Adam Soldati Steps Down for Health Reasons; Boudia to Become Purdue Head Coach


Olympic Gold Medalist David Boudia ascends to role of Purdue Diving head coach effective immediately

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. ( – In a move to focus on his health and family, Purdue Diving head coach Adam Soldati will pass the torch of leading the Boilermakers to protégé and Olympic champion David Boudia due to Soldati’s recent diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Soldati has been the leader of the Purdue Divers since being hired in 2005. Simultaneously, he has also enjoyed success when his divers compete as part of USA Diving. He plans to coach the Boilermakers through the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June and will assist Boudia as needed through the Olympic Games in the late summer. Always a devoted family man and father of six, Soldati’s faith, perspective and perseverance will lay the foundation for the fight ahead.
“Since the spring of 2005, Adam Soldati has invested every bit of himself into Purdue University and our incredibly successful diving program,” said Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski. “He has impacted and provided counsel and leadership to countless people – student-athletes, families, fellow coaches and staff – in positive and extraordinary ways. And true to his persona, he has approached the unfathomable challenge of receiving life-altering news with dignity, faith, courage and optimism.  A testament to Adam’s steadfast and unwavering leadership of our diving program is that he has mentored and prepared David Boudia, a former Purdue student-athlete, to carry forward our tradition of success.  Adam’s positive imprint on this athletics department, this campus and this community is permanent. Our department will support Adam and his family throughout the journey ahead, and I know our Boilermaker community will do the same.”

As Boudia ascends to Purdue head coach, Soldati will move to the role of director of diving for the short term. Boudia officially came aboard as a full-time assistant coach in the summer of 2021, with the understanding he would one day succeed Soldati as the leader of the Boilermakers.

After more than a year of doctor visits and tests, Soldati was officially diagnosed with ALS in February. Due to the timing of the diagnosis coinciding with the start of swimming & diving’s NCAA championship season, Purdue’s student-athletes were later informed in early April.

“As I reflect on my past 19 years with our Boilermaker family, I am overcome with gratitude and thankfulness,” Soldati said. “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.

“It brings tears to my eyes as I think of all the athletes I have had the opportunity to coach, pour into, and Lord willing, help guide them along their path to adulthood. I will cherish so many memories and moments, and I am certain the character-building success will continue under David’s leadership, passion and love for this program. Thank you, Boilermakers, for allowing me to love, serve and lead this program for so many years. I love you all and will pray for your continued growth and success. Even as I face my next season, I am a blessed man and am excited to see how God will use this disease to bring glory to His name.”
Soldati and his wife, Kimiko Hirai Soldati, an Olympian for Team USA in 3-meter diving in 2004, are the parents of six children (ages 10-18). The family has begun the initial stages for the fight ahead, one that Adam will face gallantly with the same gratefulness, guts and grit that have made him one of Purdue Athletics’ most successful coaches over the last 20 years.
Boudia’s status as Purdue Athletics’ most-decorated athlete ever was made possible via a kinship with Soldati – a bond between an athlete and a coach that propelled Boudia to achieve overarching success collegiately, nationally and internationally all while training at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center. Their lives changed forever when Boudia won gold on 10-meter at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The three-time Olympian is a four-time medalist for Team USA. He also won five medals in his career at the World Aquatics Championships. For Purdue, Boudia was a six-time NCAA champion and eight-time Big Ten Conference champion, winning CSCAA Diver of the Year at all three NCAA Championships in which he competed.

“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.”
With Soldati’s expertise, wisdom and perspective providing the bedrock of the program, the Purdue Divers have won 14 NCAA national championships since 2009. At USA Diving national championship meets, Soldati’s pupils have won 34 titles. Steele Johnson and Brandon Loschiavo have won national titles at both levels while also earning the right to call themselves Olympians. Maycey Vieta has already qualified for the Olympic Games this summer.
Over the last 19 NCAA seasons, the Boilermakers have produced a bevy of All-Americans (athletic and academic), Big Ten champions, Big Ten Divers of the Year, Purdue Athletes of the Year and University graduates. The Burke Aquatic Center bears the name of the man that hired Soldati, the late Morgan Burke, who served as Purdue’s athletics director from 1993-2016. It was Burke’s vision of developing champions, scholars and citizens that Soldati and the Purdue Divers always made a reality at an unprecedented level.


