Bob Bowman Named Director of Swimming, Head Men’s Coach at University of Texas

bob-bowman, eddie-reese-
Bob Bowman and Eddie Reese -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Bob Bowman Named Director of Swimming, Head Men’s Coach at University of Texas

With longtime University of Texas men’s coach Eddie Reese set to retire after the Olympic Trials, there had been much speculation throughout the swimming community as to who would take the reigns from a legendary figure who won 15 national titles with the Longhorns. Texas announced Monday that the position would be filled by current Arizona State head coach Bob Bowman.

Bowman will occupy the newly created position of Director of Swimming and Diving as well as the head coach. He’ll work alongside women’s head coach Carol Capitani, in her 13th season leading the Longhorns and the NCAA runner-up each of the last three years.

Bowman became famous for guiding Michael Phelps to 28 Olympic medals (23 of them gold), and he coached numerous other accomplished professionals before becoming the head coach at Arizona State University in 2015. Bowman led the Sun Devils’ program through a renaissance that saw the men’s team become a national power, finishing sixth on the collegiate level in 2022 and second in 2023 before scoring the program’s first-ever national title last week in Indianapolis.

“I’m forever grateful for the nine years I spent at Arizona State and for the wonderful athletes, coaches, administrators and everyone who helped build our championship program,” Bowman said in a Texas press release. “I am honored and tremendously excited to lead the most storied program in collegiate swimming and diving history, and I am fortunate to build on the greatness that Coach Eddie Reese has established. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a young coach and to have it be fulfilled is an amazing thing. Taking on this new role makes sense because Texas is entering a new era, and I’m uniquely positioned to help the program move forward in an innovative and reimagined way.

“The University of Texas is synonymous with excellence, and everything we will do here will be held to the highest standard. We will coordinate all our efforts, utilize the best resources, the best recruiting, the best facilities and the best staff to create an environment where high performers can thrive.”

“Eddie couldn’t have been a better partner, mentor and friend these past twelve years at The University of Texas,” Capitani said. “That said, this will be an exciting new chapter with Bob. His years of experience and expertise in our craft are huge assets, and I’m looking forward to sharing the deck with another legend, continuing the programs’ tradition of swimming and diving excellence.”

Before coming to Arizona State, Bowman spent the majority of his career at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, where he was the longtime coach of Phelps and multi-time Olympic medalists like Chase Kalisz and Allison Schmitt. Bowman also spent four years guiding the University of Michigan’s men’s team after holding multiple club coaching jobs in the decade-plus after graduating from Florida State University and before taking over at NBAC.

In the most recent title-winning run for Bowman and ASU, the Sun Devils captured first place in five individual events and two relays at the NCAA Championships while scoring 523.5 points, beating second-place Cal by 79.

While at Arizona State, Bowman has guided Leon Marchand into becoming the world’s premier male swimmer. He came to the United States already an Olympic finalist, but since joining the Sun Devils, Marchand has captured five individual world titles and broken the world record in the 400 IM, lowering the last of Phelps’ global standards. Marchand has also won eight individual NCAA titles and contributed to two relay wins at the national meet.

In addition to the Sun Devils college program, he’s led a prominent group of postgrads in Tempe that includes Kalisz and multi-time world champion Regan Smith. Whether or not their training shifts to Austin is an open question to be resolved before U.S. Olympic Trials in June.

Bowman is just the seventh coach in Texas’ 89-year history. He’s only the fourth since 1951.

Reese was there for 46 illustrious seasons, winning 15 national team titles and 13 runner-up finishes. Texas earned 44 consecutive top 10 finishes at NCAAs and 45 straight conference titles.

“Bob (Bowman) has had an amazing career at every level – age group, collegiate, national and international,” Reese said. “And the best part is he just seems to be getting better. Bob is the perfect choice for this job, and I will teach him to hunt and fish, too.”

“We can never thank Eddie Reese enough for all he did for our program, and his name will be forever etched among the greatest coaches of all-time in any sport,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte added. “His legacy is truly amazing, as is the rich and storied history he established in leading our Men’s Swimming and Diving program to 15 National Championships. We’re excited to begin the next chapter of our iconic program under the leadership of a veteran, proven winner in Coach Bowman. We know he’s the perfect fit for us to make that transition and continue to be the nation’s leader in swimming and diving.”

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Ginny Gustafson Johnston
Ginny Gustafson Johnston
2 months ago

How many ASU swimmers will transfer to Texas now? AND the pro swimmers he has been coaching at ASU? Will they all have to pick up and move? Bad time to change jobs.

2 months ago

Thanks to a beautiful love story with an American or Canadian Olympic swimmer girl, Léon Marchand will leave French nationality after Paris 2024, we do not know more for the moment.