WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue alumnus, Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion David Boudia has elected to maintain his presence at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center, accepting an opportunity to join the Purdue swimming & diving staff in a fulltime capacity as an assistant coach for the divers.
Boudia will continue to work alongside Adam Soldati, who has been the leader of the Purdue divers since his arrival in West Lafayette in the spring of 2005 and coached Boudia to four Olympic medals. While continuing to train at the Burke Aquatic Center since closing out his college career as a six-time NCAA champion in 2011, Boudia had also served as a volunteer assistant under Soldati.
A three-time Olympian on 10-meter, Boudia won a pair of medals at the Olympic Games in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). His gold medal in 2012 was the first by an American man in the event since Greg Louganis in 1988. Four years later, he teamed with Boilermaker Steele Johnson to win silver in synchronized 10-meter. Boudia also won bronze in both London (synchro) and Rio (individual). He made his Olympic debut as a 19-year-old in 2008 and even after changing events to 3-meter in his 30s, nearly became a four-time Olympian when he finished third in the event at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last month.
Since platform was added to the NCAA Championships in 1990, Boudia and Johnson are the only divers in the country to win NCAA titles in all three events during their careers.
"David's success at the NCAA and Olympic levels has had a positive impact on everyone at the pool," Soldati said. "As a fulltime coach and staff member with us now, he can continue to inspire and instruct everyone as we work to sustain our level of excellence. I've been successful in guiding our divers into positions where they can flourish and perform at a high level. But David can share with them what it's like to actually compete at the elite levels. That will only help us get better in the years to come."
Boudia remains a revered hero to many American divers that have come of age during his decade-plus as the preeminent performer for USA Diving. He was gracious in congratulating future Boilermaker Tyler Downs and NCAA champion Andrew Capobianco as they became Olympians for the first time via their 1-2 finish on 3-meter at the 2021 Olympic Trials.
Incoming Boilermakers Jordan Rzepka and Sophie McAfee joined Downs among the top teenage performers at the Olympic Trials. Now they'll get a chance to learn from Boudia on a daily basis at Purdue, where established All-Americans and returning collegians like Ben Bramley, Emily Bretscher, Maggie Merriman and Maycey Vieta are also in position to benefit from more time with both Soldati and Boudia working together.
"Purdue Diving has a history of greatness in large part due to Adam Soldati," Boudia said. "I am looking forward to standing beside him as we work to continue this legacy, coaching our divers to reach their greatest potential. I'm excited for this opportunity to remain an active part of the excellence at Purdue."
At the 2016 USA Diving Winter Nationals, Boudia was named the organization's Athlete of the Year for the seventh consecutive year and eighth time overall. He's a 21-time USA Diving national champion. As a three-time Purdue Male Athlete of the Year, he won eight Big Ten titles and a pair of NCAA titles in each of three appearances at the national championship meet from 2009 to 2011. As the 2011 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, he remains the only diver to ever win the award. Boudia was inducted into the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in September 2016 as again the first diver to be honored.
Boudia's four Olympic medals are tied for second most by any American diver, just one shy of Louganis' record five. The rare double-medal feat in consecutive Olympics made him one of only two divers internationally to win four Olympic medals over eight years since synchronized diving was added to the Olympic program in 2000.
Boudia also won silver at four straight FINA World Championships from 2009 to 2015. His silver in 2011 was not only a sign of things to come on the Olympic stage, but also the first individual medal by an American man on 10-meter at Worlds since 1986. He went back to the World Championships in 2019, finishing fifth on 3-meter as one of six Purdue divers to compete for the U.S. in South Korea that summer. Six weeks earlier, he had won on 3-meter at the USA Diving Senior National Championships for his 21st career national title.
Boudia swept the three diving events at both the 2009 and 2011 Big Ten Championships. A single sweep of the events had not been accomplished since 1995 and has not been duplicated since. In 2021, Boilermaker and Olympian Brandon Loschiavo joined Boudia on the short list of four divers to win three career Big Ten titles on the tower. Boudia was victorious on 3-meter all three years at the NCAA Championships, won the 1-meter title in 2010 and 2011, and platform in 2009. He swept the Big Ten and NCAA Diver of the Year awards all three years.
Boudia and his wife, Sonnie, were married in the fall of 2012. They are the parents of three children – daughters, Dakoda and Mila, and a son, Knox.
"David has set a high standard of training and performance at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center for a long time," Soldati said. "I'm grateful he has chosen to continue to assist me in teaching our Boilermakers what it takes to excel at a high level. He brings a tremendous amount of wisdom to the table and will be a great asset for our program on multiple levels."