Purdue swimming and diving announced Thursday the addition of Molly Belk as assistant coach. The Minnesota alum and 3-time NCAA Championship qualifier joins the Boilermakers following a stead as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at Manhattan.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Molly to the Purdue Swimming & Diving Family,” Purdue head coach John Klinge said. “Molly’s passion, background and infectious attitude will make an immediate impact on our program in a positive fashion. As a student-athlete, she competed at a high level at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. She’s gained valuable experience early in her coaching career at multiple levels, most recently as a head coach at a Division I university. Molly will be a huge asset to our swimmers and team.”
While at Manhattan, Belk coached the Jaspers to 25 school record performances in the 2017-18 season alone. The men’s program led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and tied for 4th nationally with a 3.47 GPA.
She began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater, helping the Golden Gophers to a 2012 Big Ten title and a 15th place national finish while earning a master’s degree in elementary education. Belk also spent two years coaching at Asphalt Green United Aquatics in New York City, a season at the 92nd Street YMCA and at North St. Paul High School.
“I am beyond thrilled for the opportunity to join Purdue’s staff of extremely experienced coaches and wonderful people,” Belk said. “At every point in this process, it has been clear how much of a family Purdue truly is. I am so thankful to John and the Purdue staff for their support. I know that together we can continue to add to the success and growth that the program has already has under his tutelage. I’m so excited to work with the high achieving and dedicated student-athletes at Purdue. They are doing great things in and out of the pool, and I can’t wait to join the team.”
Belk, a versatile swimmer who competed in butterfly, breaststroke, individual medley and freestyle during her collegiate career, led the Golden Gophers to a Big Ten Championship as a freshman. She also raced at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2008 and 2012. Her sister, Rory, swam breaststroke and individual medley for the Boilermakers collegiately, graduating in 2017 as a 4-year letterwinner.
Away from the pool, Belk has served as a board member for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and a volunteer with the organizing committee for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also established the Ra’ey Youth Soccer Organization, which helps empower Ethiopian youth through academics and soccer.
Last season, Purdue men’s swimming and diving finished 4th in the Big Ten and 19th nationally, while the women’s squad finished 6th in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.