Wenbo Chen is in his third year at the helm of the Purdue diving program.
Since his arrival in West Lafayette, Chen has restored the prestige of Purdue diving team, guiding seven different athletes to the NCAA Regional Zone Meet in two full seasons. His biggest success stories include: NCAA qualifier Kara Hajek-Gustafson, two-time Regional Zone qualifier Clayton Davis and sophomore sensation Carrie McCambridge.
Davis, a junior, will be helped immensely by Chen's new recruits as he looks to make a third appearance at Regional Diving Zones and a trip to the NCAA Championships. Topping the list of diving newcomers are freshmen Steven LoBue and Michael Reid and University of Alabama transfer John Hillis. Chen will also be counting on upperclassmen Robert Hennessy and David Hansich, who with another year of experience under their belts, should score more frequently.
Chen came to Purdue from Moultrie, Ga., where he was the head coach of the Moss Farms Diving Tigers program from 1996 to October 2001.
While at Moss Farms, Chen compiled an impressive record. Among his proteges: 2001 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers, Senior World champions and team members, Junior World champions and team members, U.S. and Canadian Senior National champions and team members, U.S. Junior National champions and team members, Can-Am-Mex Championships medalists and team members, and U.S. Goodwill Games team members.
Prior to his Moss Farms stint and his immigration to the United States in 1992, Chen began his coaching career and was one of the premier coaches in the Peoples' Republic of China. From 1983 to 1991, he was the coach of the Chinese National Team. During that time, he coached Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalists, as well as Chinese national champions and gold medalists in the World Championships, the World University Games and the Asia Championships.
Chen has had collegiate coaching experience as the head coach at Florida State in 1998 and as a visiting assistant coach at Illinois from 1992 to 1993.
Himself a decorated diver, Chen was one of the best divers in China from 1973 to 1982 as a member of the Chinese National Team. In 1976, he was the Chinese Junior National champion on the 3-meter springboard. Then, from 1977 to 1982, he was a finalist at the Chinese National Championships on both the 3- and 10-meter platforms.
A native of Beijing, Chen earned his bachelor's degree at Beijing Sports University in 1987. He is married to Wenyin Han, a former Chinese ballerina. The Chens reside in West Lafayette and have two daughters, Amy Yao (11) and Annie Yuan (2).