Minnesota commits six women on Wednesday's signing day
Minnesota welcomes five elite swimmers to its program.
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 three Big Ten Team Championships (2008, 2012, and 2013), as well as achieving a Top Ten NCAA team finish with the Women's team in 2013.
Since rejoining the Gopher staff in 2011, Purdy has been the primary coach of the Middle Distance swim group and 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 individual event qualifiers to the NCAA Championship meet. In addition, Purdy is primary coach to Jessica Plant, a Two-Time NCAA All-American in 2012 and 2013.
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. In 2013, Samantha Harding capped off an outstanding freshman year with Minnesota when she became a two-time Canadian National Champion in the 800 Meter and 1500 Meter Freestyle 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 NCAA Division I Fresno State Women's Swimming, and Diving 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 Fresno State 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 Nieszner. 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 currently pursuing his Master's of Education in Applied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Minnesota.