Michael Phelps will follow longtime coach Bob Bowman to train in Arizona after Bowman accepted the Arizona State swimming coach job, Bowman said Friday.
“[Phelps] was on board right away,” Bowman said in a group media interview in Tempe. “He knew it was a great thing for me, and I think it can be a great thing for him. It kind of shakes up things a little bit, which I think is always good.”
Bowman guided Phelps to a record 22 Olympic medals and 18 golds.
Bowman trained Phelps and others in Phelps’ native Baltimore for a majority of that span.
“I think, to some people this may be somewhat of a surprise,” Phelps said in a press conference of accepting the job. “In many ways, I might be the most surprised.”
Bowman coached at the University of Michigan between the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, with Phelps also following his coach to Ann Arbor to train during that stretch.
“It’ll be nice for him to be outside in the sunshine,” Bowman said. “He’s a sun animal. He always does better when he’s tan.”
Phelps’ current training group in Baltimore also includes Allison Schmitt, who won five medals at the London Olympics but failed to make the 2015 World Championships team.
Phelps did not say in the press conference or in a later group media interview if Schmitt would be among his Baltimore swimmers who will move to Tempe.