Purdue Adds Nicole Monanian, Promotes Alex Jerden to Coaching Staffs

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Covington

Purdue has added Nicole Monanian to its women’s coaching staff and promoted alum Alex Jerden to a full assistant on the men’s staff.

Monanian was formerly the head coach at Northern State in South Dakota for the last four seasons. She mentored Olympic Trials qualifiers from the U.S., Canada and South Africa, including NCAA Division II champion Hannah Kastigar, who is fresh off Wave I of the U.S. Olympic Trials. Northern State set four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference records and finishing in the top 25 at NCAAs in 2018 and 2019 under Monanian.

“I’m excited to welcome Nicole into our program and the Purdue Family at the pool,” Purdue coach John Klinge said. “She brings valuable energy and experience with her. She thrived as an assistant and head coach at Northern State and it’s always a promising sign when coaches can handle a head job at a young age. I look forward to working side by side with Nicole here at Purdue.”

Monanian swam at Providence College, a two-time Big East All-Academic Team member and three-time qualifier for the Big East Championships. She graduated in 2013 and completed a master’s degree in sport performance and leadership at Northern State in 2017. She was promoted from an assistant to head coach that year.

“I’d like to thanks Coach and the Purdue Family for this opportunity,” Monanian said. “I am excited to be part of a program that is elite in every aspect. I’m looking forward to getting on deck!”

Monanian was also an assistant coach for Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold and founded a Special Olympics team on the East Coast, where she served as the lead instructor.

Jerden has been elevated from a volunteer assistant gig to a full-time position, which has been vacant since the fall of 2020.

Jerden graduated from Purdue in 2009. He returned in 2019 as a volunteer assistant after two years with Boilermaker Aquatics, two positions he’s held concurrently. He was a volunteer assistant at the University of Texas from 2018-19, helping the Longhorns finishing second in NCAAs that year.

“I owe a lot of gratitude to all of the previous coaches I’ve been able to work with over the years,” Jerden said. “Without their encouragement, leadership and teachings this opportunity would not be possible. Since stepping on deck as a volunteer here at Purdue, Dan Ross and the entire swimming & diving staff have been really good to me. I’m grateful that they’ll have me back to help again, this time in a more involved role. It’s been a joy and privilege to watch these men work for the team they want to be. The opportunity to continue to support them toward their pursuits is something I’m both honored and excited about.”

Jerden’s coaching experience includes three years in Indiana as the head age-group coach of the Franklin Regional Swim Team and an assistant for Franklin Community High School. He swam for and coached from 2010-14 with the late Dave Tanner at Bloomington High School North.

“Alex knows our swimmers. He has been involved in the planning and implementation of workouts and training the past two years,” Purdue coach Dan Ross said. “He also knows my strengths and weaknesses, so it became apparent it was time to expand his role from volunteer to a fulltime commitment to this team. He’s learned from some of the best in Eddie Reese at Texas and Zach DeWitt at Franklin. Along with Alex’s life experiences, I believe I’m hiring a seasoned coach, not a newbie.

“Being in charge of recruiting is going to be a huge part of what Alex does and his personality makes him ideal for that role. But most importantly, the guys on our team love him. They wanted him to be their coach, and I’m beyond excited to hire Alex as my sixth fulltime assistant coach.”

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