April 15, 2010
Laramie, Wyo. (April 14, 2010) -- University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman announced on Wednesday that the contract of head swimming coach Tom Johnson had been extended for two years. Johnson's most recent two-year contract just concluded. With his two-year extension, Johnson is now under contract to UW until March 31, 2012.
"T.J. (Tom Johnson) has done an excellent job of developing his entire program," said Burman. "He has built and maintained our swimming and diving program over an extended period of time, and we are happy to have a former Cowboy swimmer leading our men's and women's programs."
Johnson took over as the head swimming coach at UW, his alma mater, in 1998. Over the past 12 seasons under his direction, the Cowgirl swim team has posted an 86-52 (.623) dual-meet record and the Cowboy swim team has built a 61-43 (.587) dual record. During Johnson's tenure, 24 Wyoming individuals have won Mountain West Conference championships. He has been named Conference Coach of the Year three different seasons. This past season, the Cowgirl swim team posted its highest finish ever at the Mountain West Conference Championships, placing second out of nine teams. Swimmer Cassie Stelow and diver Stephanie Ortiz both qualified for the 2010 NCAA Championships. Stelow was the first Cowgirl swimmer to go to NCAAs since Norma Hughes did so in 1994. Ortiz was the first Cowgirl diver to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships since 1985, when both Ginny Freeman and Kristen Coates advanced. One of Johnson's proudest coaching moments came in 2004 when Wyoming Cowboy Scott Usher reached the apex of the swimming world by earning a spot on the United States Olympic Team in the summer between his junior and senior seasons at UW. Johnson was right by Usher's side as he wore the bucking horse swim cap and raced to a second-place finish in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on national television. Over the past four years, 11 UW swimmers and divers have earned Academic All-District VII honors from ESPN the Magazine and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Johnson has also coached five individual Academic All-Americans in his time at Wyoming: Erin Spadinger (2005-06), Aimee Stinson (2007-08), Kevin Bretting (2006-07), Alex Larkin (2008-09) and current Cowgirl Lesley Young, who was named an Honorable Mention Academic All-American in 2008-09.