Adam Soldati Steps Down as Purdue Diving Coach after ALS Diagnosis; David Boudia to Replace Him

Photo Courtesy: Peter H Bick

Adam Soldati Steps Down as Purdue Diving Coach after ALS Diagnosis; David Boudia to Replace Him

Purdue diving coach Adam Soldati announced Thursday that he will step down from the Boilermakers after being diagnosed with ALS.

Soldati will be replaced by arguably his most accomplished pupil, Olympic gold medalist and four-time Olympic medalist David Boudia, who joined the staff as an assistant and head coach in waiting in 2021, a year before he formally retired from competition.

Soldati has coached Purdue’s divers since 2005, making it one of the premier providers of U.S. national teamers in the country. He’ll continue to assist Boudia through Olympic diving trials in June in the new role of director of diving.

Soldati was diagnosed with ALS in February, just before the NCAA postseason. Divers, including the Boilermakers’ three NCAA qualifiers, were told in April.

The father of six children with wife Kimiko (Hirai), a U.S. Olympic diver in 2004, Soldati will step away to spend more time with his family. A GoFundMe has been started to raise funds for the family to cover the expenses that come with fighting and living with ALS.

“As I reflect on my past 19 years with our Boilermaker family, I am overcome with gratitude and thankfulness,” Soldati said in a university statement. “I rejoice in the relationships that Kimiko, our children and I have built here at Purdue and in Greater Lafayette. We have nothing but the greatest love and respect for so many people who have been part of our lives.

”I have always said that it’s not my job to create a champion but create an environment where you can become one. Purdue has afforded me that opportunity each and every year that I have been privileged to lead this program. The level of commitment by the administration to pursue excellence, invest in innovation and believe in dreams has been the fuel that ignited this program to one of the best in the country – and I am so appreciative that they took the chance on a young, passionate coach in 2005. From the administration, coworkers, support staff, facility crews and to my student-athletes and their families, this beautiful and robust environment at Purdue is a rare find in collegiate sports. The familial love, care and support is truly second to none.”

Soldati coached 14 NCAA champions, all since 2009, and divers who’ve won 34 USA Diving championships. They include stars like Steele Johnson and Brandon Loschiavo who have won in both disciplines. One of his divers, Maycey Vieta, is already qualified for this summer’s Olympics. He’s been honored by the USOC as well as numerous Big Ten coach of the year honors.

Boudia is a three-time Olympian who won gold on platform at the 2012 Olympics. He won six NCAA titles and eight Big Ten Conference championships under Soldati.

“The legacy Adam Soldati has created with Purdue Diving is truly remarkable, and he will forever be the cornerstone on which our rich history and future is built,” Boudia said. “I have been fortunate to have been a part of his legacy, both as one of his athletes and as a coach alongside him for the past 16 years. It has truly been a unique opportunity. I am humbled to step into the role of head coach and continue Adam’s legacy as we strive for excellence both in and out of the pool. Adam’s impact is immeasurable, and I am committed to building and expanding upon the foundation he has established.”

“As a coach, Adam always said ‘you must know the science of your sport first, then it’s all about relationships with your athletes,’” retired Purdue swim coach Dan Ross said. “He taught me you don’t always have to like every athlete every day, but you must love them all unconditionally – meaning you better know your sport better than anyone, but to win it’s all about relationships.”

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Carolyn Carlton
Carolyn Carlton
15 days ago

I have had the honor and pleasure of working Adam and Kimiko at Indiana University summer diving camps where I would take my diving team FAST Diving. They brought love, enthusiasm, knowledge and meaningful experiences for all athletes of every level. Every athlete and visiting coach came away feeling apart of the IU family and touched their lives in extraordinary ways. Thank you for all you have given to the sport of diving and to all the young and old lives you have touched. With much love and fond memories.

Carolyn Carlton

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