Texas A&M Swim Coach Jay Holmes Will Retire After Olympic Trials

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

After more than 40 years at Texas A&M as a student-athlete and coach, men’s swimming & diving head coach Jay Holmes announced he will retire after the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to represent Texas A&M University with the swimming and diving program,” Holmes said. “It’s been a great run, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s been a privilege to be a part of it. I want to thank my wife, Annette, and my kids, Meredith and Cooper, for allowing me to do this all these years. I’m thankful for all the women and men that I was privileged to coach and I will be forever indebted to Mel Nash, who recruited me to Texas A&M and gave me a job all those years ago. I want to thank Bill Byrne for the trust he showed when he hired me as the head coach in 2004. I learned so much from Mel Nash, as well as my coaching staff over the years, Doug Boyd, Ryan Mallam, Jason Calanog and Mike Walker. I’m thankful for it all and I had a great time doing it. Now it’s someone else’s turn, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Coach (Blaire) Anderson and her staff are able to accomplish in the future.”
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Texas A&M Director of Athletics Trev Alberts said, “It is a bittersweet moment for Texas A&M Athletics and the swimming and diving program. Jay Holmes has been a fixture in Aggieland since 1980 and his presence on deck at the Student Recreation Natatorium will be greatly missed. We are thankful for his many years of loyalty and dedication to his alma mater and grateful for the way he guided and mentored the Aggies for the last four decades. Jay will always be a part of the Texas A&M athletics family, and I thank him for his contributions to the swimming & diving programs.”

Holmes guided the Texas A&M men’s swimming & diving program as head coach for the past 20 seasons after being elevated to the position on July 14, 2004. During his tenure, the Aggies experienced tremendous success as his teams earned 17 top 25 finishes at 19 NCAA Championships.

His swimmers and divers generated nearly 100 All-America citations, 45 conference champions and nine Olympians. In 2021, Holmes coached the first NCAA individual champion in program history, who would also become the program’s lone CSCAA Swimmer of the Year, which is the Heisman Trophy of collegiate swimming.

He was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year in his first season in 2004-05 and Coach of the Meet after the 2010 Big 12 Championships.

During his illustrious tenure, Holmes has seen Texas A&M Swimming & Diving move from the antiquated P.L. Downs Natatorium and Cain Pool to its current home, the Student Recreation Natatorium, in 1995, as well as the facility’s $8.2 million expansion with the opening of the Henry B. “Hank” Paup ’70 Pavilion in 2020.

He helped chart a path for Texas A&M to host the 1998 FINA World Cup and U.S. Open, the NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships twice in 2001 and 2009, and 11 conference championships from three different leagues – the Southwest Conference, Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference.

He began his association with Texas A&M in the fall of 1980 as a freshman breaststroke/butterfly specialist from Corsicana, Texas, on then-head coach Mel Nash’s 1980-81 Aggie swimming squad. After earning four varsity letters, Holmes served as one of Nash’s student assistant coaches while finishing his coursework in the fall of 1984. He briefly left Texas A&M and swimming to open a sign company with his brother in his hometown, but Nash brought him back to Aggieland as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s team in 1986. He served as an assistant coach for both teams until 1995 when the Texas A&M Athletics Department split the programs and Nash and Holmes focused on the men’s team from 1995 through 2004.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Texas A&M Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com. 

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