Former Texas A&M Men’s Head Coach Jay Holmes Announces Retirement After US Trials

Former head coach of men’s swimming and diving at Texas A&M Jay Holmes has announced his retirement from coaching. His retirement comes just 10 days after the school announced the hiring of Blaire Bachman as the first Director of Swimming and Diving.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to represent Texas A&M University with the swimming and diving program,” Holmes said. “It’s been a great run, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s been a privilege to be a part of it. I want to thank my wife, Annette, and my kids, Meredith and Cooper, for allowing me to do this all these years. I’m thankful for all the women and men that I was privileged to coach and I will be forever indebted to Mel Nash, who recruited me to Texas A&M and gave me a job all those years ago. I want to thank Bill Byrne for the trust he showed when he hired me as the head coach in 2004. I learned so much from Mel Nash, as well as my coaching staff over the years, Doug Boyd, Ryan Mallam, Jason Calanog, and Mike Walker. I’m thankful for it all and I had a great time doing it. Now it’s someone else’s turn, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Coach (Blaire) Anderson and her staff are able to accomplish in the future.”

Holmes spent 20 years as the head coach of the Aggie men as he was elevated to men’s head coach in 2004. He has spent the last 40 years with Texas A&M in various capacities.

Holmes spent his collegiate career with Texas A&M specializing as a breaststroke and butterflyer under head coach Mel Nash. After spending four season with the team, he was a student assistant while taking courses in fall 1984. After graduating, he left the program briefly to begin a sign company with his brother but returned to the program as an assistant coach in 1986. He was an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs until their split in 1995 when he then focused on the men’s team with Nash. He took over as men’s head coach from Nash in 2004.

During Holmes’s tenure, the Aggie men finished in the top 25 at NCAAs in 17 out of 19 seasons. Holmes also guided Shaine Casas to the school’s first ever title in 2021 as Casas won the NCAA title in the 200 IM.

The retirement announcement comes just 10 days after the school announced it would hire Blaire Bachman from Virginia to take over both the men’s and women’s programs as Bachman is the school’s first-ever Director of Swimming and Diving. The school’s head coach of women’s swimming and diving from this past season Steve Bultman announced his retirement set for the end of the season in January.

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1 month ago

For a university that prides themselves on how much they care about their alumni and Aggie culture, it is a complete embarrassment the way they have treated Jay. To leave him in limbo for nearly two weeks after announcing he didn’t get the director position only to then ask him if he wants to stay for a complete joke of an offer to become her assistant coach is a disgrace. He deserved better.

Fred Wagner
1 month ago

Jay gave my son an opportunity that other schools did not and it worked out well for both TAMU and my son. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jay as a Coach, an Aggie, and most importantly as a great man. I hope he can enjoy retirement, but I get the impression that this may be 2-3 years earlier than he planned.

1 month ago

Jay is a class act. How he was treated through this process was not classy. As an Aggie fan this causes me concern with the new AD. There is a culture at A&M that is special. Treating lifelong Aggies that have served the university in an exemplary manner with dignity and respect is embedded in that culture. I hope Trev learns from this fiasco.

Aggie Swim Fan
1 month ago

Jay is a great man and has done so much for TAMU. Change happens all the time, but the thing that I hate about this is the way it went down. I am very disappointed that the AD did not find a way to either let Jay retire a month ago with no other distractions in the news and getting his proper recognition and sendoff (Steve was rightfully able to be be celebrated all spring for his career). Rather, they take Jay through a weeks long process, including several interviews, ultimately hire a different person for Director, and then Jay quietly announces retirement with very little fanfare. He deserved better.

Blaire may do great and take the program to… Read more »

Reply to  Aggie Swim Fan
1 month ago

Sometimes it’s better to just rip the Band-Aid off, whether from the athletes or the staff there would be lingering resentment, as shown by a deleted twitter post. Blaire will have a hard time filling this role, but there are other great coaches out there

Aggie Swim Fan
Reply to  ForGotham
1 month ago

That’s the thing, though, they didn’t rip the band aid off, the AD let Jay’s future drag out. Also, I don’t think Jay would have acted in a resentful way, if he remained as HC. He’s different. However, ask him to be an Asst Coach, and maybe that doesn’t work for him, nor should it.

1 month ago

One of the things people are missing about Jay is his competitive nature. Yes, he is the epitome of a class act. You won’t find a nicer person on the pool deck. You truly won’t. And that is why you sometimes miss how competitive he is. Jay is the real deal. He is absolutely the person you would want to send your son to swim for. They would come out of the experience a better athlete and a better person. Jay really is going to be missed on the pool deck.

1 month ago

The Current Head Coach!

1 month ago

Prior to an open water race my junior year at A&M, I told Jay I was nervous and felt unprepared. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Jake, one day your career will come to an end and you’ll never get to feel those nerves again. Until that day comes, just cherish the privilege to race with that Aggie cap on. We’re just here to have fun.” My entire perspective of the sport changed from that moment on and it sparked in me a passion that has ultimately led to a career as a coach myself.

I love this man to death and am so proud to have learned from him. He embodies respect, integrity, and service, and… Read more »

Mike Simpson
1 month ago

Congrats brother! Class personified!!
Time for a road trip back to the SC coast with Richardson to snag some sand flea bait and catch some big fish!!!

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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