Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
With its first season taking place in 1941, Ball State men’s swimming and diving is still in search of its Mid-American Conference Championship victory despite holding an all-time record of 341-245-3 to sit above .500.
One name that is synonymous with Ball State men’s swimming and diving is recently retired head coach Bob Thomas.
After 38 seasons with the team and picking up the most wins in program history with 225, Thomas called it a career after the 2018 season. He earned MAC Coach of the Year four times (1992-93, 94-95, 99-2000 and 2002-03). Thomas coached all 40 of the program’s individual MAC Champions, the most recent being in 2005-06 when Kurtis Leer swept the freestyle sprints, winning the 50, 100 and 200.
Leer holds the school record for both the 100 and 200 freestyle and won six MAC Championship events, including three his senior year.
Thomas is one of two coaches to lead the program for more than six years. John Lewellen coached the team for 22 years (1946-67), compiling a record of 79-115.
Aside from Thomas, one other coach in program history finished their career with a record above .500. Chuck Guemple, who led the program from 1967-72, just met the mark with a record of 32-27 in his five years on the job.
Just three Cardinals have been NCAA qualifiers in history. John Goheen, Steve Byrne and David Keener are the only student-athletes to do so.
Keener holds all the diving high scores for the men’s program with scores of 344.25 and 559.54 on 1-meter diving and 357.075 and 572.50 (3-meter diving).
With J. Agnew taking over for Thomas in the 2018-19 season, Ball State will look to build a winning program once again.