Northwestern Diving Will Not Renew Contract of Alik Sarkisian

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Northwestern will not renew the contract of head diving coach Alik Sarkisian, the department announced Monday. The Wildcats immediately will commence a search to locate the program’s next leader.

“We’re extremely thankful for everything Alik has meant to our program over the last 13 seasons, and wish him the absolute best going forward,” said Director of Swimming & Diving Jeremy Kipp.

Sarkisian led the men’s and women’s diving programs in Evanston since 2006.

The school did not comment any further on the situation.

Sarkisian was named Northwestern’s head men’s and women’s diving coach prior to the 2006-07 season, and just completed his 13th season at the helm of the diving corps. Sarkisian joined the Wildcats after five years as the Director and Head Coach at the USA Diving Regional Training Center.

Sarkisian was instrumental in the success of of Rosendahl, Northwestern women’s first-ever diving national champion. Rosendahl won the platform event in 2017 and repeated in 2018. She earned seven All-America honors during her career. In 2018, she was named Northwestern women’s first-ever Big Ten Diver of the Year.

Sarkisian was also named Big Ten Women’s Diving Coach of the Year in 2018 for his work with Rosendahl.

In his first season at the helm, Sarkisian coached men’s divers Ryan McIntosh and Alex Kiaie to scoring performances in all three diving events at the Big Ten Championships. His divers from both squads qualified for NCAA Zone Diving competition. On the women’s side in 2007-08, fifth-year senior Leanne Dumais returned from a medical hardship season to reach the finals on both spring boards for the first time in her career. She became the first NU women’s diver ever to finish in the top-eight in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the same Big Ten Championships.

Sarkisian owns a wealth of head coaching experience. He began his coaching career as the USSR National Team coach from 1980-1990 before becoming the National Team coach in his native Armenia from 1991-93.

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