Brian Thomas was named St. Bonaventure University women's swimming head coach by Director of Athletics Tim Kenney on April 21, 2016.
Thomas brings a wealth of coaching experience to St. Bonaventure, having guided numerous student-athletes to a multitude of awards and accolades. For the past year, he served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at UNLV, coaching school record holder and NCAA Division I qualifier Lina Rathsack.
Prior to UNLV, Thomas was an integral part of Western Kentucky's success during his time on the staff. The women's squad won the 2013 Sun Belt Championship title, while the WKU men's team were Conference USA champions in both 2014 and 2015. Promoted to associate head coach in the 2013-14 season after three years as an assistant for the Hilltoppers, Thomas worked with the team's freestylers, breaststrokers and IMers. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, and WKU's recruiting classes under Thomas garnered high praise, with the 2012 men's class ranking 22nd in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com.
In his role as leader of the breaststroke group, he coached WKU's Fabian Schwingenschlogl to All-America honors at the 2014 NCAA National Championships with an eighth-place finish in the finals of the 100 breast, and again in 2015 when Schwingenshlogl placed sixth in the 100 breast and 12th in the 200 breast. He also served in an assistant coach role for Claire Donahue, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. National Team member.
During his time in Bowling Green, Ky., Thomas served on the Kentucky Swimming Board of Directors, the local governing body for USA Swimming, and also was involved in a fellowship program with the American Swimming Coaches Association, a program intended to get young coaches involved in governance and leadership within the sport. Prior to joining the WKU staff, Thomas spent a year volunteering with the women's swimming and diving program at Rutgers University while working as a product specialist for Event Solutions International, a marketing firm based in East Brunswick, N.J.
Thomas’ coaching career also included stops at Rutgers and the University of Connecticut. He also spent time as the head coach of the University Aquatic Club in Storrs, Conn., and as the head coach of E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, Conn. Thomas' teams at E.O. Smith set several school records, achieved a top-five finish at the Connecticut Class "L" State Championship and compiled a dual meet record of 28-8.
A graduate of UConn, Thomas was a four-year letterwinner for the Huskies’ swimming and diving team from 2001-05 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history.