In 2015, Kelly Kremer led the Gopher women to a fourth-straight Big Ten title (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), becoming the first women’s program at the University of Minnesota to achieve four consecutive Big Ten Conference titles. The season also marked Kremer’s third breaststroke NCAA Champion in the past five years. Kierra Smith became the third fastest performer in NCAA history in the 200-yard breaststroke when she took home the gold. Following the 2015 NCAA Championships, Kremer was selected as the Women’s Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his tenure at Minnesota (2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).
On April 12, 2011, Kremer became the first head coach of a combined University of Minnesota men's and women's swimming and diving program after 13 years as an assistant, associate head coach and co-head coach with the Gopher teams.
Kremer, along with Terry Ganley, had taken the Gopher women's program to unprecedented success as co-head coaches from 2004-11. This followed an incredible run of six years as an associate head coach and assistant coach under Dennis Dale with the men's program from 1998-2004.
In his first year at the helm of the Minnesota programs, Kremer was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time (2008), after guiding the women to their first Big Ten Championship since 2008, and went on to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, marking the fifth-straight top-15 finish for the Gopher women.
The men finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and went on to a 24th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Kremer also served as an assistant coach to Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico, and coached Haley Spencer to the Silver Medal in the 200-meter breaststroke. Another of Kremer's swimmers, Ashley Steenvoorden, represented Team USA based on her winning the 400-meter freestyle at the 2011 USA National Championships.
In his last ten years with the women's program, Minnesota finished at least 13th at the NCAA Championships, including a program-best ninth-place mark in 2011. With only one NCAA qualifier in 2005 for the Gophers in Kremer's first year, the Gophers qualified 10 in 2006 and have had no less than 10 since that time. The 2011 meet was also the high-water mark in another fashion, with two Gopher swimmers winning national championships. Kremer coached Spencer, then a sophomore, to the 2011 NCAA National title in the 200 breaststroke and senior Jillian Tyler to the 100 breaststroke crown. Prior to 2010, Minnesota had won just one NCAA individual title.
The success has not been limited to the pool under Kremer's watch. The Gophers posted at least 14 Academic All-Big Ten selections in each of his eleven seasons with the women's program. Kaylee Jamison became the first Gopher to earn GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors in 2011. Jenny Shaughnessy was a second team GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2009. In 2015, both Jessica Plant and Chris Johnson received the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship. Plant also collected the Wayne Duke Award, Big Ten Medal of Honor, was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist and a honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year for her true excellence as a student-athlete.
Prior to becoming the women's swimming and diving co-head coach in the spring of 2004, Kremer was a member of the Minnesota men's swimming staff under Dale. Kremer was an assistant coach for the Golden Gophers for four years, before being promoted to the associate head coach position in 2002. After Kremer's arrival in 1998, the Golden Gopher men's team won three Big Ten Championships, including back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002, and again in 2004. The other three years, the Maroon and Gold finished second at the league championships. The Gophers also placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in each of his last five years with the men, 2001-05.
Primarily responsible for breaststroke, middle distance and distance swimmers at Minnesota, Kremer has been the personal coach for more than 100 NCAA All-American and/or All American consideration performances, more than 30 individual Big Ten Championship wins and three NCAA National Champions (Kierra Smith, Haley Spencer and Jillian Tyler). On the International stage, Kremer served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games. He coached All-American and Canadian Olympians Jillian Tyler (2008, 2012) and Mike Brown (2004), Ashley Steenvoorden and Haley Spencer (2011 Pan American Games), Justin Mortimer (2003 World University Games), Jeff Hackler (2002 World University Games) and Keri Hehn (2003 World University Games). Kremer also coached Keam Ang, who competed for Malaysia, and Yoav Meiri, who competed for Israel in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In addition, Kremer had the honor of being Team Mexico's head coach at the 2002 Short Course World Championships in Moscow, Russia, and an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2004 World Cup Meet in Melbourne, Australia.
A native of Mandan, N.D., Kremer began his coaching career in 1988 with the Springfield Aquatics Swim Team in Springfield, Mo. From 1992-94, Kremer was the graduate assistant coach for Drury University, also in Springfield. He served as head coach for John Brown University for one year, 1994-95, before moving to Mission Viejo, Calif., to serve as assistant National Team coach to Bill Rose and the Mission Viejo Nadadores from 1995-98.
