• 2013 CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Year
  • Five-time Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year

Mike Bottom

“At Michigan, we see the big picture. There's always an end game, and how we get there -- our process -- builds well-rounded men and women who will be champions long after they leave the confines of our pool. An important part of that process is an understanding that hard work works, whether that's in the competition pool, the classroom or the community. Our sport is the vehicle for being successful in the water or on the diving boards and is crucial to being a champion in life.”

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Coach Bio

Mike Bottom recently concluded his fourth year as the head coach for the U-M men's and women's swimming and diving programs. Prior to the program's combining, Bottom served as head coach for the men's swimming and diving team (2008-12). In his eight years with the men, Bottom is 70-3-1 in dual meets (43-1 in the Big Ten), with one national championship (2013), seven Big Ten championships (2009, 2011-16) and seven top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including four top-five finishes.

Universally recognized as one of the finest sprint coaches in the world, Bottom is a five-time Big Ten Men's Swimming Coach of the Year (2011-15) and was 2013 CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Year. In his eight years, Bottom has coached the men's swimmers to a total of eight national titles (seven individual, one relay), and has produced 88 Big Ten individual or relay titles and 35 NCAA All-Americans. Under Bottom's guidance, a Michigan swimmer has been named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year in six of Bottom's eight years: Tyler Clary (2009-10), Dan Madwed (2012), Connor Jaeger (2013-14) and Dylan Bosch (2015). Several of Bottom's student-athletes have competed at the Olympics, including Clary, Jaeger, Charlie Houchin, Sean Ryan and Anders Lie Nielsen. In 2016, men's swimmer Paul Powers set a Big Ten record in the 50-yard freestyle at the Big Ten Championships (18.85), becoming only the second swimmer in conference history to eclipse the 19-second barrier. He was also an NCAA All-American in that event for the second consecutive year.

Bottom brings a wealth of collegiate and international coaching experience to the pool at Michigan. He has coached at each of the last five Olympic Games, including 2012 and 2008 where he served as the head coach for Serbia, and has spent 18 years in collegiate coaching. Bottom regularly coaches with Team USA, twice serving as head coach of the men's team at the World University Games (2013, 2015) and also serving as assistant coach at the 2009 and 2013 FINA World Championships. Bottom has been with The Race Club in Tavernier, Fla., since 2003 and has served as head coach of the World Team, its elite level training group. Among his most notable athletes is 10-time Olympic medalist and International Swimming Hall of Famer, Gary Hall Jr. He coached the top two finishers in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, with Hall (USA) and Duje Draganja (Croatia) placing 1-2 in 2004 (Athens) and Anthony Ervin (USA) and Hall tying for the gold medal in 2000 (Sydney). From the 1996-2004 Olympiads, nine of the 18 medals awarded in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events have been won by Bottom's swimmers.

A member of the 1980 United States Olympic team, Bottom was a world record-holder in the 400-meter freestyle relay. A four-time USA National team member, he was part of three NCAA champion teams (1975-77) at USC and was an NCAA medley relay champion and five-time All-American.

Fun Fact

Bottom has coached at the last six Olympic Games and served as assistant coach for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Career Highlights

  • 2013 NCAA Champions
  • Seven Big Ten Championships
  • 2013 CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Year
  • Five-time Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year
  • Eight NCAA Individual & Relay Champions
  • 88 Big Ten Individual & Relay Champions
  • 35 NCAA All-Americans
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Assistant Coaches

Mike Hilde

Diving Coach

Mike Hilde recently concluded his second season as diving coach at the University of Michigan. He oversees both men’s and women’s divers. With an emphasis on platform diving and dryland training, the program has made significant strides in Hilde’s first two years.

 

In 2016, Michigan had three women’s divers at the NCAA Championships for the first time in 25 years. As a group, the women’s divers scored 171 points at the Big Ten Championships, a monumental increase over the output from the previous year (19). Individually, Hilde coached Allie Murphy to a U.S. Olympic Diving Trials berth, becoming the first U-M women’s diver to qualify since 1988. The previous year, Hilde tutored women’s diver Carey Chen to an NCAA All-America honor on platform, becoming the women’s program’s first finalist on any diving discipline at the NCAA Championships in 19 years.

 

Hilde came to Ann Arbor after three years with the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he was the National/International Team Director and an assistant coach. He was an accomplished collegiate diver at the University of Southern California (2004-07), where he was a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier.

