Northwestern Hires Joe Bonk From Virginia As Assistant Coach

Northwestern University has announced the addition of Joe Bonk to its coaching staff for the 2024-2025 season. Bonk most recently served as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia.

“We are thrilled to welcome Joe Bonk to our Swim & Dive staff,” said Northwestern Head Coach Rachel Stratton-Mills. “Joe brings a wealth of experience from both his swimming and coaching backgrounds, along with a deep passion for the sport that aligns perfectly with our team’s values and goals. We are confident that his enthusiasm and dedication will significantly enhance our program and lead our athletes to new achievements. Welcome to the team, Joe!”

Bonk most recently spent the last season with the University of Virginia where he served as an assistant coach upon the expansion of NCAA swimming and diving coaching staffs. Bonk helped lead the Virginia women to both an ACC and NCAA title while the Virginia men finished 5th at ACCs and 17th at NCAAs.

Prior to his arrival at Virginia, Bonk spent three years with the Wilton Wahoo National Team in Connecticut from 2020-2023. Before coaching Wilton Wahoo, Bonk spent a season with Fairfield University in Connecticut as a volunteer assistant coach. He also was the recruiting coordinator for William Peace University during the 2017-18 season.

As a student-athlete, Bonk spent two years with Virginia Tech before transferring to finish his career with NC State. Primarily a sprint freestyler, he was a 3x ACC Champion, 2x US Olympic Trials qualifier, and swam at three NCAA Championships. He graduated from NC State in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports and Fitness Administration/Management.

Bonk is the latest coach to join the Wildcats. Last summer, Rachel Stratton-Mills was hired from Arizona State as the team’s next head coach with the departure of Katie Robinson. Stratton-Mills also added Margaret Howe and Jacob Siar to the staff.

Steve Iida and Jake Tapp were the only two swim coaches to be on the staff this past season who also were assistants under Robinson. Since the 2024 offseason began, Tapp has since been removed from the school’s website as associate head coach.

The Northwestern women finished 7th out of 12 teams at the 2024 Big Ten Championships while the men finished 6th out of eight teams. Both programs sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships with Ayla Spitz scoring 17 points on the women’s side and Andrew Martin and Diego Nosack swimming to a 38th place finish with 1 point on the men’s side.

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Grant Drukker
1 month ago

Was Bonk a NAG record holder back in the day for the 50 free?

Viking Steve
1 month ago

Go Cats!

1 month ago

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About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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