Texas A&M Women’s Head Coach Steve Bultman Announces Retirement After 25 Years

After 25 years in College Station, Texas A&M women’s head swimming & diving coach Steve Bultman is retiring at the end of this season.

The long-time head coach informed the team last week. “My time at Texas A&M has been awesome and I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish,” Bultman said in Texas A&M’s press release. “I have had a lot of help in getting to accomplish these great things and would like to thank all of my past and present assistant coaches and staff…it’s bittersweet – I will miss coaching and working with the swimmers, but I look forward to spending more time with family and friends. I’ve got about six more months and I’m looking forward to some great swims at SECs and NCAAs, and some big long course swims as we finish up this Olympic cycle.”

Before Bultman joined the program in 1999, the Aggies had never won a conference title. They’d never finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships. Under Bultman’s direction, they built themselves into a nationally contending team. They won four Big-12 conference titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012). After transitioning to the SEC in 2012-2013, they went on a four season streak, wining the SEC team title from 2016-2019.

For his efforts, Bultman is an 11x Conference Coach of the Year (Big-12 and SEC combined) and 7x Big-12 Coach of the Meet.

At the NCAA Championship level, the Aggies finished in the top 10 for 11 years in a row, though they’ve had trouble recapturing that success in recent seasons. They finished 4th from 2013 to 2016, then earned a program-best 3rd place finish in 2017. He coached six swimmers to NCAA titles; first a pair of wins from Julia Wilkinson (100 free) and Alia Atkinson (100 breast) in 2010.  Sarah Henry (400 IM) won the Aggies most recent title in 2015.

In 2023, Texas A&M finished 9th at SECs and 25th at NCAAs.

Bultman has extended his coaching success well past the NCAA. He is one of the few coaches who have qualified athletes for the U.S. Olympic team as both a club and college coach. Bultman himself has coached 19 swimmers to the Olympics, including both Atkinson and Wilkinson.

He was named to the U.S. Olympic coaching staff twice: first in 1988 when he was coaching the Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club and three of his athletes made the team. In 2012, USA Swimming named him to the staff after his college athletes Breeja Larson and Cammile Adams earned their spots on the Olympic roster. Larson and Adams were Texas’ A&M first athletes to win at U.S. Olympic Trials.

He was named to Estonia’s Olympic staff in 2008 and Mexico’s staff in 2016. In 2008, one of his four college swimmers at the Games, Christine Marshallearned the Aggies’ first Olympic medal in program history, courtesy of her 800 free relay bronze with the United States.

He’s been named to other U.S. coaching staffs including 2013 Worlds, 1985 Pan Pacific Games, and three World University Games.

“What [Bultman] has accomplished at Texas A&M, internationally, and both in and out of the pool throughout his storied career speaks volumes about who he is a coach, but also as a human, said Deputy Athletics Director for Administration and Leadership Kristen Brown. “It has been an honor to work alongside of him, and we congratulate Coach Bultman on an outstanding career and a well-deserved retirement. We look forward to celebrating him throughout the remainder of the season.”

Prior to Texas A&M, Bultman served as an assistant swimming coach at UGA and LSU. He also coached at Dynamo Swim Club, GPAC, Nashville Aquatic Club, Mission Bay Makos, ad Lynn Park Piranhas.

The American Swim Coaches inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2015. Then, the International Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame followed suit in 2021.

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5 months ago

A great coach and even better person. Congrats!

5 months ago

Great guy, great coach! Happy retirement. I wonder if he still has his place in Pensacola…

Kristy Kowal
5 months ago

Thank you Steve and congrats on the retirement! You had a tremendous impact on my career and I am eternally grateful!

Swimmin in the South
5 months ago

Congrats, Steve! Great shout out to the ole Lynn Park Piranhas as well.

Reply to  Swimmin in the South
5 months ago

Those who swam for Steve back in those days [early 70’s] still speak very fondly of him. He positively impacted so many lives, whether they swam or were just close to those who did.

5 months ago

When Steve got hired, I happened to go to dinner with a well known (at the time) club coach. He said A&M hiring Steve was the best possible hire that they could have made, and he would steadily build them into a national power. I’ve thought about that often while watching as Steve did exactly that. He really is one of the great ones. And if you missed the opportunity to become his friend, you missed out. Because he’s as good of a person as he is a coach.

David Hepler
5 months ago

Congratulations on your pending retirement, Steve.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to get to know you will miss seeing you on the pool deck. Words fail to express how grateful we are for the extremely positive influence you have had on the lives of all of your athletes.

We wish you the very best in your future adventures.

5 months ago

Congrats to Steve!!!! What a career and what a legacy for a first class guy!

5 months ago

Really one of the BEST, people and coaches.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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