Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Former ASU head coach Bob Bowman announced as Texas’ next swimming and diving director, men’s head coach

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

The swimming world has held its breath all season long in anticipation of the successor to Texas head coach Eddie Reese. In a press conference on April 2, that successor was officially announced as Bob Bowman, former Arizona State head coach and mentor of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte announced Bowman’s arrival while simultaneously celebrating Reese’s legacy. Affectionately referred to by Del Conte as “Yoda,” Reese is one of the most famous swim coaches worldwide.

Hired 46 years ago as the head coach of Texas men’s swimming and diving, he led the Longhorns to 15 national team titles and 45 consecutive conference titles. 

Beyond the titles, trophies and championships, what made Reese such an incredible coach was his focus on each swimmer as an individual. This defining factor is what made Reese so beloved and was why finding the next proved to be difficult, until Bowman expressed interest.

As recounted by Del Conte in the press conference, one day, Texas women’s swimming & diving head coach Carol Capitani happened to strike up a conversation with Bowman, who was chasing a national championship with the ASU team. 

“What do you think about Texas?” Capitani said.

“I’m happy where I’m at,” Bowman replied. “But keep me posted.”

Weeks later, with an NCAA championship title under his belt, Bowman was announced as the man to continue Reese’s dynasty. He was different from others seeking the position.

“Most coaches talk about the shadow of Eddie, and Bob talked about (being) complementary to Eddie,” Del Conte said. 

In addition to acting as the head coach for men’s, Bowman will operate as the director of both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. He hopes to bring even more cohesiveness to Texas athletics.

“There is a huge advantage towards being able to have men’s and women’s teams work together,” Bowman said. “My role is to shepherd the two programs into the next era of doing that.” 

In his 13 years of collegiate coaching, he coached at Michigan before taking his talents to ASU, where he transformed the team into one of the top swimming and diving programs in the country. 

Before coaching collegiately, Bowman served as the chief operating officer and head coach for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, training high-performance swimmers. The most notable of these was 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps.

“The advice that I gave Michael was ‘Be you and do your thing,’” Bowman said. “That’s what anybody needs to do to be their best.” 

With Bowman ushering in a new era of aquatic competition and continuing on with the legacy of excellence that Texas is known for, he plans to implement those expectations in the lifestyles of his athletes as well as in the water.

“You have to behave and live like a champion long before you win a championship,” Bowman said.

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