Brian Thomas Named GW Swimming & Diving Coach
Thomas takes over Colonials after two seasons at St. Bonaventure
Brian Thomas has been named George Washington men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach, Director of Athletics and Recreation Tanya Vogel announced Thursday.
Thomas takes over the Colonials after two years leading the women’s program at fellow Atlantic 10 member St. Bonaventure in which he helped the Bonnies rewrite their record book and climb the conference standings.
“I am thrilled to welcome Brian to GW,” Vogel said. “Both of our programs are well-positioned for future success, creating a search filled with outstanding candidates. Brian rose to the top based on his work at St. Bonaventure where he established a healthy culture for the holistic development of each student-athlete. He presented a strong vision for sustainable growth for our men’s and women’s programs. With the rapid turnaround of the St. Bonaventure women’s program, bolstered by the recruitment of the 2018 A-10 Conference Most Outstanding Performer, he has excelled as a head coach. Brian has coached multiple NCAA Division I qualifiers and All-Americans, and we are excited to watch him lead these programs to the next level.”
Thomas orchestrated an impressive turnaround at St. Bonaventure, guiding the squad’s rise to fifth place at the A-10 Championship last spring after it finished 10th the previous three seasons. The Bonnies were rated the No. 12 most-improved women’s team in the nation by SwimSwam. Boosted by the top recruiting class in the A-10, the St. Bonaventure women set 11 program records, including four relay marks, during the 2017-2018 campaign, paced by a freshman who was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the conference meet. They produced four NCAA B-cut times, 10 meet wins and a conference-leading nine A-10 weekly award winners.
Thomas was hired at St. Bonaventure in April 2016 after a year as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at UNLV, where he coached an NCAA qualifier. Previously Thomas served on the Kentucky Swimming Board of Directors, the local governing body for USA Swimming, and was involved in a fellowship program with the American Swimming Coaches Association, where he worked on anti-hazing, anti-bullying policies and best practices.
“My wife Danielle and I are absolutely thrilled to join the GW community, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Tanya Vogel and Danya Ellman for this opportunity,” Thomas said. “Back in March, we came to D.C. for the Atlantic 10 basketball tournament and happened to walk through campus on our way to the Lincoln Memorial. I was taken aback by the surroundings, and it was obvious that GW provides an experience for its students that can’t be replicated anywhere else - I look forward to being a part of that."
The Bonnies also achieved in the classroom during Thomas’ tenure, earning Scholar All-America Team recognition in all four semesters. Last season, the program placed 19 student-athletes on the A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and in the fall of 2016, the Bonnies ranked No. 15 nationally with a 3.57 team GPA.
At GW, Thomas inherits a group that has won the past two A-10 men's titles and improved its place in the women's standings at the conference meet in each of the past three seasons. “I’m a big believer in creating a culture that focuses on relationships first, and the environment within our team will be our greatest strength. I’d be remiss without thanking the countless student-athletes and coaches that have helped me get to this point in my career. I am ready to Raise High and continue to foster the ideals of commitment, determination and respect that GW demands.”
A Massachusetts native, Thomas was a four-year letter winner at UConn, qualifying for the Big East Championship in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke. He graduated from the school with a history degree. He and his wife Danielle have a son, Boomer.
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