Swimming Coach Tierney-Walker Announces Staff

July 28, 2009

Arizona State University head swimming coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker is pleased to announce the completion of her staff. Simon Percy, Demerae Christianson and Brian Pursley will join Tierney-Walker on deck in leading the swimming program. Mark Bradshaw will go into his 13th year as ASU's head diving coach.

'I am excited to have assembled a diverse, experienced, staff dedicated to the pursuit of excellence both in the classroom and in the pool,' said first-year head coach Tierney-Walker.

Percy has been promoted to associate head coach. The ASU swimming alum and former Olympian was vital in the men's program reinstatement last season and has been a key figure in their fundraising. Percy will go into his fifth year as a member of ASU's swimming staff, where he has overseen the development of the sprint and middle-distance events and served as the men's recruiting coordinator.

'Simon's commitment and loyalty to the ASU both as a student-athlete and as a coach are unparallel,' said Tierney-Walker on her associate head coach. 'He was a part of the ASU men's team when they were one of the best programs in the country and he knows what it takes to get back there. Simon is a very balanced individual and a great role model for men and women.'

Christianson comes to Tempe from the University of Louisville where she helped lead the Cardinals to their best NCAA finish in school history. Prior to that, the native of Wyoming served as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland, where she oversaw the development of several Olympic Trials qualifiers. Christianson began her coaching career at her alma mater Auburn University. While at Auburn, Christianson was part of a staff that led the Tigers to a national championship in 2005. As an athlete, Christianson has been a part of three NCAA Championship teams while at Auburn. Accumulating 15 All-American accolades in her collegiate career, she was also a national team member.

'Demerae Christianson is one of the most personable individuals you will ever meet,' said Tierney-Walker. 'She loves meeting people, especially in the swimming community. She has vast experience both as a student-athlete and as a coach.'

The next new member of the staff is actually a familiar face for the Sun Devils. Pursley, who served as a graduate assistant at ASU for two years, will return to Tempe after a three-year stint at Auburn. While at Auburn, Pursley was a part of the Tigers 2009 NCAA Championship team. Coming from a swimming family, Pursley was a two-year letter-winner at North Carolina State University where he earned his bachelor's degree in business management. He earned a master's degree in recreation management while serving as ASU's graduate assistant. With familiarity of ASU and experience as part of an NCAA Championship program, Pursley is sure to make an immediate impact as part of the Sun Devil program.

'Brian is just a supremely grounded individual,' Tierney-Walker said on Pursley. 'He relates to the athletes so well. He can relate and identify with the best athlete on the team just as well as with the most developmental athlete on the team, while pursuing excellence for both of them in the same direction.'

With ASU ties and experience as national champions included in the staff, ASU swimming's future is looking bright.

'I think Brian Pursley put it best. He said `This staff has been assembled in part because of their fundamental understanding of the pursuit of excellence,'' concluded Tierney-Walker on her new staff. 'This entire staff has a strong understanding that every little detail makes a difference in our sport.'

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