Preseason Coaches Q&A: Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving
Women's Swimmer Chokran Named Team MVP at Annual Awards Banquet
Four Women's Swimmers Compete on Final Day of NCAA Championships
Five Women's Swimmers Earn All-America Honorable Mentions
Group of Women's Swimmers on Their Way to NCAA Championships
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 four years with the women's team, Bottom has completely transformed the culture, rebuilding the program from the ground up. The 2015-16 season will go down as one of the best in recent memory, as the Wolverines captured its first Big Ten championship in 12 years, won seven Big Ten individual or relay titles, set 12 short course program records and qualified 12 student-athletes to the NCAA Championships, including three divers. Under Bottom, Michigan has improved its team standing at the NCAA Championships in each year, going from 36th (2013) to 30th (2014) to 22nd (2015) to 10th (2016). The Wolverines scored more points in four days (150) than in the last five NCAA Championships combined (108). Additionally, four different swimmers finished on the podium as NCAA All-Americans, the most in a single season since 1996.
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. He 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 (USA), Jaeger (USA), Charlie Houchin (USA), Sean Ryan (USA) and Anders Lie Nielsen (Denmark).
Bottom is universally recognized as one of the best sprint coaches in the world. 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 also coached women's swimmer Ali DeLoof to NCAA All-America honors in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, the first U-M swimmer to do that in the same year since Jennie Eberwein in 1998. At the NCAA Championships, DeLoof became the third swimmer in Big Ten history to eclipse the 22-second barrier in the 50-yard freestyle (21.99) and set a Big Ten record in the 100-yard freestyle (47.54). DeLoof didn't come to Michigan as a sprinter -- her 50-yard freestyle time in 2011 was 24.50 -- but graduated as the best in program history.
The men's and women's swimming and diving teams have also excelled in the classroom under Bottom's watch. For the 2015-16 academic year, 71 percent of the men's and women's swimming and diving roster earned U-M Athletic Academic Achievement recognition (49-of-69 total; 27 men, 22 women), 39 of whom also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. In eight years, Bottom has coached four Academic All-Americans (Justin Glanda in 2015, Richard Funk in 2015, Courtney Beidler in 2014, Connor Jaeger in both 2013 and 2014) and three Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients (Justin Glanda in 2015, John Wojciechowski in 2014, Dan Madwed in 2012).
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 a two-time assistant coach at the FINA World Championships (2009, 2013). 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.
At the NCAA level, Bottom has mentored individuals in every stroke to 19 national titles. He has learned from the best in his sport, coaching alongside the likes of Doc Counsilman (Indiana), George Haines (UCLA), Peter Daland (USC), Mark Schubert (USA Swimming national team head coach, USC) and Nort Thornton (Cal).
Bottom spent 10 seasons (1997-2007) at California, serving as co-head coach of the men's team alongside Thornton. Prior to moving to Cal, he spent four years as the Southern California men's and women's assistant coach (1994-97), helping the women's team to its first NCAA championship in 1997. Bottom began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant with the Auburn men's and women's squads, coaching with David Marsh for four seasons (1991-94).
Since 1987, Bottom has directed BottomLine Aquatics, a start-up company dedicated to promoting health and growth in individuals of all ages. Initiatives range from after-school care programs for children ages 4-11, fundraisers, and instructional classes for beginners to elite level 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.
Bottom is a charter member of the American College Counseling Association, a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Swim Coaches Association and College Swim Coaches Association of America. He is also certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Following the 1980 Olympic boycott, Bottom spent 10 years in the business world, including positions with Pacific Bell in San Ramon, Calif., as a systems analyst (1984-90), and with Utah International, Inc., in San Francisco as an internal controls analyst (1982-84).
Bottom received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California (1978) where he graduated with the highest grade-point average among student-athletes and was a health advocate and peer counselor. In 1993, he graduated summa cum laude with a master's degree in counseling psychology from Auburn University. From 1995-98, he completed all course work for a Ph.D. in sport psychology.
Bottom and his wife, Lauralyn, have three daughters: Dublyn, Macaiah and Breana.
Coaching Record at Michigan
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