DENTON, Texas- University of North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal has announced the hiring of San Diego State associate head coach Brendon Bray as the sixth Mean Green swimming and diving head coach.
“This coaching search had a very high number of qualified candidates and that is a credit to where Joe Dykstra has taken this program over the past several years,” Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said. “The hiring committee had a tough task and I commend it for thoroughly evaluating all of the candidates. At every turn we kept coming back to Brendon Bray. His passion and energy was unmistakable and he came with the highest recommendations of some of the most respected coaches in the business. We truly believe that Brendon is the perfect person to take the foundation that Coach Dykstra built and make this program nationally-competitive every year.”
Bray comes to Denton following a dominant six-year stay at SDSU. During his tenure, the Aztecs compiled an overall record of 77-14, including a 45-1 record in dual meets over the past three seasons.
“Brendon is the best coach I have ever worked with,” San Diego State swimming and diving head coach Mike Shrader said. “He is extremely innovative and scientific while making his methods easy to understand for his swimmers. He is truly a master teacher and coach, and the University of North Texas has made an incredible hire.”
During last season alone, SDSU broke three school records, two pool records and had 14 all-Mountain West Conference athletes. The program also held a national top-25 ranking throughout the season, reaching as high as ninth during the week of October 29.
“His results at San Diego State are proof enough of his ability to build a top NCAA swimming program, but in case you need more verification of the kind of coach he is, ask any of the coaches who have shared a pool deck with him,” SwimSwam.com’s Garrett McCaffrey said. “His ability to relate to swimmers creates a positive culture where the team shares a common belief in the cutting edge training program that he provides. Again, congratulations.”
In the past four seasons, Bray has been directly involved in the recruitment and development of 13 NCAA Swimming Championship participants and six honorable mention All-Americans.
Prior to his arrival at San Diego State, the program had suffered four-straight last place finishes in conference. Since his arrival, the program has won two Mountain West regular season and conference championships, and his 2009 recruiting class ranked fourth in the nation.
Bray was a three-year assistant coach at the University of Washington before heading to SDSU. While there, he helped recruit and sign the collegeswimming.com top-ranked recruit in the country.
In college, Bray was a four-year varsity letterwinner as a swimmer at Utah for one year and Washington for three. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington in 2005 and his master’s degree in intercollegiate athletic leadership in 2007.