Friends and Family to Honor Legendary Coach Jon Urbanchek in Irvine on August 6

The “Move It!” Party

  • Purpose: to watch Jon in action on Friday and to celebrate him and his family after the meet
  • Date: Friday, August 6, 2021
  • Time: Immediately after finals
  • Place: William Wollett Jr. Aquatics Center or the adjoining park (TBA)

Friends and family are gathering to pay tribute to the legendary coach Jon Urbanchek during the 2021 Speedo Summer Championships-West in Irvine. Urbanchek spent 22-years (from 1982 to 2004) at the helm of the men’s team at the University of Michigan. He revived the program and at one point won ten consecutive B1G Championships. Urbanchek continued coaching at the club and professional levels after his time at Michigan, and served on the coaching staff of six separate Olympic teams. He retired from coaching last summer. Two months later he was honored with the prestigious USA Swimming Award for his years as one of the country’s most successful and most respected swim coaches.

If you would like to join in the festivities, there are three ways to participate:

  • Attend the “Move It!” party in person
  • Write a short note to Jon
  • Send a short video “thank you” to Jon

The “Move It!” Organizing Committee shared the following details:

We would love to put together a celebratory video to showcase the amazing impact Jon has had on the sport of swimming. If you would like to send a very short thank you clip to [email protected] we would love to include it. Be brief but be you. Maybe even give him a shout-out in your native language. For planning purposes, if you attach a small bio with your clip, it will help the person putting it together have the context of who you are and how you fit into Jon’s amazing world.

Also, we are working on giving Jon a book of small shout-outs. Please send an email with your quote and a picture (as a swimmer, with Jon, who you have become after swimming… your choice!). Again, if you could add some context for Jon, it will serve him and his family well as they peruse the book.

Jon’s wife, his daughter, and his granddaughter will be there to join in the fun. Let’s show them how meaningful he has been to the swimming family and let’s welcome them into it with open arms.

How to Participate in The “Move It!” Party

Activity What you need to do Cost Due date
Attend The “Move It!” Party RSVP with the number of attendees to [email protected] $20 per person suggested donation. We will send the Venmo information when you RSVP August 3, 2021
Write a note for Jon Send your note to [email protected] Free July 30, 2021
Record a very quick video to Jon Send your video to [email protected] Free July 30, 2021


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Robert Ceresa
2 years ago

Echoing Mark Noetzel, Gustavo Borges. Jon gave me a chance and the opportunity changed my life. Forever grateful to Urby!

Mark Noetzel
2 years ago

Jon was instrumental in the lives of many, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities that he gave me as one of his athletes and as his assistant coach at Michigan. I lack the words that can accurately express the depth of his sincere care and concern to advance student-athletes and fellow coaches. As many of you know, he does it with an incredible sense of humor as well. Go Blue – Keep It Moving!

Rick Krug
2 years ago

I freaked out thinking this was a funeral…. So glad its not. I will love being there..

Gustavo Borges
2 years ago

Great coach and great friend. Keep it moving my friend… Go Blue!

2 years ago

For anyone who swims with the color system, thank him for it

Corn Pop
2 years ago

Guerra will now be busy working on one for Ray Looze .

small bird
2 years ago

jeeze i thought he died

Sam B
Reply to  small bird
2 years ago

yes, misleading title

cynthia curran
Reply to  small bird
2 years ago

I had to laugh about Gary hall Sr saying he wanted to go to school at Anaheim High. These days Anaheim high can’t qualify anyone for CIF since the kids are far more low income than when Jon U was there. Hall left the area in the early 1970’s before it started o have real poverty issues do to the aerospace layoffs in the early 1990’s.

Gary Hall Sr
Reply to  cynthia curran
2 years ago

Sorry to hear. Anaheim High was once a strong swimming and water polo school under Jon Urbanchek.

Go Blue!
2 years ago

This is an amazing idea and great way to honor one of the all time great people and coaches in USA Swimming. Hope people will take the time to share their memories of Jon because I know he will really appreciate it.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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