Purdue Swimming

Coaching Staff

Supervisor of Swimming & Diving Operations
Darlene Renie

Darlene Renie completed her 14th year as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Purdue program in 2010-11. In the summer of 2011, she made the transition to supervisor of swimming and diving operations for both the men's and women's teams. The 2018-19 season marks her eighth year in a that role.

As the main recruiter for the Purdue women's program, Renie was responsible for all aspects of both on- and off-campus recruiting.

Since joining the Purdue staff, Renie has used her expertise, personal example and excellent recruiting skills to help take Purdue from the lower half of the Big Ten Conference to placing among the top-six teams eight out of the past nine years, including a program-best-tying fourth-place finish in 2010 that earned head coach John Klinge the conference's Coach of the Year award.

Nine NCAA Championships qualifiers and five new relay records established at the Big Ten Championships highlighted the 2010-11 season. The nine NCAA qualifiers -- seven swimmers and two divers -- matched a program record established in 2010. Lisa Butler, Kara Cook, Emily Fogle, Lauren Gustafson, Caitlin Hamilton, Ariel Martin, Erin Mertz, Lauren Nichols and Allie Smith represented the Boilers at the national championship meet in Austin, Texas.

Joining divers Erin Mertz and Kara Cook as Honorable Mention All-Americans were Hamilton (1,650 free) as well as the 400 and 800 relay teams. Butler, Martin and Gustafson swam on both scoring relays along with Smith (400) and Fogle (800).

Purdue scored 36 points at the NCAA Championships to place 25th nationally.

Purdue set new records in all five relay events at the Big Ten Championships. Individually, new program records were established in seven events at the Big Ten Championships. Martin (100 & 200 free), Cook (platform diving), Fogle (200 breast), Hamilton (500 free), Mertz (3-meter diving) and Smith (100 back) all set a new benchmark in Purdue history. Fogle's time in the 100 breast was also a freshman record.

Freshman Caitlin Hamilton took down Purdue records in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events multiple times each throughout her first collegiate season. She finished second in the 1,650 at the Big Ten Championships in a time of 16:02.61 that obliterated the previous record of 16:26.31 that had stood since 1998. She then went on to finish eighth at the NCAA Championships in 16:02.01 to earn All-America status and record the highest national finish in Purdue history. Both 1,000 splits set a new program standard, as well, and the 500 record was broken twice at the Big Ten Championships.

The Boilermakers also had All-American swims from Allie Smith in the 100 backstroke and the 400 and 800 freestyle relays and the 200 medley relay. The 16th-place finish stands as the best in program history, and the nine different All-Americans, as well as the five different scoring events, also rank as program highs.

Renie's recruits have proven to be among the best in Purdue history. The all-time performance lists for all 19 events have been completely rewritten in the past 13 seasons. Only 13 of the 95 names that collectively make up the top-five fastest swimmers in each event were placed there before Renie joined the coaching staff, including her standing in fifth in the 200 butterfly, and she has been on staff and personally coached each and every school record holder.

Since her arrival to Purdue's coaching staff in 1997, Renie has coached two Big Ten champions and guided 18 different student-athletes to either All-America or honorable-mention All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. Renie's most consistent performers at the national meet were Lisa Dolansky, Patricia Finnerty and Lindsay Lange, each of whom qualified for three straight meets from 2001-03.

Together on both medley relays and the 200 freestyle relay, these three competitors combined for 15 honorable-mention All-America citations. Kim Paradeise shared in their relay success in 2002 and 2003, earning four honorable-mention All-America certificates on her own. Gyongyver Lakos was part of the 400 medley relay team that also placed among the top 16 at the national championship meet in 2001.

Lakos and Theekshana Ratnasekera also went on to represent their countries at the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Lakos competed for her home country of Hungary, and Ratnasekera was part of Sri Lanka's delegation to the Games.

Renie, formerly Darlene Warta, was an outstanding swimmer and student-athlete at Purdue from 1986-90. A two-time team captain, Renie became Purdue's first female individual to be selected as an All-American after she placed fifth in the 200-yard butterfly at the 1989 NCAA Championships. In 1990, Renie earned All-America honors again in the 200 butterfly and honorable-mention recognition as a member of the 400 medley relay team. Renie also captured two Big Ten titles by winning the conference's 200 butterfly race in 1988 and 1990.

She left Purdue as the school-record holder in the 200 butterfly. Her personal-best clocking of 1:59.27 still ranks her as the eighth fastest in Purdue history in that event.

She was a Senior Nationals consolation champion, a Junior Nationals qualifier, a four-time NCAA qualifier and the first woman in Purdue history to score individually at the NCAA Championships. She was named Purdue's Outstanding Senior Athlete by Mortar Board and the John Purdue Club's Chicago Athlete of the Year her senior year. By the time she finished her illustrious career, she held school records in the 100 and 200 butterfly, 800 freestyle and 400 medley relays.

A native of Chicago, Renie and her husband, Jeff, live in Lafayette. Jeff, also a Purdue swimming alumnus, was a member of the 1986-87 Boilermaker squad under current head coach Dan Ross. The couple has one daughter, Jessica, and two sons, Jake and Joshua.

Assistant Coach
Brian Barnes

Indiana native and former Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes joined Purdue men’s swimming & diving as an assistant coach in August 2018.

Barnes was a three-time Big East Coach of the Year as the leader of the Notre Dame women’s program from 2008 to 2014. As an assistant coach at Auburn for three seasons, he helped the Tigers sweep the men’s and women’s NCAA team titles in 2006 and 2007. The Indiana University alumnus also served as a men’s assistant coach with the Hoosiers (2002-05).

