Diving Industry Professional
Founder of ScubaGuru.com
Raised in South Florida, Thomas E. Clark (“Tec”) became proficient at skin and scuba diving at an early age. At the age of two, Tec impressed family members with his affinity towards water. Tec’s mother, a swim coach & lifeguard, taught him how to swim and eventually become a competitive swimmer. Tec’s grandfather developed his appreciation for the ocean by regularly taking Tec on deep-sea fishing trips.
At the age of twelve Tec made his first scuba dive with a family friend. Soon thereafter, he became a certified diver and immediately pursued advanced ratings. In 1988 while attending the University of Florida, Tec enrolled in an Assistant Instructor course for “an easy two credits.” It was not long before Tec became an instructor for the University of Florida Academic Diving Program (UFADP). Instructing at the nation’s largest university dive training program Tec gained experience teaching in auditoriums of 200-plus students and certifying hundreds of divers per year.
Prior to graduation, Tec moved back to South Florida and immersed himself in diving by being a divemaster and teaching scuba as an instructor for Orbit Marine Sports in Pompano Beach. In addition to instructing and divemastering, Tec was a volunteer public safety diver for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Tec’s passion for breath-hold diving grew daily as he enjoyed freediving off of nearby beaches and as a divemaster.
In 1990, Tec returned to the University of Florida and became Managing Director of the UFADP. After staffing and directing numerous instructor training courses, he specialized in instructor development and training. Tec gained professional credentials with multiple diving organizations such as YMCA, NAUI, PADI, CMAS, DAN and DRI.
Subsequently, Tec received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation from the University of Florida, with an emphasis in Leisure Services Management. In the summer of 1996, Tec completed an internship with the YMCA Scuba Program headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He continued working for the YMCA Scuba Program as a consultant responsible for special projects and development, then becoming Assistant Director in 1997. In 1998, Tec became the National Associate Director for the YMCA of the USA Scuba Program.
During his tenure at the YMCA Scuba Program, Tec was responsible for dramatic increases in skin and scuba diving participation among YMCA’s nationally. Tec also served as Chair of the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) Medical Committee, Chair of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Underwater Activities Committee, and Board Member of the United States of America Underwater Federation.
As an international freediving judge for CMAS, Tec judged the national record dive of Mehgan Heaney-Grier and the world record freshwater dive of Tanya Streeter. In 1998 Tec and US Freediving champion Mehgan Heaney-Grier founded the first United States Freediving Team. Tec is a founding member of the United States Apnea Association (USAA) and served on its Board of Directors for two terms. In 2002, Tec was Captain of the US Freediving Team at the Pacific Cup of Freediving where the US Women’s Team took first place honors.
In 2005 Tec became a forensic diving accident investigator for Dive and Marine Consultants International. As a forensic diving accident investigator Tec was commissioned by dive industry defense attorneys to investigate diving incidents. In 2006 Tec founded ScubaGuru.com. Complete with articles and educational videos, ScubaGuru.com remains a resource website for scuba divers.
Also in 2006 Tec joined Pro Dive International as Vice President of Program Development and then Chief Operating Officer. In 2008 he became CEO under new ownership to get Pro Dive up and running again. At Pro Dive Tec was responsible for overseeing operations of training, charters and retail at one of the most chosen career development centers in the US.
Tec has appeared as a diving expert on A&E, The Learning Channel and The Outdoor Life Network. Tec has co-edited several diving texts, including writing the Introduction of Trailside’s Guide to Scuba Diving, and he has authored numerous articles for Skin Diver Magazine. He is quoted in Rodale’s Scuba Diving, Dive Training, The Dive Report, Aquatics International, and Scuba America: The Human History of Sport Diving. He has appeared in the YMCA of the USA Swim Lessons and Lifeguard training videos, and is a speaker and presenter at numerous diving industry conventions and trade shows. In 2004, Tec was named in the Who’s Who in Aquatics.
Currently, Tec is the founder and host of ScubaGuru.com, as well as founder and Director of Reef Ministries. Tec is the Associate Director for Aquatics and Scuba Diving at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he teaches and directs the Nova Southeastern University Academic Diving Program.