|Bobinski on His Head Coaches
"I think we have a great combination of veteran coaches and newer-to-Purdue coaches. I like the fact that among our veteran coaches, with the transition in the athletics director office this year, there has been a renewed focus or a renewed sense of `Let's get some things done here, we're capable of more.' And that's really what I appreciate about the coaches that are newer to Purdue - they bring a no-limits, no-ceiling, let's-do-big-things-here mentality. Let's compete nationally. Let's win national championships.
"That mindset is taking root throughout our coaching staff. I really like our collective group. I think we've got a very strong group of folks in those roles. They believe in Purdue, they like being here, they feel like they have the tools and the resources they need to accomplish big things, and we look forward to making that happen."
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Mike Bobinski had plenty of reasons to smile in his first year as athletics director at Purdue.
"We had some really, really good things and some special things happen this year," said Bobinski, who was hired last August and started in September. "As you tick them off, we were really pleased. Obviously, room to grow, but I thought '16-17 was a pretty good year."
Two teams won Big Ten Conference championships - men's basketball (its conference-leading 23rd all-time) and women's outdoor track & field.
Six squads finished in the top 25 at their respective NCAA Championships - women's golf (11th), men's swimming & diving (13th), women's indoor track & field (14th), men's basketball (NCAA Tournament Sweet 16), women's outdoor track & field (21st), and women's swimming & diving (23rd) - and three others were close: men's golf (28th) and women's basketball and volleyball (NCAA Tournament second round).
All told, 12 of 20 teams were involved in postseason competition, while 11 finished in the top half of the Big Ten. The average Big Ten finish was 7.20, which ranked seventh among the 14 conference schools.
Purdue accumulated 548.25 points in the Directors' Cup to rank 41st out of 351 schools, the 88th percentile. Both the point total and placing are the best by the Boilermakers in eight years.
Buoyed by diver Steele Johnson, who won national championships on 1-meter and 3-meter and was second on platform, 25 student-athletes combined to achieve 41 All-America honors. Thirteen combined to earn 19 first team distinctions. There were 23 first team All-Big Ten selections.
Boilermakers won 12 individual Big Ten titles: Marat Amaltdinov (200 breaststroke - swimming & diving), Symone Black (400-meter hurdles - outdoor track & field), Savannah Carson (long jump - indoor track & field; long jump - outdoor track & field), Devynne Charlton (60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles - indoor track & field; 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles - outdoor track & field), Johnson (platform diving), Janae' Moffitt (high jump - indoor track & field), Anaquan Peterson (triple jump - outdoor track & field), and Brionna Thomas (400-meter dash - indoor track & field), plus the women's indoor track & field 4x400-meter relay (Chloe Abbott, Black, Thomas and Jahneya Mitchell) and the women's outdoor track & field 4x100-meter relay (Charlton, Carmiesha Cox, Savannah Roberson and Carson).
Johnson was the NCAA and Big Ten Diver of the Year.
Charlton was a four-time All-American (including three first-team performances) and was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships and Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor seasons and was selected the Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year outdoors.
Caleb Swanigan was a consensus All-American, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Player of the Year and a first-round NBA Draft pick (No. 26 overall) by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Charlton and Swanigan were selected the Purdue Athletes of the Year, while golfer August Kim and football player Jake Replogle earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor for academic and athletic excellence.
Academically, student-athletes maintained better than a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average for the 17th consecutive semester this spring, and they continue to regularly perform equal to or better than the student body. Following the spring semester, the cumulative GPA for all current Purdue student-athletes was 3.05. The current four-year average Graduation Success Rate is 84 percent. Overall, 90 percent of student-athletes completing their eligibility at Purdue graduate, and student-athletes who graduated in May of 2015 realized a 92 percent job-placement rate.
"I couldn't be more proud of our young people and the way they are able to manage the challenging academics, the strong academics here at Purdue," Bobinski said. "Clearly, it's to their great credit that they get it done. We've got a great team of folks in the academic support area that help them, our faculty are great, and ultimately it's up to our coaches to identify young people to bring to Purdue that have the capability and the desire. Our academic accomplishment is very strong and ultimately the one we are most-proud of and the one that has the most lasting impact of anything we do."
Three Boilermakers were recognized as second team Academic All-Americans: Amaltdinov, Swanigan and Ashley Evans of volleyball. A total of 185 Purdue student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big Ten distinction, and 48 were recognized as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.
Bobinski made two significant hires in his first year - Jeff Brohm as head football coach in December and Jason Butikofer as deputy athletics director in June.