Ryan Purdy joined the Gopher Swimming staff in 2011, and is currently serving his second stint at the U of M, after beginning his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the Minnesota women's program beginning in 2005. While he has been on staff, the team has won five Big Ten Women’s Team Championships (2008, and 2012-15), as well as achieving a Top Ten NCAA team finish twice with the Women's team in 2013 and 2014.
Since rejoining the Gopher staff in 2011, Purdy has been the primary coach of the Distance Group, and a Middle Distance group. He has also served as the program's recruiting coordinator. In 2012 Purdy's group produced a Big Ten Individual Champion when Hannah Whitehead won the 200 Freestyle. Since 2011, he has coached four different individual qualifiers to the NCAA Championship meet. In addition, Purdy was the primary coach to Jessica Plant, a Three-Time NCAA All-American from 2012-2015.
On the National scene, Gopher Swimmers have experienced success under Coach Purdy's leadership, as his coaching has produced multiple United States and Canadian Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Distance swimmer, Samantha Harding, who is coached by Purdy, has progressed each year and has capped off her summers by becoming a Canadian National Champion four times in the 800 and 1500 Meter Freestyle events. In 2015, Purdy also coached Harding to selections to represent Canada at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia in the Open Water Swimming Events.
Prior to coming to Minneapolis, Purdy spent three seasons as the assistant coach at Fresno State University. In his time with the Bulldogs, Purdy served as the primary sprint coach and recruiting coordinator for the Women's Swimming Team. While at Fresno, Coach Purdy recruited and coached one of Fresno's top athletes, Dani Yoho, a multiple WAC Conference Finalist, who contributed to breaking six school records at the WAC Championships in 2011.
Previous to his coaching tenure at Fresno State, Purdy spent two seasons (2005-06 and 2007-08) as the volunteer assistant coach for the Minnesota women's swimming and diving team, assisting co-head coaches, Kremer and Terry Ganley. While coaching the middle distance and distance groups with Kremer, Purdy was significantly involved in the day-to-day operations of coaching a Division I program. The team made huge strides during these seasons, breaking numerous school records, winning the Big Ten championship in 2008, and placing 13th at the NCAA Championship meet.
Serving under legendary Head Coach, Bill Rose, Purdy was the associate senior director and coach with the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Mission Viejo, California, from 2006-07. He was the primary coach for numerous senior sectional qualifiers and was selected as the coach for the Southern California Swimming All-Star Team that won the 2006 Western Zone Championship title.
From 2002-05, Purdy served as the senior coach of the North Shore Swim Club in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition, he was head coach of the girls' swim team at Two Harbors High School in Two Harbors, Minnesota, and the assistant coach for the boys' and girls' swimming and diving team at Superior Senior High School in Superior, Wis.
A native of Fort Atkinson, Wis., Purdy graduated from the Minnesota-Duluth in 2005 with a B.F.A. in Art Education. He is also a University of Minnesota Grad School alum having completed his Master’s of Education in Applied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Science in 2015.