(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah (Jan. 16, 2012) — After 37 seasons as the head swimming and diving coach at Brigham Young University, Tim Powers today announced he will retire from coaching at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
During his tenure at BYU, the six-time conference coach of the year has guided the Cougars to 17 conference titles. Along the way his student-athletes have captured 46 All-America awards, 32 Academic All-America awards and swam in the finals of every major world competition. In addition, 16 of his swimmers have competed in the Olympics for 10 different countries. In fact, Powers has had at least one athlete compete in every Olympics since 1972 (excluding the 1980 boycott by the USA).
“Tim Powers has enjoyed a fantastic career at BYU coaching the swimming and diving programs for the greater part of four decades. The success he’s enjoyed in the pool, and the quality of the individual student-athletes he has coached, speaks for itself,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “Tim leaves an amazing legacy at BYU as a coach and mentor of young men and women, and has been a great representative of the university at the national level.”
Powers coached both the men’s and women’s teams from 1975 to 1981, where he coached Lelei Fonoimoana, the first BYU female swimming All-American. He then turned the women’s program over to Stan Crump and directed his full attention to the men’s squad. After 27 years of running the men’s program, Powers returned to overseeing both programs in July 2008, when the university combined its men’s and women’s teams.
“It has been a real privilege for me to rub shoulders with some of the best men and women student-athletes in the country,” said Powers. “Coaching at BYU has been an experience of a lifetime. Through the BYU experience I have made lifetime friends all over the world.”
In 1990, Powers was awarded the Master Coach Award, presented by the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America. The criteria for this prestigious award includes coaching teams to conference championships, recording at least 11 consecutive winning seasons, placing swimmers on Olympic teams and coaching athletes to NCAA All-America status.
Powers has also received the Distinguished Coach Award and Distinguished Service Award given by the CSCAA and a level five certificate in coaching by the America Swimming Coaches Association, the highest ranking bestowed on coaches.
In 2009, Powers completed a four-year appointment serving on the NCAA swimming committee, which is responsible for the rulebook, selects national championship sites, names the All-America teams, conducts regional diving championships and determines the qualifying times for NCAA Championship. In addition, Powers has served as President of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America and was on the CSCAA Executive Board for nine years.
Swimming has been an important part of Powers life. He was an age-group national record holder, a junior college All-American at Merritt College and the Big Sky Conference champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the University of Montana.
He graduated from Montana with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1968. Coach Powers served as a Captain in the Army and served in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star and Air Medals, flying more than 100 missions in Vietnam. He then returned home and earned a masters degree in physical education from San Jose State in 1973.
Powers has determined to retire now in hopes to serve an LDS Church mission in the near future with his wife Patcee. The couple has two daughters and nine grandchildren.
The university will begin its search for a new swimming and diving head coach immediately. Those interested should apply at yjobs.byu.edu.