(Photo: Getty Images)
The best Christmas gift the Arizona State swim team got this season was probably hearing that Olympic great Michael Phelps will become an assistant coach for 2016-17 swim season.
Head Coach Bob Bowman told the Arizona Republic that Phelps will join the staff after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are finished. With years of experience between the two, they could take this collegiate swimming squad to the next level.
Phelps has been to four Olympic games starting with Sydney and continuing through London. He is the most decorated Olympian in history with 22 Olympic medals – 18 of which are gold. However Phelps could be preparing for his best summer yet. At the 2015 U.S. National Championships, Phelps recorded three of the world’s best times in the 100 and 200-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley- some of those times were his fastest since the Beijing games. This summer he will look to make it to his fifth straight games and add to his medal count.
Now that Phelps is officially part of ASU swimming, the program will take dramatic steps forward. Almost every coach on the staff has years of Olympic experience and Phelps will only add to that knowledge. ASU already has an assistant coach Misty Hyman, who won gold in the 200 meter butterfly at the Sydney Olympics, and ASU team trainer Keenan Robinson will serve as the trainer for the Olympic swim team this summer.
With this coaching staff, ASU is creating a new era for its swim program. The current team will get a lot faster, and high school athletes with dreams of becoming Olympic hopefuls will look at Arizona State to become their new home.