As reported just hours ago, Bob Bowman, the coach of the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, has been announced as the new head of swimming at Arizona State University (ASU).
A press conference then ensued, where Vice President for University Athletics, Ray Anderson, officially introduced Bob Bowman and described the impact he hopes Bowman will carry out at the helm of the Sun Devil program. “Today marks a seminal moment in the Sun Devil swimming program,” Anderson said. “Bob is an icon in this sport and one of the most respected coaches in the industry. Under Bob’s guidance we will compete for individual, conference and national titles, produce All-Americans and Olympians, and create the most expansive developmental swim program in all of collegiate sports. His experience at every level of competition will allow him to grow our swimming program into an elite team and an invaluable community asset.” (thesundevils.com)
With Bowman having been named USA Swimming Coach of the Year on six occasions, as well as fulfilling the role of U.S. head coach at the 2007, 2009 and 2013 World Championships, the man is no stranger to carrying out grand visions. “I am very honored and excited to lead the Sun Devil Swimming program,” said Bowman. “The leadership and vision of excellence established under Ray Anderson is impressive, and is matched by the enthusiasm and support of the entire Athletic Department. I look forward to returning to coach at the collegiate level and be part of the great community that Arizona State University has to offer. I am motivated by the opportunity to help develop student-athletes as individuals and I am confident that we can build a swimming program that will be a source of pride for all ASU students, faculty and alumni.” (thesundevils.com)
In terms of collegiate experience, Bowman served as the University of Michigan Head Coach from 2006-2008, where he led the Wolverines to a top-eight finish at the NCAA Championships each year. For his efforts, Bowman was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Related to Anderson’s job scope of Bowman being an asset to the community, Bowman also has experience in that realm. The overall learn-to-swim initiative is a cause in which Bowman has made his mark, helping implement the Michael Phelps Foundation and its “im” program, which strives to educate and arm underprivileged children with life-saving swimming skills.
Leaving his current role as CEO and Head Coach of North Baltimore Aquatics Club (NBAC) led to questions concerning his existing swimming contingency, including Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt, Lotte Friis and others, of which Bowman confirmed Phelps would be joining him in Tempe. “If we’re going to recruit the top athletes, every one of those want to swim in the Olympics,” Bowman said. “They need to know they have a vehicle for doing that and this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that.”
Bowman will begin working at the school full-time in August, but will be working throughout the summer to assemble his full-time staff.