George Washington Swim Coach Brian Thomas Resigns

Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

George Washington Swim Coach Brian Thomas Resigns

Brian Thomas last week announced his resignation as the head coach of George Washington’s swimming and diving program.

Thomas was hired in 2018 and has been at the helm for six seasons. In addition to piloting the team through the COVID-19 pandemic, he coached All-American Djurdje Matic, who set Atlantic 10 records and scored at NCAAs this year, in 14th place in the men’s 100 butterfly. Thomas also had to navigate a contentious on-campus situation, with the university originally planning to demolish its aquatic facility, Charles E. Smith Center, before reversing course.

“The past six years have far exceeded any expectations that I had when we started at GW back in 2018,” Thomas said in a university statement. “I’m grateful to Tanya, Andrew and the rest of our administration for entrusting me in leading the program and extremely proud of our student-athletes for the way they represented GW during my time in Foggy Bottom. I’ve been surrounded by excellent coaches and support staff at GW and I’m grateful for their commitment to our student-athletes. The greatest joy has been watching my two boys grow up alongside our team while spending countless hours on the pool deck. They’ve had the best role models a father could ask for and Danielle and I are eternally grateful for that. The future is bright at GW and I look forward to watching the program continue to grow.”

Thomas was an eight-time Atlantic 10 coach of the year. He inherited a men’s team that won consecutive A-10 titles and led it to five more in his six years. He also directed the first women’s A-10 title in his second year in charge, then added three more along the way. He coached four A-10 Most Outstanding Swimmers and athletes who broke 17 conference and 27 school records. Three GW swimmers – Matic and female underclassmen Ava Topolewski and Ava DeAngelis – qualified for NCAAs this season.

“I want to thank Brian for his commitment to excellence in the pool,” GW Athletics Director Tanya Vogel said. “He has recruited incredible people who value GW and are extremely dedicated to being their best in multiple areas of their life. We wish Brian and Danielle all the best as they embark on this next chapter.”

The program was embroiled in a fight for its on-campus home, one that it appears to have won for the time being. The university announced in September plans to knock down the building housing GW’s pool to make way for a new basketball practice facility and other athletic facilities, which would’ve moved the swim and water polo teams off-campus. Swimmers petitioned to halt the move in March, and school officials in April said that after consultation with planners and the District of Columbia’s zoning board, it would not go ahead with the plan.

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