As an athlete, Kelly finished fifth in the 100 backstroke at the 1991 US Open and participated in the 1992 Olympic Trials in the same event. During his collegiate career, he was a 24-time NAIA National Champion and 29-time NAIA All-American for Drury University, and was elected to the school's Sports Hall of Fame in the summer of 1997. Coach Kremer owns both a B.A. and M.Ed. in education, both from Drury.
Under the guidance of head coach Terry Ganley, the University of Minnesota women's swimming and diving team has risen to the top of the Big Ten Conference and is a constant force within the national rankings. In her eight seasons at the helm of the Golden Gopher program, Ganley, along with current men's and women's head coach Kelly Kremer, has led the Gophers to four Big Ten titles (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014), three second-place Big Ten finishes and nine top-15 performances at the NCAA Championships.
In the last six years with the women's program, Minnesota finished at least 13th at the NCAA Championships including a program-best ninth-place mark in 2011. The 2011 meet was also the high-water mark in another fashion with three Gophers winning national championships. Sophomore Haley Spencer took the 200 breaststroke title while senior Jillian Tyler took the 100 breaststroke crown. Diver Kelci Bryant won her second national title in as many seasons, winning the 1-meter title as a junior after taking the 3-meter crown as a sophomore. Prior to 2010, Minnesota had won just one NCAA individual title. Overall 30 different athletes earned All-America honors in Ganley's eight seasons with the women's program. The Gophers also experienced great success in Big Ten Conference action, finishing at least second in the last five conference championships including winning the team title in both 2012 and 2008. Ganley and Kremer guided 33 event champions during their seven seasons as co-head coaches, while Ganley had five event champions in 2012. Those five event champions helped Ganley and Kremer to be named the Big Ten Swimming Coaches of the Year for the second time (2008), after guiding the women to their first Big Ten Championship since 2008. The women went on to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The success hasn't been limited to the pool under the Ganley's watch. The Gophers have posted at least 14 Academic All-Big Ten selections in each of her eight seasons with the women's program including 23 in 2012 and 22 in both 2011 and 2005. Kaylee Jamison became the first Gopher to earn GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors in 2011. Jenny Shaughnessy was a a Second Team Academic All-American in 2009.
After graduating a highly-successful class of seniors, Ganley and Kremer reloaded with yet another talented group in 2009-10. At the Big Ten Championships, Minnesota captured seven conference event titles over the course of four days. The coaches guided seven individuals to first-team All-Big Ten honors and placed second at Big Tens for the second-consecutive year. In what some considered a "rebuliding" year, Ganley and Kremer's team scored 572.5 points at Big Tens and went on to qualify 13 individuals to the 2010 NCAA Championships. Kelci Bryant, who was named the Big Ten Diver of the Year, went on to earn the national title in the 3-meter at NCAAs, the program's second NCAA event winner and the first under Ganley and Kremer's regime. Minnesota placed 12th in the national standings when it recorded 102 points at NCAAs. Along with their efforts in the pool, Minnesota placed 14 on the Academic All-Big Ten list, while Kaylee Jamison held one of the athletic department's top grade point average for female athletes.
The 2008-09 season marked one of the Maroon and Gold's best national finishes. The Gophers finished 11th overall in the nation and had the school's best representation with 15 student-athletes competing. For the second-straight year, Jillian Tyler finished as the national runner-up in the 100 breaststroke and third overall in the 200 breaststroke. At the conference level, Minnesota finished second in the Big Ten standings. Jenny Shaughnessy was the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships as the Gophers had 11 swimmers on the first-team All-Big Ten list. Minnesota captured a school-best 10 event wins at the league championships, including three relay wins. Minnesota also had 17 members on the Academic All-Big Ten team.
