Before stepping away from coaching role, Adam Soldati got 5 Purdue divers to Olympics

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Before stepping away from coaching role, Adam Soldati got 5 Purdue divers to Olympics

WEST LAFAYETTE — Adam Soldati walked the pool deck for months holding onto a secret.

A secret that, had Purdue’s diving team found out, could become a distraction during a pivotal training period.

Instead, Soldati had informed only a select few after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in February.

Soldati, his friends, family and colleagues who’d been briefed on his status kept it so close to the vest that when the season was over and it was time to tell the athletes he coaches, no one was the least bit privy.

“I thought it was going to be a debrief of the season and just be like, ‘OK, NCAAs is over. This is what we are going to do for the summer,'” Purdue diver Daryn Wright said.

More: Purdue diver, Plainfield’s Daryn Wright had to wait ‘a long four days,’ makes Olympic team

The NCAA Championships were over, but still Soldati was facing a room full of Olympic hopefuls and it was time to let them know he’d be scaling back in the coming months as many prepared for the biggest opportunity of their diving careers.

“That was hard to know what to expect when you have to deliver some tough news on multiple levels,” Soldati recalled. “One with my health and two what that is going to mean for them and the program. What I told them, I meant, is we are faced with trials and struggles in our life and I really do think ought to use them to make us more beautiful people if we handle them correctly.”

Soldati’s official last day as Purdue’s diving coach was June 11, as several current and former Boilermakers were departing to compete in the Olympic trials.

Getting as many through to the 2024 Paris Olympics would be Soldati’s last act before transitioning into a more director role while former Olympic 10-meter champion David Boudia succeeded Soldati as head coach.

It was a success.

More: Tyler Downs, Gregory Duncan win thrilling end to synchronized diving at US Olympic Trials

Wright will compete in the Olympics for Team USA in the women’s 10-meter platform, while former Purdue divers Tyler Downs and Greg Duncan earned an automatic berth at the U.S. trials by winning the three-meter synchronized event.

Additionally, Purdue divers Maycey Vieta (Puerto Rico) and Jaye Patrick (Latvia) will compete in the 10-meter platform at the 2024 Olympics.

Olympic gold medalist diver and former Purdue standout David Boudia, left, listens as his coach Adam Soldati comments after Boudia’s announcement that he will continue training with the goal of the Tokyo Olympic in 2020 during a press conference Tuesday, September 12, 2017, on the campus of Purdue University.

Mission accomplished.

Now, Soldati slides into a new role, attempting to get as much as he can out of his head and onto paper to alleviate Boudia as he elevates to his new position.

“I just need to spend a lot of time taking care of my health and doing some regiments and routines that I haven’t been able to do as much as I need to yet,” Soldati said. “I will certainly be here to guide him through the Olympics as much as he needs me. Not that he needs me. I think he’s fully prepared to do it.”

Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Adam Soldati’s exit as coach comes after 5 Purdue divers make Olympics

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