Matt Bowe Joins California Men’s Swimming & Diving Staff

Matt bowe - cal

Matt Bowe has joined the California men’s swimming & diving staff as an assistant coach, head coach David Durden announced Tuesday.

Bowe arrives in Bear Territory following five years spent at Ohio State, where he helped lead the Buckeye men and women to five combined top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships since 2019. He served as the senior associate head coach for men’s swimming in the 2021-22 season and guided the Buckeyes to seventh place at the NCAAs, their highest team finish since 1965.

“After spending time with Matt and his family through the interview process, it felt like the perfect fit for where we are as a program and where Matt’s skill set is as both a coach and a person,” Durden said. “His experience working with Olympic medalists, world-record holders and All-Americans will mesh with where our program is currently and where it is going in the future. Our guys are going to benefit from Matt in and out of the pool in the best ways possible and we can’t wait to get Matt, his wife Lila, and their one-year-old daughter Indie, on campus.”

Along with his role in the Buckeyes’ team success, Bowe was the primary coach for Ohio State standout Hunter Armstrong, who set the world record in the 50-meter backstroke at the 2022 U.S. International Team Trials in April and won a gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’d like to thank Dave Durden for the opportunity to join the Cal men’s swimming & diving program,” Bowe said. “It’s an honor to be a part of such a prestigious institution and I’m excited to contribute to the championship-winning culture that Dave has created. Cal has a rich tradition of excellence in the classroom, at the NCAA Championships and at the Olympic Games. With great opportunity comes great responsibility and I can’t wait to help our student-athletes set high goals and strive to achieve them.”

Under Bowe’s guidance, Ohio State was the most-improved men’s team at the NCAA Division I level in 2019, jumping to ninth place at the NCAAs following a 28th-place finish in 2018. The Buckeye men added two more top-10 NCAA finishes in 2021 (seventh) and 2022 (ninth) while the women won three straight Big Ten Championships in 2020-22 and earned back-to-back top-10 NCAA finishes in 2021-22. Bowe coached 10 NCAA All-Americans, seven Big Ten champions and 16 team-record holders and brought in three consecutive top-10 nationally-ranked recruiting classes during his Ohio State tenure.

Bowe spent the 2016-17 season as an assistant coach at Indiana, helping the men’s team claim the program’s 25th Big Ten Championship and a seventh-place finish at the NCAAs. He led a training group that consisted of six All-Americans and six team-record holders while assisting Olympic gold medalists and record holders Lilly King, Cody Miller and Blake Pieroni in their preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Bowe previously served as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan for three seasons (2013-16) and guided the men’s squad to back-to-back MAC titles in 2015 and 2016, while the women’s team went from finishing fourth in 2014 to earning runner-up honors in both 2015 and 2016. He got his coaching start at his alma mater, Loughborough University (U.K.), where he coached U.S. Open 200m butterfly champion Tilly Gray. He also spent time as an assistant coach at the Great Britain National Centre in Loughborough from 2009-2012, where he coached back-to-back world champion and 50m back world-record holder, Liam Tancock, as well as two-time world silver medalist in the 100m freestyle, Francesca Halsall.

A native of Silecroft in Cumbria, U.K., Bowe had a decorated swimming career. As a member of Team Great Britain from 2003-2009, Bowe was the 2006 British champion in the 100m fly. In that same year, he claimed podium finishes as a part of the 4x100m medley relay team, earning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and a bronze medal at the European Championships in Budapest. Bowe was also a finalist in the 100m fly at the World University Games in Belgrade (2009) and Bangkok (2007), and swam as a finalist in the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne.

Bowe graduated from Loughborough University in 2009 with a BSc First Class Honours in sports science and management and received his master’s degree in sport management from Eastern Michigan.

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