Jay HolmesHead Coach, TAMU Men's Swimming
One of the nation’s top head swimming coaches, Jay Holmes is in his 34 season as a coach with the Texas A&M swimming & diving program and his 17th at the helm of the men’s team.
Holmes, who began his long association with Texas A&M as a student-athlete in 1980, was named the sixth head swimming coach at Texas A&M on July 14, 2004. During his time as head coach the Aggies have experienced great success with 12 top-25 team finishes and numerous Olympians, conference champions and All-Americans.
His hard work has paid great dividends in the pool over the years. All of A&M’s school records have been set during Holmes’ head-coaching tenure at A&M, with the longest standing record dating back to just 2017.
In 2021, Holmes guided the Aggies to new heights as they notched their first top-10 finish as a team at NCAA Championships since 2001, with the program's first individual champion, Shaine Casas leading the way, earning CSCAA and SEC Male Swimmer of the Year. Casas became the fourth swimmer since 2000 to win all three individual events he competed in as he placed first in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM. The 800 free relay team of Casas, Mark Theall, Kaloyan Bratanov and Clayton Bobo matched the Aggies' best relay finish after taking third, while the 200 free relay team of Casas, Bratanov, Theall and Tanner Olson added a top-five finish at NCAAs.
At 2021 SEC Championships, Casas became the first Aggie to earn the Commissioner's Trophy multiple times as he brought home three individual medals, winning both backstroke events and taking third in the 100 fly. The 800 free relay team ended Florida's years-long run in the top spot to claim the top spot, while the 200 medley relay team also made a trip tot he podium.
A&M notched its best performance at SEC Championships in 2020, setting six individual and four relay school records en-route to another second-place finish. As a team, the Aggies medaled 15 times at the meet. Casas became the first Aggie to earn multiple golds at SEC Championships, claiming the 200 IM and erasing U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte's SEC record in the 200 back. Casas was awarded the Commissioner's Cup, given to the top point-earner at SEC Championships. Benjamin Walker also had another historic performance at the 2020 championships. After becoming the first Aggie to earn an individual SEC swimming title in 2019 winning the 200 breast, Walker repeated in the event as a senior with a school record-setting performance.
In dual meet action, the Aggies remained in the top 10 in the national rankings all season, moving as high as No. 4 in December and finishing with a 7-3 record, including an early defeat of then-No. 5 Ohio State to start the year.
His program had a breakthrough year in 2018-19, setting a school record with a runner-up finish in the SEC and placing 14th overall at the NCAA Championships. The Aggies went 7-1 in dual action, including the first victory over rival Texas in 55 seasons.
Holmes was voted the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2004-05 in his first season as head coach after guiding the Aggies to a runner-up team finish at the Big 12 Championships and No. 15 finish at the NCAA Championships. In 2012, Holmes was voted the Big 12 Coach of the Meet after another runner-up Big 12 finish.
Holmes’ work as an assistant coach was rewarded with a berth on the coaching staff of the 2001 USA Open Water team. He coached former A&M standout Patrick Dideum to a 13th-place finish at the Open Water World Championships in Fukouka, Japan, that summer.
Holmes first came to A&M in the fall of 1980 after graduating from Corsicana High School. He was recruited by then-first-year head coach Mel Nash to be a breaststroke/butterfly specialist. Little did Nash know that he would end up getting much more than just a swimmer.
Holmes swam four years for the Aggies, eventually earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1984. After completing his eligibility, Holmes served as a student assistant coach in the fall of 1984 while completing with coursework.
Holmes and his brother opened a sign company back home in Corsicana in the spring of 1985, but his heart remained at the pool. In the fall of 1986, he accepted Nash’s offer to become the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s swimming teams at A&M.
Holmes served as the assistant for both squads until 1995. That year, the year that A&M unveiled the Student Rec Center Natatorium, former Athletic Director Wally Groff made the decision to hire a coaching staff