After Calling Bob Bowman ‘GOAT’, Leon Marchand Welcomes Sun Devils’ Coach With Open Arms

Published 04/01/2024, 10:34 PM EDT

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It’s time for Bob Bowman to take his exit from the Arizona State campus. After guiding the Sun Devils to yet another NCAA Swimming Championships title, Leon Marchand’s coach cemented himself as one of the greatest figures of the sport of all time. But all good things come to an end, and the Frenchman will have to buckle up as a new name is set to take over the Sun Devils’ training in the coming days.

Leon Marchand has had an impeccable run at this year’s NCAA Championships in Indianapolis. Recording five victories, Marchand was named the CSCAA Swimmer of the Year for NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving. While his third straight win of the title is undoubtedly a significant moment in his career, Bowman’s contributions to Leon’s honor cannot be understated. However, a change is in order, and it looks like the 200 breaststroke US world record holder seems to be looking forward to it.

Leon Marchand looks bright with hope for the future


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In his latest Instagram story, the five-time World Championships gold medalist Marchand hailed Arizona Swimming’s associate head coach Herbie Behm for his new role with the Sun Devils. In his story, Leon shared the original post made by the official Sun Devil Swim & Dive account, highlighting the promotion of their star alum. “New leader in Tempe“, reads the OG post, showing Behm holding the NCAA title and beaming with pride.


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Herbie has been a member of Arizona’s swimming coaching staff since 2018 and has been instrumental in the team’s rise to the top of the country. His contributions have helped the sprint group assert its dominance over its national opponents, and Marchand seems to think no one is better equipped to take over the void that will be left behind by the iconic coach who earned a name for himself as the coach of the legendary Micahel Phelps.


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However, Leon’s admiration for his former coach will not fade. Only hours ago, Marchand took to Instagram to share images of himself and the squad after winning the NCAA title. In one of the pictures, Leon can be seen standing beside the veteran coach with the “GOAT” tag inserted into the picture. But Bowman’s exit couldn’t have been better.

The Sun Devils’ triumph led by Bowman

After winning their second straight Pac-12 title, the Sun Devils were poised to make good use of the national championship. Over the three days, the Arizona men’s swim and dive team won multiple awards, that propelled them to the top of the podium for the first time in program history. 400 medley relay and the 400 free relay: the Sun Devils squad dominated the waters and walked away from Indiana with 523.5 points to its name. Marchand became the only swimmer to sweep all of their events with eight Championship titles under his belt.


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Thanks to Marchand & Co.’s impeccable performances, Bob Bowman received the Swim Coach of the Year award. Texas finished this year’s NCAA Championships in second place. However, the legendary coach is now set to take over the reins as the Longhorns’ new swimming director, and Bowman might be set to bring the fight to his former team next year.

Leon Marchand and Bob Bowman: Every NCAA Championship and All-American Honor Bagged by Sun Devils in 3 Days


Written by:

Diptarko Paul


One take at a time

Diptarko Paul is a senior Olympic Sports Correspondent at EssentiallySports. This state-level swimmer decided to dive deep into the world of Olympics. From writing various aspects of swimming to diving deep in the world of NCAA division 1 Volleyball, Diptarko covers it all.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani