Bob Bowman Confirmed As New Head Coach of Arizona State University; Phelps Likely To Follow

Retta Race
by Retta Race 117

April 25th, 2015 News

The Arizona Republic has confirmed that Bob Bowman, coach of the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, will indeed be announced as Arizona State University’s head swimming coach at a press conference set for noon local time today.

The North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) CEO/head coach’s name recently emerged as a possible candidate following the firing of previous coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker.  However, Bowman left the prospect fairly wide open when in Mesa for the latest Pro Swim Series, stating “It seems like there is good potential there.  I’ll talk to everybody who contacts me.”

As six-time USA Swimming Coach of the Year, Bowman obviously brings a huge vault of experience to the ASU helm, including the role of U.S. head coach at the 2007, 2009 and 2013 World Championships and has served on every major U.S. National team staff since 2001.

Bowman took a sidestep from his role at NBAC to coach at the University of Michigan from 2005 – 2008, which resulted in Michael Phelps following Bowman and training in Ann Arbor, Michigan in between the Athens and Beijing Olympics.  As such, with Rio on the horizon, it is likely Michael Phelps will once again follow his coach and mentor and set-up camp at ASU as well.

ASU had actually dismantled the men’s swimming program in 2008 due to financial reasons, however, the loyal backing of boosters’ funds were able to kick the program back into gear.  Additionally, ASU, has invested more than $1 million in Mona Plummer Aquatic Center improvements.  (AZ Central)

With a top tier coach arriving on the scene, and quite possibly the 22-Olympic medalist Phelps in tow, ASU seems primed to move forward on a refreshed path in the PAC-12 and NCAA.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

52 Comment threads
65 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
80 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

So, everyone at NBAC has to relocate?


Bowman doesn’t coach everyone at NBAC. He coaches a small group that will probably love to live in AZ for the next year – especially after the winter Balmore just got hit with.


It seems a fitting situation for Phelps to train for 2016 in Tempe. Rio weather in the summer when the games take place average 105 to 108 degrees. Swimming outdoors for a year will be quite the transition I am sure, but watch out for a more “tanned” Phelps. ASU welcomes Bob and all he has to give to the PAC 12, Tempe and a community of swimmers that will embrace him. Thanks for choosing ASU !!! Go Devils.


I’m with you, PVDH, my first thought is about how this will devastate the athletes at NBAC. I know he doesn’t coach most of them directly, but presumably he supervises their coaches and decides the direction their program is headed.

He does OWN the club and pool, right? Does this mean he’s going to sell them? Is he going to continue to direct the program remotely and make periodic visits?

I guess Pac-12 coaching jobs don’t open up every day and you can’t fault Bowman for doing what he feels is in the best interest of his career.

Pac-12 Swammer

Re: Selling the team/pool

I’m pretty sure Salo still has ownership/connection/status/something with Irvine Novaquatics. So Bowman could potentially have both.

It will be interesting to see how well Bowman does coaching a whole group (Michigan seemed to be more about postgrads). Salo struggled for a bit before hitting his stride.

On a positive, hopefully this allows Phelps to continue his recovery in the desert.


Lol recovery at the biggest party school in the country, good luck MP


yeah, i’m sure they’ve got keggers at the pool every day……


Bring on the haters


Well this will be interesting…….hope he stays and actually builds a program that is sustainable and not just an avenue for a venue to train for RIO. Congratulations ASU #forkem


bob sucked at michigan and he’ll do it again!


You sound like an expert…..


your mom is an expert…


You got me


oh come lets be real…how much worse can ASU possibly get?


How many NCAA Programs have you coached to three top 8 finishes?


hopefully he can help Jon Marsh (will be a freshman nex year) who was 2:04.1 in his 200m fly when he was 14 return to form.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »