David Nolan Makes The Move To Tempe To Train Under Bob Bowman

by Retta Race 73

August 15th, 2015 National, News

Stanford All-American graduate David Nolan announced on his Instagram account today that he will be joining 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps in Tempe, Arizona to train under new Arizona State University Head Coach Bob Bowman.


courtesy of djnolan4

courtesy of djnolan4


In a video interview back in February, Nolan described his post-collegiate plans as being “up in the air.”  He envisioned training with the ‘Stanford guys’ post-NCAAs and seeing how the summer went, having the goals of making the national team and going to the U.S. Olympic Trials on his agenda.

Nolan is coming off of a tremendous senior year for the Cardinal, capped off with a stellar performance at the 2015 Men’s NCAA Championships.  22-year old Nolan finished 2nd in the men’s 100 backstroke and 3rd in the 200 backstroke, but simply lit the pool on fire in his title-winning 200 IM.  With his mark of 1:39.38, Nolan posted the fastest time in history and lowered his own cluster of American, U.S. Open, NCAA and Stanford records in the event.

Even with his success in the 200 IM event in yards, Nolan has yet to crack the two-minute mark in the long course version of the event.  His best time is the 2:00.35 he logged at the 2013 U.S. Summer Nationals.  Nolan was entered in the event at this year’s Summer Nationals that just wrapped up in San Antonio, but wound up scratching the event.  The Pennsylvania native did finish 3rd in the 100 butterfly (52.15) and 6th in the 100 freestyle (49.54).

At the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, Nolan racked up top 20 finishes in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle and placed 40th in the 200 IM.  His best shot at making the Olympic team may indeed be in the 4×100 freestyle relay event, where the top 6 finishers are selected to race in Rio.

But then again, with his move to Tempe, Nolan will training alongside the one and only Phelps, the first male swimmer to ever defend a third straight Olympic title in the same individual event – the 200 IM.

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bobo gigi

Very interesting news.
Good for MP and good for David Nolan.
Add Mr Kalisz and you have a great IM training group.


Best of luck to Mr. Nolan.

bobo gigi

If Mr Bowman is the man who can transform Nolan into the long course swimmer we expect to see for several years now, then maybe he will start to have some recognition, even from his many detractors on swimswam. 🙂

By the way, can someone tell me who are @kahraymer and @thedrewstory?


@kahraymer is Tom Kremer, and @thedrewstory is Drew Cosgarea, both Stanford guys.

bobo gigi


Drew and Tom

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Joel Lin

Best of luck to him. Kid has a bright future no matter what with a Stanford degree, and he’s obviously got a lot of talent to hone over the next year into long course.

Just an observation — swimmers who go to Bowman who have improved a lot have tended to “Big Bang” with very immediate gains in the first year. If Nolan takes well to the training system he definitely has a shot at the free relay spots next summer and hopefully can make big strides in his IM or 100 fly. Best of luck to him.


Hello Joel, Can you name some swimmers with a “big bang” in their first year under Bob? I have no agenda – I am just always curious how to look at Bob Bowman. There are so many sides to his story and having information like this would certainly add to the mix. I always think that he still has a long time to coach as well. He has a lot of his coaching life ahead of him. We always connect Micheal and Bob…but I imagine there will be a day when several generations of kids will know Bob without the specter of Phelps so omnipresent. Or maybe not….he casts a large shadow… But I can see a kid 15 years… Read more »


Name these people please? Agnel? Dwyer? McLean?

Actually, when he left Michigan no one (except Michael) went with him to NBAC. Houchin and Clary bloomed at FAST. PVK continued at UF and some stayed at Michigan.

I didn’t see a whole lot of improvement this summer either. Michael was real good. Anyone else stand out with great improvement?


Erik Vendt had some huge improvements in the 400 and 1500 under Bowman when he came out of retirement to train for the 2008 Olympics.


but he only made the olympic team in the 800 free relay?

Vendt Fan

Correct he made 800 Free relay, but that was a fast year for US 400m Free. If I recall, 4 guys at 3:43? He just drew the short stick on that exchange.


arguably, he missed in the 1500 because he went way too fast in the prelims. His prelim time would have made the team, had he swum it in finals. Also, (as noted by someone else below) he barely missed in the 400 free, and still went a time that, compared to his previous work, was really, really fast.

For him to make the 800 relay was actually pretty impressive, given that his 200 free times had never been in that ballpark prior to 2007.

Also, from what I recall, he was in the midst of a legal battle with his sponsor, which was probably distracting.

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