In 2008, Ganley and Kremer returned to the top of the Big Ten when their team won the championship title. During the course of the championship, the Gophers won five event titles and broke 14 school records. Under Ganley's and Kremer's tutelage, the Gophers had eight student athletes earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. The duo also coached Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Jillian Tyler, who won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and helped the 400 medley relay to a conference title. Following the conference meet, Minnesota set a school record as 12 student-athletes were selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. During that time, nine earned All-America honors as the Gophers finished 13th in the nation. Following the national championship, Tyler became the second Gopher in school history to be named to an Olympic team. Tyler, a native of Calgary, Alberta, swam the 100 breaststroke with Team Canada at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Since Ganley and Kremer took over the Gopher women's swimming and diving program, Minnesota has improved as a team every year in either the conference or at national championship level. In 2006-07, Minnesota moved up eight spots at the NCAA championships after a 21st finish from the previous year. The Gophers earned All-America honors in the 200, 400 and 800 free relays. Ganley and Kremer coached Jenny Shaughnessy and Yuen Kobayashi to individual All-America honors. Along with their accomplishments on the national scene, the team finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and led the Gophers to three Big Ten champions in Kobayashi (1,650 free), Christine Jennings (500 free) and the 800 free relay.
After finishing sixth in the league championships in 2005, the Gophers skyrocketed to a second-place finish at the 2006 Big Ten Conference Championships. Not only did the Gophers earn over 530 points at the conference championship, Ganley and Kremer were named Co-Big Ten Coaches of the Year. The Gophers had four named to the first-team All-Big Ten Team and Kobayashi was named Freshman of the Year. Along with an outstanding conference performance, Ganley and Kremer's squad had 10 swimmers qualify for the 2006 NCAA Championships, the most for the program since 1997-98. Along with 10 competing at the national championships, nine earned All-America honorable mention status, with the team placing 21st overall.
In their first year at the helm Minnesota swimming, Ganley and Kremer's team ranked in the top 25 of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. After an impressive performance at the Georgia Invite, the Gophers entered the poll at No. 24. Minnesota was ranked as high as No. 23 following the Quad Duals against Big Ten opponents Wisconsin, Illinois and Purdue. The Gophers finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships, a higher finish then predicted. Minnesota finished the season with a 7-1 dual meet record and a 5-1 mark in Big Ten action. Not only did the Gophers improve in the pool, but also landed one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Ganley and Kremer recruited four summer national qualifiers.
After serving as the women's swimming assistant coach for 27 years, Ganley was named the interim head coach immediately following former head coach Jean Freeman's retirement. Ganley worked closely with Freeman for nearly three decades, and their coaching philosophies, styles and skills complemented one another very well. Ganley is a well-known and highly respected member of the swimming community.
During Ganley's tenure as an assistant, Minnesota won back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 1999 and 2000, and she coached 48 student-athletes to Big Ten titles in 53 individual events and 23 relay events. Since the start of Nieszner's coaching career, the Minnesota women's swimming and diving program has had 58 swimmers earn over 200 All-America certificates and have placed in the NCAA Championships 17 of the last 18 years.
Ganley guided some of the greatest swimmers, not only in the Big Ten, but also in the nation. In her 27 years, Ganley coached six-time All-American Diane Wallner, 12-time All-American and American record holder Gretchen Hegener and 10-time All-American Terri Jashinsky. Since the start of Ganley's career, five student-athletes have earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor award, while seven were named the Women's Athletics Senior Athlete of the Year.
Minnesota also excelled in the classroom, earning two GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in Uta Herrmann and Dana Baum. The Gophers have had over 100 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, since the award was initiated in 1990.
A former Gopher swimmer, Ganley was the first woman to earn All-America honors at the University of Minnesota. As a student-athlete, Ganley was a four-time All-American (1974, twice in 1975, 1976) and a two-time Big Ten champion (1974, 1977). She was inducted into the Minnesota Aquatics Hall of Fame in 1984, the M Club Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Minnesota Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994. She graduated in 1977 with a degree in physical education.
Ganley has two sons, Joseph (2008) and Patrick (2010), both graduates of the University of Minnesota.
Ryan Purdy joined the Gopher Swimming staff in 2011, and is currently serving his second stint at the U of M, after beginning his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the Minnesota women's program beginning in 2005. While he has been on staff, the team has won five Big Ten Women's Team Championships (2008, and 2012-15), as well as achieving a Top Ten NCAA team finish twice with the Women's team in 2013 and 2014. Concluding the 2014-15 season, Purdy was promoted to Senior Assistant Coach of both the men's and women's teams.
Since rejoining the Gopher staff in 2011, Purdy has been the primary coach of the Distance Group, and a Middle Distance group. He has also served as the program's recruiting coordinator. In 2012 Purdy's group produced a Big Ten Individual Champion when Hannah Whitehead won the 200 Freestyle. Since 2011, he has coached four different individual qualifiers to the NCAA Championship meet. In addition, Purdy was the primary coach to Jessica Plant, a Three-Time NCAA All-American from 2012-2015.