“As a coach, Adam has a unique gift for unlocking the potential in each of his athletes, nurturing their character and growth as both competitors and individuals,” said Kimiko Soldati. “Ask anyone who has encountered this winsome coach, and you will undoubtedly hear words like high integrity, humble, competitive, passionate, caring, safe, faith, hope and love. Adam’s robust faith is an inspiration to a multitude and his ability to mentor young athletes into adulthood has been a catalyst for many.
“Beyond the countless accolades, Adam is a beloved husband and father to our six children – Blake, Isaac, Maiya, Emiko, Noah and Rylie – and a cherished friend to all he encounters. He is a man who fiercely loves competition, sacrificially serves his family and community, and whose poise and affirmation always bring out the best in those around him. To know Adam is to like Adam. He is a man who loves life, embraces adversity, and has always found a way for obstacles and opposition to be the pathway to greater love, joy and personal growth.”
Kimiko continued: “Even as Adam shared this news with his athletes through tears, his undaunted spirit shone through. He encouraged them to let adversity make them beautiful, to have an unshakeable foundation, and to live for something bigger than themselves. This is the essence of the man we love and admire.
“The road ahead for all eight of us is fraught with vast emotional and financial challenges. The staggering costs associated with ALS care and necessary home modifications for accessibility will create a burden, stretching our resources thin as we navigate this difficult journey. Amidst the grief and hardship, Adam and I take heart and are determined to embrace the life we have been given with gratefulness, guts and grit.”
A GoFundMe has been established to help the Soldati Family cover the fees associated with the challenges that come with combating ALS and adapting to life with it. Purdue Athletics is also working on a tribute series to recognize Soldati’s impact on Purdue Swimming & Diving, as well as USA Diving. Alumni, friends, colleagues and Boilermakers of all ages are invited to submit their memories and well wishes to Soldati here at Those submissions will be compiled for a tribute feature planned for a mid-June release.

Leslie Hasselbach Adams – USA Diving High Performance Director

“Adam embodies everything I admire in a mentor and friend. He speaks with unwavering truth, intelligence, and care – always ready to offer support and empathy. His integrity shines through in every interaction, and I'm consistently inspired by his ability to get the job done with grace and authenticity. Every conversation with Adam leaves me with a valuable nugget of wisdom, a testament to his profound insight and impact on my life.

“Beyond the accolades of multiple Olympic coaching stints where he guided athletes to Olympic Glory, Adam's legacy is etched in the lives he has touched and transformed. As a devoted follower of Christ, father, husband and mentor, his passion for nurturing growth, fostering love, and radiating joy has left an indelible mark on all fortunate enough to cross his path. Adam's calling transcends the confines of the diving pool; it is a calling of the heart, a mission to uplift and empower those around him. As he embarks on the next phase of his remarkable journey, may his spirit continue to inspire others to reach for the stars and embrace the power of faith, love and perseverance.

Wenbo Chen – Head Diving Coach at the University of Minnesota; Purdue Diving Coach from 1999-2005

“He always calls me a brother. Yes, Adam has been like a brother to me since we first met in 1998. I got a chance to know him better when he came to Purdue for his interview in 2005. He is eager to win and always stays positive. Even if he is facing tough situations, he sees the blessings in this challenge and stays positive.”
Drew Johansen – Head Diving Coach at Indiana University & USA Diving Coach
“The diving world is stunned by this news. Adam is a legendary coach and mentor. He has impacted so many through his leadership roles at Purdue University, the Big Ten Conference, the NCAA and USA Diving. I treasure his role with me as a friend, colleague, teammate and competitor, but his greatest role has always been as a husband and a father. I know we will all unite to help and pray for them as they go through this difficult time.    

