August 1, 2017
I’m pleased to announce Adam Byars has agreed to join Memphis Tiger Swimming as our new head coach. He will officially join our program August 7 to help with new swimmer group placement (See details in last paragraph) and oversee training for the start of the 2017 short-course season.
I want to thank our search committee of Eric Epperson and Lori Patterson, and led by Anthony Norris. They worked quickly and devoted many hours to attract and screen more than a dozen applicants, including formally interviewing four finalists. The caliber of candidates, some from within our own LSC, reinforce that MTS is an attractive program with a strong history and bright future. We believe Adam is the right person to lead us in our next chapter.
Adam is an accomplished leader and proven coach, most recently serving as assistant coach for the prestigious University of Arizona men’s and women’s swim program for the past four years. At Arizona, he was primarily responsible for IM and middle distance groups. During his tenure, Adam’s swimmers earned numerous All-PAC 12 honors, 12 NCAA All-America honors and three different school records fell to his athletes. Additionally, two of his swimmers were Olympic trial semi-finalists and one was named NCAA men’s swimmer of the year in 2014.
Prior to Arizona, Adam spent eight years with the Aiken-Augusta Swim League in Augusta, GA; first as head age group coach then as head coach for his last six years there. As head coach, Adam oversaw the growth of their program from around 120 swimmers to over 360. His program earned Silver Medal Club status from the USA Swimming Club Excellence program (a top 100 club in America) and Adam was named Georgia Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year in 2008. But throughout the interview process, it was clear Adam is much prouder of his swimmers’ accomplishments. He coached swimmers to over 50 individual nationally-ranked swims (including 3 swims ranked #1 in the country) and developed the first Olympic qualifier in the program’s 40-year history – ultimately sending five different 18/under athletes to the trials in 2008 and 2012.
Personally, Adam swam collegiately for the University of Wisconsin, where he was an All-America selection, team MVP and named team captain in 2001. He also participated in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in two events (100 back and 200 back).
Early in the process it was clear Adam’s interest in our program was sincere. He grew up in East Tennessee, and competed in our pool during SES championship meets. He has a passion for club coaching, sharing in his cover letter, “I enjoy working with young people, which is something I have missed while working with college athletes and post-graduate professionals. I feel like the impact I can have on young people's athletic and personal lives is much greater in a club setting than in college.”
Adam is married with three children; two sons aged 13 and 2 and a daughter age 5. He’s looking forward to getting started, and as soon as he gets settled in Memphis we’ll schedule a time for our families to meet with him and learn more about his background.
On a separate but related note, new swimmer group placement is August 14 and 15 from 5-7 p.m. at our pool. If you know somebody who might be interested in joining MTS, please forward this announcement to them and encourage them to bring their swimmer to one of these sessions.
On behalf of the MTS Board of Directors