Northwestern Head Diving Coach Alik Sarkisian Will Not Return Next Season

Northwestern University’s sent out a press release this morning stating that Alik Sarkisian, who has been the head diving coach since 2006, will not be returning to coach the Wildcats in the 2019-2020 season. Here is the Northwestern press release:

EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern will not renew the contract of head diving coach Alik Sarkisian, the department announced Monday. The Wildcats immediately will commence a search to locate the program’s next leader.

“We’re extremely thankful for everything Alik has meant to our program over the last 13 seasons, and wish him the absolute best going forward,” said Director of Swimming & Diving Jeremy Kipp.

Sarkisian led the men’s and women’s diving programs in Evanston since 2006.

We asked Northwestern for more information as to why the contract was not renewed, but they declined further comment. We also reached out to coach Sarkisian, but have not heard back.

In his 13 seasons in Evanston, Sarkisian saw some big successes. The most recent diving star for Northwestern was Olivia Rosendahl. Rosendahl placed in the top 3 in all 3 diving events at this year’s Big Ten Champs, racking up 83 points on her own. She also went on to score 12 points at NCAAs this season, and was the NCAA champion in platform diving in 2017 and 2018. Rosendahl was, however, the only men’s or women’s Northwestern diver to place in the top 16 at Big Tens, and is a senior, so she will not be returning next season. The Northwestern women’s other Big Ten scoring diver, Eryn Scannell (5 points), is graduating as well, while the Northwestern men will return Evan Labuda (7 Big Ten diving points) next season. Ben Magliato (7 Big Ten diving points) also graduates from this group.

Sarkisian has held several high profile coaching positions in his career. He served as the USSR National Team coach from 1980-1990, then the Armenian National Team coach from 1991-1993. He then came to the States, where he served as a coach at Rose Bowl Aquatics and Trojan Dive Club. He then served as the USA Diving Coach for the 2003 and 2005 Pan-Am Games. His most recent position before Northwestern was the Director and Head Coach for the USA Diving Regional Training Center.

You can read Alik Sarkisian’s full bio on the Northwestern Swimming site here.

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Seems a shame that a successful coach with a 2 time national champion gets run because a new head swim coach can’t seem to get along with them. Clearly, no one knows all the details yet, but unless there was something illegal going on, you should be able to figure this out and co-exist


Anyone know where is he going? I hope he stays local.

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