Former University of Michigan All-American swimmer Danny Berlitz has transferred to West Virginia University with 3 years of eligibility remaining. While he has begun classes this spring, he won’t compete for the Mountaineers until the 2022-2023 season.
Berlitz says that joining his younger brother Derek at West Virginia was a big draw for him. Derek Berlitz is a high school senior who is committed to play football at West Virginia next fall as a defensive end.
Danny Berlitz also cited the atmosphere at West Virginia and “mental health reasons” after a stressful year in the COVID-19 pandemic. He says that he was in quarantine for COVID-19 contacts 5 times during his freshman year at Michigan, in spite of never testing positive himself, and that it “really took its toll on (him) both athletically and academically.”
Berlitz has already begun classes at Michigan, but doesn’t plan to compete this season. Instead, he’s focusing on getting back and shape and working on credits toward his decree in athletic coaching education with an eye on becoming an elite swim coach in the future.
Berlitz, who is a native of eastern Pennsylvania, gave his original verbal commitment to Auburn in 2018, before eventually signing with Michigan in 2019.
Berlitz was a two-time NCAA qualifier in his two seasons at Michigan. As a freshman, he was seeded 41st in the 500 free, 35th in the 400 IM, and 24th in the 1650 free. That earned him CSCAA All-America honors after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the NCAA Championships and all qualifiers were given All-America honors.
As a sophomore, he swam a leg of Michigan’s 11th-place 800 free relay to earn more All-America honors, and also placed 40th individually in the 500 free and 25th individually in the 400 IM.
Berlitz also made big contributions at the Big Ten Championships in his two seasons. As a freshman, he scored 50 points, led by a 4th-place finish in the mile, which made him the Wolverines’ highest-scoring freshman. As a sophomore, he scored 71 points, including a runner-up finish in the 400 IM. He was also a Big Ten Champion as a member of Michigan’s 800 free relay.
Berlitz saw significant drops in all of his primary and secondary events at Michigan.
Best Times Comparisons:
|Pre-Collegiate Best||Best Time at Michigan||Drop|
He joins a West Virginia team that finished 2nd at last year’s Big 12 Championship meet, 273 points behind the conference, and eventual national, champions Texas.
With only three teams and the conference, and with the Longhorns being such a dominant force, conference results can vary widely, but Berlitz’s best times would make him at least a 45 point scorer at the Big 12 level as the Mountaineers fight to hold on to that second-place position ahead of TCU.
West Virginia qualified one swimmer, David Dixon, for the 2021 NCAA CHampionships. He earned Honorable Mention All-America honors via a 12th-place finish in the 200 fly. They also sent two divers, Paul Lenz and Jacob Tremblay, to the meet. All three returned for the Mountaineers this season.
Berlitz used 2 years of eligibility at the University of Michigan. Including the NCAA-granted extra year for the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, this means Berlitz has 3 seasons of eligibility remaining.