Tim Powers has never had a losing season in his 33 years as a head coach at BYU.
Longtime men's coach Tim Powers to oversee the combined program
PROVO -- BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe today announced that BYU's men's and women's swimming teams will be combined under one coaching staff to improve the competitive advantages and increase the resources available to the student-athletes of both programs. The total number of full-time coaches working with the swimming and diving programs will increase from four last year to five this coming season with longtime men's coach Tim Powers serving as head coach.
"Combining both programs under one coaching staff will allow our coaches to more specifically address the needs of our student-athletes," Holmoe said. "Tim (Powers) is a great coach, and we believe he is the right person to lead our combined program. We have confidence these changes will help our swimming teams not only continue to be very successful but also improve upon their past achievements."
Entering his 34th season as a head coach at BYU, Powers will be assisted by longtime women's head coach Stan Crump, who will serve as associate head coach on the newly combined staff, while diving coach Keith Russell will continue to direct the efforts of both the men and women divers. New to the staff is assistant coach John Brooks, who coached the UNLV men's and women's teams the past two seasons as an assistant on the Rebels' combined staff. Powers will add one more assistant coach to complete his staff.
Per NCAA rules, if an institution chooses to have separate men's and women's coaching staffs, each program is allowed three swimming coaches (one head, one assistant, and one volunteer assistant) with one coach dedicated to diving. With a combined coaching staff, BYU will now have four full-time swim coaches available to work with both men and women swimmers during each team's workouts. This will allow swimmers to receive more specialized training and feedback from coaches on the deck during workouts and enjoy increased overall access to coaches. Previously with separate staffs, men's team swimmers worked with one full-time coach and one part-time coach while two full-time coaches guided the women's swimmers.
"Keith (Russell) already coaches both men and women divers in a combined situation; now, with a combined staff for our swimmers, we have basically doubled the number of coaches working with our kids," Powers said. "We will be better able to address individual needs and have more flexibility to juggle the demands of coaching and recruiting."
The last 10 NCAA women's champions and the last six men's national champions utilize a combined coaching staff for both their men's and women's teams. With BYU going to a combined coaching staff, Air Force is the lone Mountain West Conference school that maintains separate head coaches for its men's and women's teams. TCU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming also have combined programs, while Colorado State, New Mexico and San Diego State only sponsor women's teams. Among the other combined programs nationally are Arizona, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Penn State, South Carolina, USC and Wisconsin.
The longest tenured employee in the BYU Athletic Department, Powers has coached the men's team since coming to BYU in 1975 and also served as the head coach of the women's team from 1975-1981. Recipient of the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America's Distinguished Coach Award, Distinguished Service Award and Master Coach Award, he has never had a losing season in 33 years at the helm. He has been named conference coach of the year six times while his teams have won 14 conference championships. Student-athletes competing in his programs have earned 40 All-America awards and swam in the finals of every major world competition, with 16 swimmers competing in the Olympic Games.
"We have great coaches with incredible experience on our staff," Powers said. "Stan (Crump) and Keith (Russell) and I have been at BYU together a long time. Stan and Keith are both proven and distinguished coaches. John (Brooks) is a talented young coach and an outstanding recruiter. I look forward to completing our staff and being able to use our combined resources and experience to become the best swimming and diving program possible."
Crump, a 1978 graduate of BYU, has served as head coach of the women's team for the past 27 seasons. He guided his teams to 16 conference titles and had 15 athletes earn 42 All-America awards while being honored eight times as the conference coach of the year. He is a recipient of the CSCAA Distinguished Coach Award and Master Coach Award. Three of his swimmers qualified for the Olympics.
Russell has coached the men and women divers at BYU since 1993 and has earned an amazing 15 conference diving coach of the year awards, including the women's honor this past season. He was the NCAA 3-meter diving champion at Arizona State in 1968 and a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team before finishing his education at BYU where he won All-America honors in 1972. Recognized among the top of his profession, Russell will represent the United States as the U.S. diving judge at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Brooks joins the BYU staff after serving the past two seasons as an assistant coach for UNLV's combined program. His expertise as a coach has also landed him coveted invitations to work with world-class athletes at Georgia and Alabama. A 2003 graduate and swimming letterwinner at the University of Utah, Brooks also coached at his alma mater in 2005-06 after a successful stint as the head coach of the boys and girls teams at East High School (Salt Lake City) from 2001-2004. He guided East High to state titles in 2003 and 2004 after a runner-up finish in 2002.