University of Michigan Swimmer Ian Miskelley Dies

University of Michigan swimmer Ian Miskelley died on Monday. He was two weeks shy of his 20th birthday and was scheduled to compete for the Wolverines as a junior during the 2020-2021 season. No cause of death has been reported.

Miskelley was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection for the Wolverines and twice won the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award.

“This tragic news is utterly devastating to our team. Our condolences go out to the Miskelley family during this incredibly difficult time,” a statement from the University of Michigan reads.

Miskelley is originally a native of Holland, Michigan on the western shore of the state. There he swam for Holland Christian High School and Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics.

In 2018, as a senior, he won four Michigan Division III State Championships in the 100 back, 200 IM, 200 free relay, and 200 medley relay. He also set Division III records in both the 100 back and 200 IM.

As a prep swimmer, Miskelley was a 2017 World Championship Trials qualifier, a relays Winter Juniors medalist on 3 relays, Central Zone Champion in 2 events, and a 2016 USA Swimming National Select Camp attendee.

A visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Friday at Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home in Holland. A second visitation will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. on Saturday at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church with a funeral mass to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Ian Miskelley Memorial Fund C/O the Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation, 85 E. 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland MI 49423.

Miskelley’s last Instagram post was a photo with the team working out at Michigan Stadium, including the caption “In times like these, where our world is full of uncertainty and unpredictability, it’s important to stick with those around us through thick and thin and support each other through everything each of us face. Here’s to year 3 with the best team out there. #3for3.”

That photo has turned into a virtual memorial for friends and teammates to leave their memories of Miskelley.

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Brad Flood
3 years ago

God Speed. RIP

Sibel Unalmis
3 years ago

We are very saddened to hear Ian’s passing. Our prayers with his family and friends.

Last edited 3 years ago by Sibel Unalmis
Douglas Boyd
3 years ago

Awful news. God Speed my son.

Former Teammate
3 years ago

Wishing his family and friends peace and comfort as they grieve. Ian was a great kid. His passing will be felt throughout the entire community.

As athletes, we are expected to push through things; we dismiss our feelings in order to be “tough”. Please remember that what you are feeling does not make you weak… it makes you human. If a teammate confided in you that they were struggling, how would you react? Surely you would listen and offer support? Please treat yourself the same way. Show yourself the same kindness.

I hope that the UMich swimmers are receiving proper support and resources as they mourn. With time and healing, hopefully this can lead to some important and meaningful… Read more »

UM Swammer
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

All while having an extremely toxic approach to what “team” is. They have to be writing the playbook because the environment is so damaging.

Former Teammate
Reply to  UM Swammer
3 years ago

I’d definitely have to agree with you on that one- the playbook won’t be helpful unless the culture on the team changes.

Reply to  UM Swammer
3 years ago

@UM Swammer… please, not here, not now. I know you want to share your thoughts, and I am not devaluing them. This article and this time just isn’t the place. Ian LOVED swimming and LOVED swimming for the University of Michigan. We should keep this page focused on that and wait until a more appropriate article to express those other thoughts in respect for the family who may read this article and see these comments. God gained a great young man this week!

John James
Reply to  ANON
3 years ago

Very valid point,…… however, the family may appreciate the insight behind the curtain.

sad little person
Reply to  UM Swammer
3 years ago

I think that a damaging environment is very different from one where you don’t receive everything you ask for since the world apparently revolves around you. I’m sure that the latter is what applies to you. It’s a bit saddening to propagandize on an article of a dead child such bitter thoughts, that are not widely shared, instead of honoring a life that was taken too soon.

Reply to  sad little person
3 years ago

“not widely share”

there in lies the problem. It was obviously shared by Ian and he is no longer with us. Sad state of affairs.

John James
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Accountability from the coaches would be a great start. Although the first tragic and truly unfortunate event. There have been many events, fortunately no others ended as tragically.

Should be an indication that change is needed.

3 years ago

Honored to have known Ian. Hard working, fun and funny. Leader. Never hesitated to reach out to someone. Heaven gained a good one. Prayers for his family, teammates, coaches and friends.

3 years ago

Rest in peace, Ian.

3 years ago

Deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Deepest condolences to the Miskelley family. And to his teammates, stay strong. You are not alone.

3 years ago

Heartbreaking… My thoughts and prayers to Ian’s family, friends, coaches and teammates for their loss. May God bless and comfort them and bring them peace and understanding during this difficult time.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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