Bob Bowman Named Director, Head Men’s Coach At Texas Two Days After NCAA Title With ASU

Editor’s Note: this is not an April Fools article.

Less than 48 hours after finishing off a historic NCAA Championship title victory for Arizona State, Bob Bowman has found his next challenge.

Bowman has been named the new Director of Swimming & Diving and the head coach of the men’s team at the University of Texas, taking over the latter position from the legendary Eddie Reese, who will officially retire upon the conclusion of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials after a 46-year career in Austin.

Bowman will assume the new role of Director of Swimming, which it was reported last week that Texas was considering implementing while searching for its new head men’s coach.

In addition to being the head coach of the men’s team, as Director of Swimming Bowman will also oversee the entire swimming & diving program, including the women’s team which coach Carol Capitani currently leads.

Bowman, 58, will take on the third NCAA head coaching role of his illustrious career, having also served as the head coach of the men’s team at the University of Michigan from 2004 to 2008 in addition to his time at Arizona State.

“I’m forever grateful for the nine years I spent at Arizona State and for the wonderful athletes, coaches, administrators and everyone who helped build our championship program,” Bowman said.

“I am honored and tremendously excited to lead the most storied program in collegiate swimming and diving history, and I am fortunate to build on the greatness that Coach Eddie Reese has established,” Bowman continued.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a young coach and to have it be fulfilled is an amazing thing. Taking on this new role makes sense because Texas is entering a new era, and I’m uniquely positioned to help the program move forward in an innovative and reimagined way. The University of Texas is synonymous with excellence, and everything we will do here will be held to the highest standard. We will coordinate all our efforts, utilize the best resources, the best recruiting, the best facilities and the best staff to create an environment where high performers can thrive.”

“I try to help young people develop as students, as athletes and as citizens using the pool as my classroom,” Bowman said. “My job is to create an atmosphere so that when an individual comes into our program and buys into the things that we ask that person to do, excellence is inevitable.”

Bowman rebuilt the Arizona State program from the ground up. The Sun Devils scored zero points and only had one swimmer qualify for the Men’s NCAA Championships in 2015, one month before Bowman was hired to take over as head coach.

The team has steadily risen through the rankings in the nine seasons under Bowman’s watch—though success wasn’t always linear—culminating with the men’s national title on Saturday. That included the bold decision to redshirt the entire roster for the COVID-interrupted 2020-21 campaign, which has paid dividends in different ways over the last three seasons.

Four members of that redshirted 2021 roster, Tiago BeharAlex ColsonJack Dolan and Julian Hill, were on the title-winning team this past season.

Arizona State Men’s NCAA Finishes Under Bowman

  • 2016 – tied 44th (2 points)
  • 2017 – 14th (100 points)
  • 2018 – 16th (64 points
  • 2019 – 21st (75.5 points)
  • 2020 – cancelled
  • 2021 – redshirt
  • 2022 – 6th (236 points)
  • 2023 – 2nd (430 points)
  • 2024 – 1st (523.5 points)

During his tenure at Michigan, Bowman led the Wolverine men to the 2008 Big Ten title and a pair of 6th-place NCAA finishes in 2005 and 2008.

Prior to his time at ASU, Bowman was the Chief Operating Officer and head coach of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, having started working with the club in 1996 and discovering age group talent Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympic champion of all-time who trained solely under Bowman his entire career.

Phelps is just one of many Olympic medalists Bowman has coached over the years, including other NBAC products such as Chase Kalisz and Allison Schmitt.

More recently, Bowman guided Frenchman Leon Marchand into the world’s most dominant male swimmer, with Marchand having led the Sun Devils over the past three seasons with eight individual NCAA titles, along with five World Championship titles between 2022 and 2023. The highlight of Marchand’s accomplishments under Bowman, along with the NCAA team title, is breaking Phelps’ longstanding world record in the 400 IM last summer.

When Bowman transitioned from NBAC to Michigan in 2004, the announcement coming prior to the Athens Olympics where Phelps won six gold and eight medals, Phelps followed him. In Ann Arbor, Phelps underwent the legendary training block that ultimately resulted in his record-breaking eight gold medal haul at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Given that, it will be interesting to see if Marchand chooses to follow Bowman to Austin.

During the time Bowman’s Sun Devils have risen up the standings, the Texas men’s team has slowly fallen.

The Longhorn men have long been the most dominant program in college swimming, having placed either 1st or 2nd in 13 of the 14 NCAA Championship meets from 2008 to 2022. The team rallied to place 3rd in 2023, but fell to 7th this past season (still better than some expected), their lowest finish since placing 7th in 2005.