“When I finally got to talk with Adam a few weeks ago and hear his voice, his eternal optimism, his dogged determination to always live his best life and make everyone around him do the same, I felt joy and was happy to reconnect with an old friend. He told me he sees the blessings in this challenge he is facing, and I couldn’t understand how he could say that. He has been like a brother to me for the past 25 years, and, for no reason, we haven’t spoken on a personal level in years. Busy work lives, competitiveness, gamesmanship, rivalry, and our drive to win – we simply forgot to continue talking as friends. As the conversation continued, we realized for the first time in over a decade we were sharing on a personal level again, and that was our blessing that came from this difficult news. I couldn’t see it at first, but he certainly did.    

“I look forward to supporting Adam and his family during this challenge – I know we all do. Let’s keep making today great!”

Dan Ross – Purdue Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 1985-2023
“When Wenbo decided to take the USA Diving head coach position, I reached out to a handful of diving coaches I respected. To a tee, they all said it should be Soldati. When I picked Adam up at the old Indy airport, I was still skeptical of his ‘IU-ness.’ But by the time we got to 465 North – and back in those days it was less than two minutes – I knew he was the guy. In fact, we had to get this guy.

“One of my favorite passages of Scripture is from Hebrews 13:2 – ‘Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.‘ It can be interpreted many ways: Adam was a stranger at first but an angel for me. I believe everyone who came in contact with him indeed was blessed to be visited by this angel. He changed me as a coach, but more importantly as a friend, brother in Christ and one who always gave me honest advice – not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.

“As a coach, Adam always said ‘you must know the science of your sport first, then it’s all about relationships with your athletes.’ 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.

“Christian, Husband, Father, blessing to all whom he meets, then Coach – that’s how I see the man’s identity. Adam is blessed to know his finality, but in fact not one of us knows when our time on this Earth will be up. So live like Adam is doing – he is truly living now. He wants every one of us to live every day as it is our last and always love your teammates.
“I plan to wake up every day I have left and pray I can live like Adam.”
John Klinge – Purdue Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 2008-Present
“Adam has created such a tremendous legacy here at Purdue. I think most acknowledge he is one of the best, if not the best, diving coaches in the country. Everyone associated with our program has learned a tremendous amount by being around him. More importantly, Adam is a model father, husband and friend. I have no doubt he will continue to be a great example for all of us moving forward. All of us just want to play a huge part in supporting Adam and his awesome family.”
Darlene Renie – Purdue Swimming & Diving Supervisor of Operations and Purdue Athletics Hall of Famer
“When Adam rolled onto campus for an interview 19 years ago, I had a feeling this man could continue to take the Purdue Diving program places. It was easy to see he possessed so many traits of excellence. He is a family man full of wisdom, tenacity, vision, confidence, persistence and faith. His competitive spirit can be seen and felt on the side of the pool deck and in life itself. Purdue Diving is what it is because of Adam.”
Alex Jerden – Purdue Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 2023-Present (Assistant Coach from 2019-23)
“I first met Adam by chance sitting next to him on a flight back from the NCAA Championships in 2018 – myself an aspiring college coach and him having just coached Steele Johnson to a national title the day before. I'm not surprised now, but I was back then at the patience and time he gave me on that flight while I asked an endless list of questions. Hard to believe this many years later I've been able to work next to him and learn from him within this program. After learning of this news and watching the way Adam has been handing this challenge, my admiration for him is affirmed yet again. We are so fortunate as a program to have such a life, family, and career role model as Adam is to us all on a daily basis.

“For me, it's been a daily joy to watch the atmosphere of growth and excitement and connection that he has fostered here at the pool. Adam would say that words are our most powerful tools and that rings true especially between him and I. He has inspired me to improve as a human and coach many times over – in times of great conversation or in something as simple as an enthusiastic greeting. To that point, the way he has decided to face this with resiliency, courage, and perseverance speaks to his constitution and strength of faith in a way we have all seen him before, but may have taken for granted or not seen as closely as we do now. How he has nurtured this program all while having a family of seven is a feat as admirable and as extraordinary as I can imagine. I am truly grateful for the example he has set for me and so many others.”