The North Texas Mean Green have hired San Diego State’s Brendon Bray to be their next head coach; he will replace Joe Dykstra, who recently took the same job at the University of Utah.
Bray spent six seasons at San Diego State, including the last two as an Associate Head Coach. Wrapping this story up in a nice bow, Bray swam for one year at Utah and three years at Washington under the guidance of none other than Joe Dykstra. He also spent some time as an assistant with the Huskies.
During his time in San Diego, the Aztecs went from 8th place in the Mountain West Conference in 2008 to a streak of two 1sts and a 2nd in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
From one established mid-major power to another: the Aztecs had a 400 medley relay team place 16th at last year’s NCAA Championships, with four seniors, including standout breaststroker Katelyn Weddle. He will take over, now, a North Texas team that had its first-ever NCAA qualifier in 2013: distance freestyler Kimmy Phillips, who was 26th in the 1650 and 52nd in the 500 freestyle at the NCAA Championships as just a sophomore.
With this transition, Bray moves from one recruiting hotbed in Southern California to another in North Texas. He will continue to have to fight and grab some gems in recruiting, though, as he’s competing with two in-state top 10 programs for the attention of high school juniors and seniors.
The women’s-only North Texas team was 2nd at last year’s Sun Belt Conference Championships, finishing just 25 points behind Western Kentucky. They will join a totally overhauled and revamped Conference USA beginning in 2013.
Tangent: A funny story that Minnesota freshman Kierra Smith once shared about a conversation with Bray, and I’m sure I’m mistelling it, goes something along these lines: “Our pre-race ritual is to stop at Starbucks to discuss the meet. After the meet, we stop at Starbucks to celebrate or commiserate. If meet isn’t going well, we sometimes go to Starbucks in the middle.”
Hope they’re ready to get caffeinated in Denton.