety record. He has received the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Diver Award, the Hal Watts Elite Cave Diving Award, the Abe Davis International Safety Award, and the PADI Aquanaut Recognition for achieving "aquanaut" status by living on the sea floor for over 24 continuous hours in a semi-autonomous underwater habitat. 

He has served as the training director for two of the most respected certification agencies, PDIC and PSAI, and served on the board of directors for several diving organizations, including the RSTC and WRSTC, where he championed for higher training standards. Trace has written three diving manuals, and he became the first instructor in the industry certified to teach solo cave diving. 

The "Scuba Coach Trace" story begins with the failure of certification agencies to meet the demand of today's diver. Shorter traditional class times have resulted in greater stress and diminished performance. He hopes that his classes and coaching sessions will offer a more relaxed, positive, and fun experience, putting quality first,  and better ease the transition from non-diver to diver, or from one certification level to the next.