Jason Coombs, who was one of the few highlights for the Florida State program in his first three seasons of collegiate swimming, has decided to return to the program after announcing in May that he was retiring.
“In my time away from the sport I was able to create a balance in my life which put swimming more into perspective,” Coombs said of his change-of-heart. “I believe now I will be able to enjoy the sport again and turn even a bad day into a positive experience.”
Coombs will have one year of eligibility remaining.
He is a three-time NCAA qualifier who finished 18th in both the 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes at last year’s NCAA Championship meets, and is the school record holder in the 100 (52.11) and 200 (1:54.30) yard breaststrokes.
Coombs was the only Florida State male swimmer to qualify for NCAAs last season, where the team finished 31st at NCAAs thanks to 12 diving points from then-junior Dylan Grisell.
In May, he left the program saying that he had “lost his drive to compete.”
This year’s team has an entirely-new coaching staff for swimming, however, led by new head coach Neal Studd, who took over for the terminated Frank Bradley this summer.
“I’m excited to see such a talented young man back in the pool,” Studd said of the decision.
Coombs’ return fills a massive gap in the Seminole roster this coming season. Their next best 100 breaststroker was from sprint freestyler Jason McCormick at 54.48 – more than two seconds slower than Coombs’ best – and they don’t bring in any freshmen this year who have times as a freshman who would’ve calmed any nerves for the team’s medley relays.
Florida State placed 9th overall as a team at last year’s ACC Championship meet.