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


​Diving industry insider with 38 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.


  • 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
  • Administrator, Agnes Milowka Project, 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

​Professional Experience

  • President, National Association of Solo and Team Divers, 2021 - Present
  • Consultant, International Diving Safety Standards Commission, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016 - Present
  • Rescue/Recovery Site Operations Manager and Cave Recovery Diver, International Underwater Cave Rescue & Recovery (IUCRR), 2007 - Present
  • Rescue Diver, Lifeguard, Surface Water Rescue, Event Medics, Present
  • International Training Director (North, Central, & South America), Professional Scuba Association International, Sand Point, MI, 2011 - 2016
  • Technical Diving Training Director, Professional Diving Instructors Corporation, Scranton, PA, 2007 - 2011
  • Owner, Scuba Coach Trace/Tech Expeditions, Clifton Twp, PA, 2006 - Present
  • Beach Lifeguard Supervisor, Appletree Management Group, Poconos, PA, 2001- 2006
  • Technical Director, Hydronautics - Diving for Science & Adventure, Inc., New York, NY, 2001 - 2004

Dive Centers

  • All About Scuba, Alexandria Bay, NY, 2018 
  • St. Lawrence Scuba Company, Watertown, NY, 2016 - 2018
  • Lehigh Valley Dive Center, Bethlehem, PA, 2005 - 2016
  • Lynnhaven Dive Center, Virginia Beach, VA, 2001
  • Divers Direct/World Watesports, Key, Largo, FL, 2000
  • Austin's Dive Center, Miami, FL, 2000
  • Brac Aquatics, Ltd., Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI, 1999
  • Scuba-America, Scranton, PA, 1989 - 1999

Commercial Diving Experience

  • Diver, Kyle Conti Construction, Hillsborough, NJ, 2015 - 2018
  • Diver (Contractor), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2002 - 2005


  • USA Freediving, 2018 - Present
  • 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 Examiner
  • 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. 


  • Founder of the Big Bight Spearfishing Club
  • Co-founder & President of the East Coast Freediver Club with Jeff Rempel and David Nesbitt 
  • 38 years diving experience throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean
  • 30 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
  • Created the first solo cave diving course in the industry
  • ​​PADI Underwater Habitat Specialist, JUL Mission #4005, January 11 - 12, 2009
  • PADI Aquanaut, JUL Mission #4109, January 10 - 11, 2011
  • Assistant Lacrosse Coach, Marywood University, 1993
  • ISSA and AMF Certified Personal Trainer
  • Author of PSAI Advanced Buoyancy Control, Trim & TechniquePSAI Freediving: A Guide for Breath-Hold Divers; and ​PDIC Extended Range Freediving
  • 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
  • Jr. Jedi Knight, Awarded by Jedi Master William Flannery during U.S. Masters Swim Practice :-)

Favorite Dive Sites

  • Caves: High Springs, Fla.; Marianna, Fla.; Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
  • Wrecks: Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; Morehead City, N.C.; Bermuda
  • Marine Life: Catalina Island, Calif.; Key Largo, Fla.; Porthkerris, Cornwall, England
  • Reefs: St. Lucia; Turks & Caicos; Bonaire
  • Lakes: Dutch Springs, Pa.; Kingston, Ont.; Skaneateles, N.Y. 
  • Drift Dives: Brockville, Ont.; Rainbow River, Fla.; Niagara River, N.Y. 
  • Night Dives: Ginnie Springs, Fla.; Bonaire; Narragansett, R.I. 
  • Deep Dives: Keystorm, St. Lawrence River; U-853 Block Island, R.I.; Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman
  • Tech Dives: J.B. King, Brockville, Ont.; Roy A. Jodrey, Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; Blue Hole, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Freediving: Dutch Springs, Pa.; La  Jolla Cove, San Diego, Calif.; Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands 

Trace Malinowski's Resume


Scuba Coach Trace

FREEDIVING, sport, technical, & cave diver training

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. He currently is a consultant with the International Diving Safety Standards Commission (IDSSC) and the president and co-founder of the National Association of Solo and Team Divers (NASTD). 

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.