Penn State Continues To Build Staff With Addition of Ethan Curl As Assistant Coach

The Penn State swimming & diving program made another coaching hire on Friday, appointing Ethan Curl to its staff as an assistant coach.

Curl’s hiring comes one day after head coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron added Sean Schimmel, who was her assistant last season at Miami (Ohio), to the staff as an associate head coach.

Curl, who formerly competed in the Big Ten as a swimmer at Indiana, joins the Nittany Lions after spending this past season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Ohio University, which is a women’s-only program.

During his time with the Bobcats, Curl helped implement and foster “positive team culture” while designing training plans for all groups and leading the recruiting process. He helped coach three individual conference champions and four all-MAC first team honorees.

“I am excited to welcome Ethan to Penn State,” said Bonewit-Cron. “He has Big Ten experience as a student-athlete and brings a high level of ambition in recruiting and coaching which will translate into a successful future for our program. I’m looking forward to working with him to evolve the team to be highly competitive in the Big Ten and on the national stage.”

Prior to his time at Ohio, Curl spent three seasons as an assistant at IUPUI (2021-23), where he guided the mid-distance and distance free groups along with the 400 IMers. In his final season with the Jaguars, the men’s and women’s teams were Horizon League runners-up.

He was the primary coach for one of the most decorated swimmers in IUPUI history, Emmaleigh Zietlow, who was a five-time Horizon League champion (individually), the conference’s 2022 Women’s Freshman of the Year and the 2023 Horizon League Championships Co-Female Swimmer of the Meet.

Curl was also the lead coach of Gabby Puryear-Lynch, a 2023 Horizon League Women’s Freshman of the Year, along with Logan Kelly, a three-time Horizon League individual conference champion and the program’s first-ever NCAA qualifier.

Curl’s first season in the coaching realm was spent as a volunteer assistant at the University of Kentucky, during which the women’s team won their first SEC title in 2021.

As a swimmer at Indiana, Curl was a member of two Big Ten Championship rosters and helped the 2018 team to a 3rd-place finish at the Men’s NCAA Championships.

Bonewit-Cron took over the Penn State coaching job in May after the program’s former leader, Tim Murphy, was fired in early April after being placed on unspecific leave midway through the season.

The Penn State men placed 7th out of eight teams at the Big Ten Championships in February while the women placed 9th out of 12 teams.

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PSU fan...
27 days ago

As someone who has had a front row seat to a few recent recruiting classes, it appears that Penn State was not even trying to recruit some of the top ranked swimmers in their state. Now they have programs like Notre Dame, Indiana, Ohio State Wisconsin, Minnesota etc…beating them in their own state. It seems like a presence in PA and Jersey alone could build some recruiting momentum for this new staff. Will be interesting to see where they focus their efforts.

1 month ago

All this is fine, but they need to get the better swimmers out of PA to stay in PA. Too many of them (who are pretty good) are leaving to go elsewhere. Lily King(not to be confused with Lilly King who was just proposed to after her 200 breast final last night), is a great PA college prospect (22.5 50 free, 48.5 100 free), would instantly be on nearly every PSU relay, but is heading to NC State.

PSU used to get its state champions to stay in state. I think Murphy lost a lot of that pull. Hoping Bonewit-Cron can pull off better recruiting than the past 15 years or so.

Reply to  jim
1 month ago

They’d need a new pool and probably a new location entirely to keep kids like Lily in state

Last edited 1 month ago by Sleepy
Reply to  jim
29 days ago

PSU has NEVER been able to keep in-state talent. Jeremy Lin, Brendan Hansen, Kyle Salyards, Kristy Kowal, Stef Williams, Hali Flickinger, Leah Smith, David Nolan, Reece Whitley… the list could go on all day. Let’s hope they can change this trend.

Last edited 29 days ago by Oopsies
Reply to  Oopsies
29 days ago

The last few years you look at who the best swimmers on that roster from PA are and it’s kind of shocking. They’ve uncovered a few diamonds in the rough every once in a while but at such a big, in state, high profile school it is shocking they can’t convince more of the better ones to stay. I hope the new staff can get better at at least converting some of their mid tiers into consistent big ten scorers, but they need to do a lot better than just B/C finals to move up. Tons of talent out of Philly and south Jersey especially and they haven’t grabbed any of it. To add to Oopsie’s list… Brendan Burns, Heather… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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