On the National scene, Gopher Swimmers have experienced success under Coach Purdy's leadership, as his coaching has produced multiple United States and Canadian Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Distance swimmer, Samantha Harding, who is coached by Purdy, has progressed each year and has capped off her summers by becoming a Canadian National Champion four times in the 800 and 1500 Meter Freestyle events. In 2015, Purdy also coached Harding to selections to represent Canada at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia in the Open Water Swimming Events.
Prior to coming to Minneapolis, Purdy spent three seasons as the assistant coach at Fresno State University. In his time with the Bulldogs, Purdy served as the primary sprint coach and recruiting coordinator for the Women's Swimming Team. While at Fresno, Coach Purdy recruited and coached one of Fresno's top athletes, Dani Yoho, a multiple WAC Conference Finalist, who contributed to breaking six school records at the WAC Championships in 2011.
Previous to his coaching tenure at Fresno State, Purdy spent two seasons (2005-06 and 2007-08) as the volunteer assistant coach for the Minnesota women's swimming and diving team, assisting co-head coaches, Kremer and Terry Ganley. While coaching the middle distance and distance groups with Kremer, Purdy was significantly involved in the day-to-day operations of coaching a Division I program. The team made huge strides during these seasons, breaking numerous school records, winning the Big Ten championship in 2008, and placing 13th at the NCAA Championship meet.
Serving under legendary Head Coach, Bill Rose, Purdy was the associate senior director and coach with the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Mission Viejo, California, from 2006-07. He was the primary coach for numerous senior sectional qualifiers and was selected as the coach for the Southern California Swimming All-Star Team that won the 2006 Western Zone Championship title.
From 2002-05, Purdy served as the senior coach of the North Shore Swim Club in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition, he was head coach of the girls' swim team at Two Harbors High School in Two Harbors, Minnesota, and the assistant coach for the boys' and girls' swimming and diving team at Superior Senior High School in Superior, Wis.
A native of Fort Atkinson, Wis., Purdy graduated from the Minnesota-Duluth in 2005 with a B.F.A. in Art Education. He is also a University of Minnesota Grad School alum having completed his Master's of Education in Applied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Science in 2015.
Gideon Louw is currently serving his second season as an assistant coach on the Minnesota swimming and diving staff.
Louw comes to Minnesota after serving the past two seasons as a graduate assistant at Florida State, where he provided planning and implementation of workouts and provided analysis and instruction of swimming techniques, among other duties. While at FSU, Louw helped the Seminole men to a 14th place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
Prior to joining the coaching staff at Florida State, Louw represented South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he finished fifth overall as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay and ninth overall individually in the 50 meter freestyle. Louw also competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he finished 12th overall in the 50 meter freestyle.
At the collegiate level, Louw played an integral role in helping Auburn claim its eighth NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championship as a junior in 2009. That season, Louw was a three-time NCAA Champion as a member of the 200 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay teams, with his 200 medley relay team breaking the NCAA record with a time of 1:14.08. As a senior in 2010, Louw placed third at the NCAA Championships in the 100 freestyle, while placing second in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 medley relay. He also snagged a fifth-place finish in the 50 free.
Louw began his collegiate career at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla., where he was a seven-time NJCAA champion in 2008, winning the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay. For his efforts, he was named NJCAA Swimmer of the Year.
Louw was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2014 and into the Indian River State College Hall of Fame in 2013.
He earned a degree in exercise science from Auburn in 2011 and earned a master's degree in exercise physiology from Florida State in 2014.
Tyler Gerst is in his first season as an assistant coach on the University of Minnesota swimming and diving staff.
Gerst has previously served as a Minnesota volunteer assistant coach in 2013-14 and was a student coach from 2011-13, while he was attending Minnesota. He assisted coaches with daily practices, worked with student-athletes on specific techniques and provided video analysis for team members during practice and competitions.
Most recently, Gerst was the head assistant coach at California State University, Bakersfield during the 2014-15 season. He served as the recruiting coordinator, meet director and planned and coached daily practices while with the Roadrunners.
Gerst also has coaching experience with the Twin Cities Swim Team, where he worked with swimmers of all skill sets. A Minnesota native, Gerst earned a degree in sport management from the University of Minnesota in 2013.