Chowan University (Division II) Head Coach Matt Hood has been announced as the new Head Coach for Oklahoma Baptist University. Hood will be taking over the program after the untimely death of the previous Head Coach, Sam Freas, who started the OBU program in 2011.
Freas was wildly successful with the OBU programs, leading the men’s team to the NAIA national title in the team’s first 4 years of existence. The women’s team were runner-ups for the NAIA title in 2012, and won the title in 2013, 2014, and 2015. OBU then transitioned into NCAA Division II in the 2017-2018 season, where the men’s and women’s teams both finished 5th in their first Division II National Championships. This past season, the OBU women finished 10th and the men 20th at NCAAs. Freas also coached Allegheny, Arkansas, LSU, and Hawaii, where he led very successful programs, having swimmers become Olympians, break American Records, and even World Records.
Matt Hood is leaving Chowan’s program after founding it in 2016. The Chowan women’s team came in 3rd at the Conference Carolinas Championships in 2017-2018, and both the men’s and women’s teams finished 4th this past season. Before Chowan, Hood served as a coach at Lehigh Valley Aquatics in Pennsylvania.
In his own swimming career, Hood was the 2008 NAIA champion in the 200 free, and runner-up in the 500 free. He competed for Asbury University, where he held school records in every freestyle event at the time, and currently still holds the 200 free record. He was also named NAIA First Team All-American twice, and Honorable Mention All-American once.
Here is Hood’s statement on the move from the OBU press release:
“I feel very blessed to be named the head coach of the Bison and Lady Bison swimming and diving teams. There is great tradition here at OBU and I am excited to lead the swim program to new heights. A lot of prayer went into the decision to move our family to Oklahoma, and I have no doubt that OBU is where God has called us to be.”
NEWS | Former NAIA national champion, DII head coach Matt Hood tabbed to lead OBU swimming and diving programs.
Full 📰: https://t.co/TM684TY5i4#OnToVictory pic.twitter.com/aaj0f8BrmZ
— OBU Swimming & Diving (@OBU_SwimDive) May 6, 2019