Monday, December 06, 2010

I nominate Bob Bowman to be USA Swimming's National Team Director!

Bob Bowman has "street cred" with the kids as well as helping to produce the greatest swimmer of all time: Michael Phelps.

Bowman began his career in the trenches at the Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club and also served as the assistant coach at Florida State University. Florida State was, Bob Bowman's, alma mater and it was there that he got a degree in developmental psychology; (A perfect education for someone whose job it is to wrangle ADDHD middle schoolers like Michael Phelps into realizing what they can become.)

He was a swimmer himself displaying leadership qualities while swimming for Seminoles in 1983-1985 by becoming the the team captain his final year.

In 1992-1994 he designed a club program for the Birmingham Swim League and during his tenure became a top-5 club when previously was ranked as a top 20.

Then there are stints all across the country from California to Ohio and finally the Michael Phelps years and history has shown us that he took a difficult teenager and inspired him to realize his greatness. That is an accomplishment.

Though I don't like what Bob Bowman did to my beloved tech-suit, I have to give credit where credit is due and right now, Bob Bowman, is the best man around managerially to replace Mark Schubert, a coach who day has come and gone.

He not only coaches but he manages. He is the perfect person for the job and he is the peron USA Swimming should consider post haste.


The Screaming Viking! said...

Wow. When I read the headline I assumed your account had been hacked. After your criticisms of not just his role in the tech mess but also of his handling of Katie Hoff's training and your vocal dislike for high yardage programs, Bowman is the last person I thought you would name.
He does make sense as a candidate for the job... I just never thought you would support the idea.
Kudos for being open-minded. What do you think of Urbanchek?

Tony Austin said...

I thank you, I am flattered. I think Urbanchek is a great idea. He is great swimmer too. Swam for Michigan in 1958 and he still swims.

I did not like the "lifetime appointment" Mark Schubert seemingly received. I do not believe in lifetime appointments. I think I would pick Bowman over Urbanchek only because I like the idea of having a guy who worked extensively with age groupers and was educated in that field.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised too. Bowman is unpopular with a lot of swimmers (although Schubert was too and this shouldn't be a popularity contest).

Age group experience is not that important for this job. This job is supposed to be autonomous and focused on the most elite swimmers. However, IMHO, there needs to be more focus on age groupers at USA Swimming.

Can you shed some light on the recent drama in SPMA?

Tony Austin said...

There is a lot of drama within SPMA and in my opinion, I have to agree with this lovely person in Santa Barbara who sent me a nice note this morning declaring it so very "..middle school" in nature.

Coach Ahelee has been banned for 1-year form participating in any SPMA events but she is appealing to the USMS.

I expect the USMS will "split the baby" and everyone connected to this mess will be remembered for it.

TedBaker said...

Not sure I'm with you on Bowman. To my mind, he hasn't proved himself beyond being Phelps' coach... His work with Katie Hoff was poor and Mike Bottom is doing wonders with Peter Vanderkay.

No idea who USA Swimming should pick; just don't think it should be Bowman.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with you more on the selection of Bowman. Urbanchek would be phenomenal at the job, but honestly I think he loves being on deck too much to ever leave, and he isn't PC enough for the job. Troy is a good administrator, but he is very much in the Schubert mold. Reese (Eddie) is other top coach that comes to mind, but I think of him in the same breath as Urbanchek.

Here's the problem with this situation: the best coaches in the sport are guys who some people don't like. Let's face it - it's hard to get to the top of the sport without alienating many people along the way.

USA Swimming should hire someone outside of the nation's top 10 coaches - someone who has been around but not at the very peak of the sport