Michael Phelps’ Coach Bob Bowman Considering Coaching At Arizona State

Bob Bowman recently told the AZ Central that he spent some time at Arizona State University on Friday while visiting the state for the Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa. Arizona State recently announced that head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker would not be retained for the 2015-2016 season and that a national search for his replacement is underway.

Bowman is best-known for coaching the most decorated Olympic Athlete in history, Michael Phelps, and also serves as the head coach of North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Maryland. His most recent stint as a coach in the NCAA was at the University of Michigan from 2005-2008.

According to the AZ Central:

“I just don’t know anything about it right now,” Bowman said. “It seems like there is a potential there. The pool has always been good, I’ve been there. At this point, I couldn’t make a really informed guess about it. I’ll talk to everybody who contacts me.”

Bowman would be a huge benefit for Arizona State swimming, but ASU could also be very beneficial for Bowman and his elite training group. The competition pool at the 2016 Olympic will be outside, which is setup we haven’t seen at the Olympic Games since Athens in 2004. It would make sense for Bowman to want to have his swimmers train in the same environment that they would be competing in at the 2016 Olympics. The Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex at ASU is a large facility that could facilitate the college team as well as Bowman’s post-grad training group, and gives them the benefit of outdoor training.



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9 years ago

Really? If a pool renovations and locker rooms is needed to be competitive – might as well just chalk off that team. Have you seen NBAC pool and workout facilities? Its disgusting. No one is complaining and the best swimmers in the world come from there. The attitude that the training facility has to be top notch to have top notch performers is ridiculous. Hard work wins. Sounds like ASU needs to toughen up and stop with the excuses. Yeah yeah yeah recruiting recruiting… but seriously, a heated locker room floor does not make finals and win NCAA’s (ahem Stanford).

9 years ago

Straight from baltimore……. Good riddance

9 years ago

ASU’s pool is nice and in a great location, but could use some renevation and upgrades to be competitive with facilities at top-10 schools. Varsity locker rooms would be one nice touch. Otherwise, the program has a lot of aspects that could quickly propel it back to its glory if yore. However, this all seems rather speculative- not exactly a strong statement by Bob and it would be surprising to uproot in an Olympic year. I’d also be surprised if ASU were willing to spend the money for him. I for one am pulling for hire of a smart and enthusiastic assistant from a strong program who is ready to take the reins somewhere and grow with the program. Obviously,… Read more »

Reply to  kraken
9 years ago

ASU pool is GOOD ENOUGH to be competitive with facilities at the top 10 schools.. Have you seen NC State pool? The coaching staff build the program, not the pool!

9 years ago

There’s no horse racing in AZ. ASU was a great pool, it needs millions in upgrades starting with boilers. The AD gave men’s swimming scholarships to the diving program and getting diving back under control of the new swim coach will be ugly. Most coaches are keenly aware that college swimming will be gone within 5 years given the 2 current lawsuits and move to unionize and paying athletes taking place in the NCAA. Everyone wants a strong coach at ASU n especially one that will at least make a token effort to recruit locally Bob is a major long shot.

9 years ago

ASU needs its next head coach to have his/her full attention on ASU, especially in the first year, not someone with most of their attention on MP in preparation for Rio.
It’s great that ASU is reaching out to the big names, none bigger than Bowman, but just don’t think it’s the right time or the right fit

Reply to  coacha
9 years ago

Cal found Dave Durden – He was a good coach prior to CAL, but took Cal to the next level.
Michigan found Mike Bottom – World known coach. Turned Michigan from good to GREAT.
NC State found Braden Holloway – He was good, but no where compare to Bottom and Durden prior to NCSU. Not at the level to win NCAA (yet), but impressive history in the last 4 years.


Bob had his opportunity at Michigan, but didn’t deliver a national title.
Kipp is a great assistant, but USC has not won a national title in a very long time. Okay, it is not easy to win national title… .but it’s USC swimming.. … Read more »

Joel Lin
9 years ago

ASU is an unpolished gem in the Pac 12 conference, and has a great facility. None of us can be sure if attrition in his post-grad group contributed to this, or if having to live in Baltimore had some attribution for post grads wanting to leave. Winters in a nice climate are, well, nicer. This can’t be easy to read or accept for NBAC athletes not named Michael Phelps. My thought was if Bowman were to go for a college program it would be for an ACC or SEC men’s swimming job.

9 years ago

A great deal of the success of a college swim program is recruiting. Bowman’s name alone should be a draw for a good number of top tier athletes. The next step is development.

Reply to  swimdad
9 years ago

As someone who is being recruited by ASU, I would never consider them until I heard this news. After graduation, I plan to train with Bob because of my event specialties. this is a game changer.

9 years ago

Everyone is hating. Love it. Bob come to Phoenix and bring everything you got and make ASU the best!

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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