One of the nation’s top head swimming coaches, Jay Holmes will be entering his 30th season as a coach with the Texas A&M swimming and diving program, and his 12th season at the helm of the men’s team in 2015-16.
During his time as head coach the Aggies have experienced unprecedented success with nine top 25 team finishes and numerous Olympians, conference champions and All-Americans.
Holmes has also had a huge impact on the Texas A&M program by spearheading a highly-successful fundraising campaign with a goal of endowing the swimming and diving programs. In the 2014-15 school year alone, Holmes’ efforts have generated nearly a quarter-million dollars in ear-marked donations for the swimming and diving teams.
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, 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.
Coach Holmes’ hard work, experience and dedication to the A&M program earned him the opportunity to lead the program that he’s spent most of the previous 20-plus years as a part of.
In his 30 years as a coach at Texas A&M, Holmes has been the person most attentive to the details associated with being a coach of one of the nation’s top swimming programs. He points out that all of the effort is worthwhile when he sees the athletes realize that their hard work does indeed pay off.
His hard work has paid great dividends in the pool over the years as well. All of A&M’s school records have been set during Holmes’ head-coaching tenure at A&M, with many of them coming over the past five years.
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 specifically for the women’s program, which would allow Nash and Holmes to concentrate on the men’s squad.
The Holmes File
Born: Aug. 18, 1962 in Houston, Texas
Wife: Annette Grizzle Holmes
Children: Meredith Joy and Cooper Samuel
College: Texas A&M University, 1984; B.S. in Business Administration
1987-1995: Assistant Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach, Texas A&M
1995-2004: Assistant Men’s Swimming Coach, Texas A&M
2004-Present: Head Men’s Swimming Coach, Texas A&M
2001: Assistant Coach, U.S. National Open Water Team
2004-05: Big 12 Men’s Coach of the Year
2010: Big 12 Men’s Coach of the Meet