Texas lost several of its big point producers from last season either to graduation, redshirts or turning pro, but positive signs for the future of the program were on display last week with freshmen Nate Germonprez and Will Modglin both scoring double-digit points and playing key relay roles.

The Texas women, on the other hand, having finished in the runner-up position at the last three NCAA Championship meets along with a 3rd-place showing in 2021.

Given that extended success under Capitani, Bowman won’t have much to change within the Texas women’s team. The two are very familiar, having worked alongside each other on multiple U.S. team staffs at international events including serving as head coaches at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka.

Bowman told SwimSwam on Monday that he was still working out details on the timing of the move and what the plan was between now and this summer’s Olympic Trials and Olympic Games.

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Zeph
16 days ago

Maximus Williamson just did what Heilman did and posted something from UVA to his story- I guess reaffirming his intentions? Definitely thought he would take some time and think about it, given how much sense it really makes for him to transfer.

CavaDore
Reply to  Zeph
16 days ago

I think it’s funny that you think it makes sense for someone else to transfer. You don’t know his goals, intentions, or preferences. What makes sense for you? Doesn’t have to make sense for Maximus Williamson. Clearly, his mind is made up by posting that photo, and just like Bob Bowman said when he was interviewed by Elizabeth Beisel after winning- no one believed he could revitalize that program and win the title. There’s excitement in doing that and Thomas Heilman and Maximus Williamson want to be a part of that excitement and turnaround at UVA. If he wanted to swim for Bob Bowman, he would’ve given a verbal offer to go to ASU. Just because MW is from Texas… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by CavaDore
CELL
Reply to  CavaDore
16 days ago

I think a big reason him and heilman didn’t want asu is because the academics are trash

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
16 days ago

It’s high time for Simone Manuel to pack her bags and move to the University of Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjkDERQktsY

The University of Florida needs to increase its star power.

A C
16 days ago

Does the live stream work for you ?

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  A C
16 days ago

It just ended

This Guy
16 days ago

In his presser Bob said that his pros will train in Phoenix until 3 weeks before Trials at which they will finish up training in Austin.

So he either had conversations with his pros (and assuming Leon as well) before making a decision or all of his pros are the fastest planners in history.

Did I miss a question about whether he spoke with any of his current swimmers (pro or college) before the news leaked?

zThomas
Reply to  This Guy
16 days ago

Hmmm. I thought he said next week is proswim, then will be back and forth in April, May is his altitude camp, and after that the remainder of the time will be in Austin.

Irena
Reply to  This Guy
16 days ago

As i understand there was no such question.
And as i understand ASU swimmers will take part in TYR Series in Apr 10-13 and Bob will be in Tempe and Austin during April. In May there will be his usual training camp in Colorado. Leon will be there.
Leon will pass exams in the end of April and also according to French media there were discussions of French federation and Bob about Leon practices and all his activities in USA and France before Olympics (the full description of them is in French article, I can post info if it will be needed for smb).

Last edited 16 days ago by Irena
Alex Wilson
Reply to  Irena
16 days ago

Please post link to article!

Diehard
Reply to  Irena
15 days ago

Do ASU foreign swimmers pay to use OTC? They should. Most Americans have to pay!

Swimmer
Reply to  This Guy
16 days ago

Didn’t let any committed swimmers know. They were blindsided.

swammer
Reply to  This Guy
15 days ago

confirmed that the pros are the fastest planners in history

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
16 days ago

….. and now for something completely different,

comment image

when is Katie Grimes declaring her intentions to sign with the University of Florida?

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Katie Ledecky.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
16 days ago

Shocking news.

Eric Angle
16 days ago

Has anyone been able to watch this Bowman press conference? If I go to texassports.com and click “Bob Bowman Press Conference” that takes me to https://texassports.com/showcase/embed.aspx?Live=718 which is a black screen. I also don’t see anything here https://www.youtube.com/@TexasLonghorns/streams

Admin
Reply to  Eric Angle
16 days ago

It’s over. The full live-stream is on our IG here. We’ll post the highlights soon: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5REMACOg0H/?hl=en

Eric Angle
Reply to  Braden Keith
16 days ago

Awesome, thank you.

joannietheswimmer
16 days ago
Last edited 16 days ago by joannietheswimmer
wethorn
16 days ago

Bowman press conference begins 11:30 CT.

https://texassports.com/showcase/embed.aspx?Live=718

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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