Josh White

Associate Head Coach

Dr. Josh White recently concluded his eighth season on the Michigan coaching staff, serving the last four years as associate head coach for the men’s program. The previous four years (2009-12), White was the assistant head coach for the men’s team.

 

White has kept the strong tradition of distance swimming at Michigan alive. In his eight years, his distance swimmers have won 18 Big Ten individual titles across the distance freestyle events (200, 500, 1,650), with another eight coming on the 800-yard freestyle relay. The distance program was instrumental during Michigan’s championship run in 2013, holding four of the top nine spots in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships and five of the top six spots in the 200-yard freestyle at the Big Ten Championships. The next year, White coached the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Connor Jaeger, Anders Lie Nielsen, Justin Glanda and Michael Wynalda to an NCAA record at the Big Ten Championships. In 2015, he coached PJ Ransford to a second-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2015 NCAA Championships, a swim that broke the 31-year old U.S. 17-18 National Age Group record.

 

Beyond the NCAA, Michigan distance swimmers have achieved great international success. White coached four of the top nine milers at the 2012 US Olympic Trials including Jaeger, who earned a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and took sixth in the 1,500-meter freestyle in London. After his appearance at the 2012 Olympics in London, Jaeger vaulted to the top of the American distance swimming scene, winning three NCAA championships, winning five medals in international meets and setting American records in both the 1,500-meter freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle. He was the head open water coach for the United States at the 2011 and 2013 World University Games, and was named an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships.

 

Rick Bishop

Associate Head Coach

Rick Bishop wrapped up his fourth season on the Michigan swimming coaching staff, mainly serving as the associate head coach for the women’s swimming and diving team. In his tenure, Bishop has been instrumental in helping rebuild the women’s program, culminating in a Big Ten title and top-10 national finish in 2016.

 

Prior to coming to Michigan, Bishop spent four years with USA Swimming. Bishop’s role with USA Swimming had expanded every year since his arrival in Colorado Springs in 2008, including serving as a sport performance consultant for the Club Development arm of USA Swimming for two years before moving on to the national team in 2010. There, Bishop was performance support manager for one year (2010-11), managing the national team performance staff at the 2010 Short Course World Championships in Dubai. Most recently, Bishop was Manager of Coach Services and Education (2011-2012), where he was responsible for choosing the 2013 World University Games team.

 

Over his 20-plus years as coach, Bishop has garnered significant international experience. He spent two years on the Brazilian National Team coaching staff, first serving as an assistant coach at the 1995 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro and 1995 Pan-American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, before heading up the Brazilian Olympic Team at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. He also served as an assistant coach for Jamaica at the 1998 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, and was the head coach for the Netherlands Antilles at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Sam Wensman

Assistant Coach

Sam Wensman is in his first season as assistant coach after spending the last three seasons as the program’s volunteer assistant. In addition, Wensman has been coaching professional swimmers with the Club Wolverine Elite Team since 2011.

 

Wensman, a native of Durham, N.H., was a four-year letterwinner for the Wolverines, swimming from 2008-11 and specializing in the breaststroke. During his tenure, Wensman helped Michigan win three Big Ten titles (2008-09, 2011) and finish among the top 10 at the NCAA Championships all four years.

 

Wensman graduated from Michigan in 2011 with a degree in sport management.

Kristy Brager

Assistant Coach

Kristy Brager is in her first season as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan swimming and diving program. She joined the staff in Sept. 2016 after a four-year stint at the University of Iowa.

 

At Iowa, Brager worked closely with the breaststroke and individual medley swimmers and served as the recruiting coordinator for the women’s team. Several swimmers excelled under Brager’s watch: Emma Sougstad earned a Top 50 world ranking in the 50-meter breaststroke and set four individual school records, while Roman Trussov was a three-time individual qualifier for the NCAA Championships and was runner-up in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2016 Big Ten Championships. Additionally, both swimmers were NCAA All-America honorable mentions in 2016.

 

Prior to Iowa, Brager spent two years as an assistant coach at George Mason (2011-12), primarily coaching the team’s primary sprint and middle distance swimmers. She also acted as recruiting coordinator and oversaw all dryland and weight training programs. Among her notable swimmers included Ashley Danner, a two-time NCAA runner-up, and Amanda Kendall, a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials semifinalist and Pan American Games champion.

 

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Dec. 2008 with a degree in economics. She was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers (2005-08), serving as team captain as a senior and twice earning Academic All-Big Ten recognition (2007-08).