Since April 2017, Barnes has been an assistant coach with the Carmel Swim Club, one of the premier clubs in the Midwest. He worked with swimmers of all ages from 5 to 21, serving as a senior 1 lead and challenge 3 lead. He also has club experience as the head coach of the Lawrence Aquahawks (1998-02) and Michigan Marlins (1996-97).

“I want to thank the entire Purdue swimming & diving family for this opportunity,” Barnes says. “I know there’s an opportunity for me to be highly successful here. The family atmosphere is real at Purdue. Dan and I are aligned in every way on what’s important in the development of young men. The thought of teaming up with Dan and Adam Soldati, while sharing the pool deck with John Klinge and Erica Beine, made it an easy decision based on the relationships I’ve had with them.”

“The last four weeks have been a whirlwind with J. Agnew’s departure to become the head coach at Ball State,” Ross says. “Our search for J’s replacement yielded an incredible candidate pool, but one name stood out and that was Brian. The cosmic tumblers clicked in place and afforded us the opportunity to hire such an incredible coach with an amazing pedigree of coaching and working with some of the all-time great coaches in this country. He’s the father of two amazing young children in Jack and Caroline. I welcome Brian to the Purdue family as a co-coach. Our team is in for a great experience from a great coach and man."

At Notre Dame, Barnes coached Emma Reaney to the 2014 NCAA title in the 200-yard breaststroke. Reaney became Notre Dame’s first NCAA champion in the pool, establishing NCAA and American record times while winning her national title. The Fighting Irish women won the Big East team title in 2009 and 2010 before making the move to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Reaney was among UND’s eight All-Americans and 14 NCAA qualifiers. She also was a three-time ACC champion and the league’s Swimmer of the Year in 2014. Barnes also coached two Big East Most Outstanding Swimmer honorees with the Irish. His swimmers won 42 conference titles in the Big East.

With numerous Olympians on the roster, Auburn won a combined five Southeastern Conference titles during his tenure as an assistant coach. He helped mentor swimmers that combined for 291 All-America honors in his three seasons, headlined by 11 individual and six relay NCAA Championships. In the SEC, the women produced 15 individual titles and eight relay titles, while the men had 12 individual and 12 relay titles. He coached seven Big Ten champions in his three seasons as an assistant at Indiana.

Barnes was an accomplished swimmer during his career at Indiana in the 1990s. He was a two-time All-American and a five-time honorable mention All-American. His school record in the 400 individual medley stood until 2007. As a two-time Indiana Swimming Male Swimmer of the Year honoree (1989 and 1995), he was also a member of the USA Swimming National Team in 1989 and 1992.

A native of Osceola, Indiana, Barnes was a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in 1992 and 1996. He graduated from IU with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 1995 and is a level-4 certified member of the American Swimming Coaches Association.

Barnes was the assistant coach for two seasons at the University of Kansas before becoming the head coach of the Lawrence Aquahawks. He served as the leader of the third-largest swim club in the Missouri Valley area from 1998 to 2002.

Barnes is the father of two children, Jack and Caroline.


Assistant Coach
Molly Belk

Minnesota alumna and former Manhattan head coach Molly Belk is joining Purdue women’s swimming & diving as an assistant coach.

Belk was the head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at Manhattan from July 2017 until joining the Boilermakers in the fall of 2018. The Jaspers broke 25 school records during the 2017-18 season. Along with coaching both teams, she was also responsible for all their administrative duties.

“We are beyond excited to welcome Molly to the Purdue Swimming & Diving Family,” head coach John Klinge says. “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."

At Minnesota, Belk was a three-year NCAA Championships qualifier and also raced at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2008 and 2012. As a junior, she competed at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center twice as Purdue hosted both the 2010 Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships. The Gophers won the Big Ten title her freshman year and finished second the other three seasons. She was a versatile swimmer that competed in butterfly, breaststroke, Individual medley and freestyle events during her college career.

Belk’s sister Rory is a Purdue swimming alumna, graduating in 2007 as a four-year letterwinner that excelled in the breaststroke and individual medley events.

Belk also began her coaching career at Minnesota, serving as a volunteer assistant with the Gophers during the 2011-12 school year while pursuing a master’s degree in elementary education. She earned both a bachelor’s of science and master’s of education in elementary education. In 2012, the Minnesota women won the Big Ten title and finished 15th at the NCAA Championships.

Prior to becoming the head coach at Manhattan, Belk spent two years working with Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics in New York City. She served as the lead coach of just under 100 athletes while also assisting the national group. Additionally, she worked directly with the program's Silver Medal Club and was the coordinator of the Parent Education of Sport and Nutrition group.

Belk was an assistant swimming coach for a season at the renowned 92nd Street YMCA after moving to New York in the summer of 2014.

While serving as an elementary school teacher in St. Paul, Belk was the varsity head coach at North St. Paul High School from July 2012 until the Minneapolis native decided to move to New York two years later. She coached six swimmers to state championships after the team had only one qualifier the year before she arrived. Every summer from 2008 to 2014, she also served as a head counselor at the Minnesota Swim Camps.

Belk was Minnesota swimming & diving’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient as a senior and also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Away from the pool, Belk has served as a board member for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. She attended the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as a volunteer with the organizing committee. Additionally, she established the Ra'ey Youth Soccer Organization, which has helped to empower Ethiopian youth through academics and soccer.

The Manhattan men’s team was tops in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and ranked tied for fourth nationally with a 3.47 grade-point average during the 2018 spring semester. Both programs earned Scholar All-America Team honors from the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018. The team GPAs rose for both teams from the fall to the spring.