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Bob Thomas
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Eastern Illinois
Phone: 765.285.8909
Thomas Videos
Bob Thomas
Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: 12/08/2006

The winningest coach in the 70-year history of Ball State men’s swimming & diving, Bob Thomas enters his 37th season as the program’s head coach in 2015-16. From the 2004-05 season through the 2008-09 season, he was also the co-head coach of the women’s swimming & diving team.

A four-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year (1992-93, 1994-95, 1999-00 & 2002-03), Thomas has accumulated a 215-175-2 (.548) career record, including a 94-105-1 (.470) league ledger. He has guided the Ball State men’s squad to a pair of runner-up finishes at the MAC Championships (1992-93 & 2002-03), while guiding the team to a top three finish eight times.

Over his career, Thomas has coached his student-athletes to MAC individual championships a total of 40 times, while helping guide his relay teams to seven titles. His student-athletes have earned First Team All-MAC honors eight times, while collecting Second Team All-MAC accolades on 17 occasions.

He has also coached his athletes to four All-America honors, eight MAC Diver of Year awards, four MAC Outstanding Senior awards and a MAC Swimmer of the Year title.

The Cardinals’ latest MAC individual champion came in 2005-06 when MAC Outstanding Senior award winner Kurtis Leer swept the freestyle sprint events, winning the 50, 100 and 200 titles. Leer, who is BSU’s record holder in both the 100 and 200 freestyle, finished his career as a six-time MAC champion, also winning all three events his junior year.

On the women’s side, Thomas helped guide Sarah Welter to the 100 backstroke title at the 2004-05 MAC Championships. Welter also swam the first leg of the 200 Medley Relay which captured the event title the same year with a school-record clocking of 1:45.04. Joining Welter in the relay were Tara Zimmer, Erin Johnson and Karla Bailey.

In 2002-03, Thomas picked up his fourth MAC Swimming Coach of the Year award by leading Ball State to an 11-3 dual-meet record and a second-place finish at the MAC Championships despite having just two seniors on the roster. The Cardinals had finished sixth at the league event the year before, giving Thomas the best turnaround in the MAC for the 2002-03 season.

Thomas collected his third MAC Swimming Coach of the Year award after the 1999-2000 campaign, as the Cardinals turned in another solid improvement from the previous season, climbing from eighth to fifth at the league meet. The team also posted a 7-5 dual-meet record, while going 5-2 in conference action.

From the 1995-96 to 1997-98 seasons, Thomas helped coach the program’s latest MAC Diving Champion, as Dave Garrow collected three individual titles on the 1-meter board and a pair of championships on the 3-meter board. A two-time MAC Diver of the Year, Garrow ranks second in the BSU record books in all diving categories.

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