The Michigan Wolverines, for the 12th time in program history, are the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Champions.
Head coach Mike Bottom joins a long line of legendary Michigan coaches to have won titles; this is the program’s 12th, which breaks a tie with Ohio State for the most ever. He joins Matt Mann, Gus Stager, and John Urbanchek as men to have guided the sport’s most storied collegiate program to titles.
On his staff is Josh White, the guru of distance. When Bottom took over this program, he didn’t grab White from the usual big-name programs. Instead, he found Dr. White out west in California, where he was the head coach of Division III program Pomona-Pitzer. Bottom is truly a complete head coach. Not only in what he gets out of his swimmers, but the ability to identify that kind of talent.
White was in charge of the training of Connor Jaeger, who won two of Michigan’s three event titles at this meet. That brings the Wolverines to 163 event titles: also more than any other program in the world.
Mark Hill is the other assistant for the men’s program; after sacrificing for three years as a volunteer, Hill joined the staff full-time this year when the men’s and women’s programs merged. He came to Michigan after getting to know Bottom in the Florida Keys. There, Bottom was a coach at the famed Race Club, and Hill was the head Age Group Coach of a club in Key Largo and a high school coach on Islamorda. Not exactly the resume you’d expect to be brought in to Michigan, but after one year of working together at the Race Club, Bottom knew he’d found gold.
Hill has also been a spear-head for much of the “fun” that Michigan has used over the years to attract recruits and publicity to the program and that kept the team mentally fresh.
If ever there were a swimming program that could give credit to every member of the team, it was this one. This season started off rocky for the Wolverines, as all of their upperclassmen were suspended for a week early in the year. Most swim coaches would be nervous to lose control of their athletes’ training for that long, but Bottom certainly got their attention. From then on, there was not a more positive, cohesive, and enthusiastic team than these Wolverines.
All-Time NCAA Champions
1. Michigan 11 (’13, ’95, ’61, ’59, ’58, ’57, ’48, ’41, ’40, ’39, ’38, ’37)
2. Ohio State 11 (’62, ’56, ’55, ’54, ’52, ’50, ’49, ’47, ’46, ’45, ’43)
3. Texas 10 (’10, ’02, ’01, ’00, ’96, ’91, ’90, ’89, ’88, ’81)
4. USC 9
5. Auburn 8
6. Stanford 8
7. Indiana 6
8. Cal 4
9. Yale 4
10. Florida 2
T-11. Arizona 1
T-11. Tennessee 1
T-11. UCLA 1
From the Water Carnival, to the 20-yard record-breaking meet, to the “First Chance” meet, to their Big Ten and NCAA titles, Michigan never looked anything less than sharp. That 20-yard meet was really something special. At a time of year when the Wolverines weren’t expecting to be all that fast, when they were a little broken down, that meet gave them the opportunity to actually break records. When you think you’re exhausted and still are told your team broke a dozen National Records, there’s nothing like that psychologically.
Most NCAA Event Titles
1. Michigan 153
2. Stanford 147
3. Ohio State 118
4. USC 115
5. Texas 103
Here’s the full Michigan roster, who were crowned National Champions. The Wolverines only graduate 7 off of their roster, and with a monstrous senior class next year, they’ll be back near the top of the country.
|Jonathon Ekleberry||RS SO|
|Zach Kelch||RS SO|
|Anders Lie Nielsen||FR|
|Daniel Miller||RS FR|
|David Moore||RS SO|
|Adam Oxner||RS SO|
|Jeremy Raisky||RS FR|