May 22, 2013
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State University and head swimming and diving coach Kristin Hill announced Wednesday the hiring of Kirk Ermels as assistant swimming coach. Ermels joins the Broncos from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
"I feel really fortunate to have someone with such passion, character, and success join our coaching staff," Hill said. "He loves our sport, he is a great teacher, and he understands how to manage, motivate, and organize a team. He understands the importance of helping each individual achieve their ultimate potential and allowing individuals to thrive within a team environment."
Ermels helped launch the UNC Asheville program as an assistant coach during its inaugural 2012-13 campaign. With just eight student-athletes on the roster for the first season, Ermels assisted in guiding the Bulldogs to a ninth-place finish (out of 13) at the 2013 Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships. UNC Asheville boasted three event finalists, including a silver medal in the 1650-yard freestyle. The Bulldogs scored enough points to finish ahead of four teams despite not sponsoring diving and entering just one student-athlete in eight of the 13 individual swimming events.
At UNC Asheville, Ermels was actively involved in all aspects of program administration as well as every phase of the program's training and competition.
"Kirk's influence on elevating programs is undeniable," said Hill, who started the Boise State program prior to its inaugural 2006-07 season. "He has a proven track record of success at the high school, club, and college level. Kirk will be a valuable part of our team's future success and we are thrilled to have him join our program. Kirk loves Boise and he understands the culture of swimming and recruiting the northwest. We are really excited to welcome him to Boise and our outstanding university and athletic department at Boise State."
Before moving to Asheville prior to last season, Ermels spent five years in Helena, Mont., as the head coach of the Helena Lions Swim Team on the club circuit and as head coach for the Capital High School and Helena High School swim teams. He was a three-time Montana Coach of the Year; a six-time member of the Montana Zones Team coaching staff, including twice as the head coach; the Montana Swimming Technical Planning Chair for 2009-12; a two-time Montana Swimming All-Star Camp Coach; and named the 2013 Helena Education Foundation Distinguished Educator.
With the Helen Lions, Ermels took over a team which had no sectional qualifiers and turned it into a program with swimmers competing at junior and senior nationals. He led the Helena High boys' team from last place to a state championship in four years, capturing the school's first state swimming title in 2011. The Helena girls' team followed suit with its first state championship in 2012.
Between the club and high school teams, he coached 18 different individual state champions.
"I am incredibly honored and excited to be joining the Boise State swimming and diving program," Ermels said. "This is a great opportunity and the program is a great fit for me. What the program has accomplished under Coach Hill in its brief history is very impressive and I am even more optimistic about the future. We have a great school, a great athletic department and a great group of young women. I can't wait to get to work!"
Prior to his stint in Montana, Ermels spent nearly a decade in Nebraska coaching and going to school. He graduated from Wayne State College (Wayne, Neb.) in 2003 with a degree in sport management. Ermels was a coach with the Norfolk YMCA Aquajets for seven years (1997-2002, 2004-06) and two years at Norfolk High School (2004-06) in Norfolk, Neb. Ermels was also a part of the XTERRA America Tour Staff for the last 12 years, assisting in the production and operation of off-road triathlon races throughout the country.
Between his time in Nebraska and in Montana, Ermels spent one season (2006-07) as the head swimming coach at Ingraham High School in Seattle.