Deck Pass Blog: Week 1
Women's Swimming & Diving to Usher in New Era with Wisconsin Dual
Dr. Josh White recently concluded his seventh season on the Michigan coaching staff, serving the last three 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 seven years, his distance swimmers have won 16 Big Ten individual titles across the distance freestyle events (200, 500, 1,650), with another seven coming on the 800-yard freestyle relay. The distance program was instrumental in helping Michigan win its national championship in 2013, as its swimmers held four of the top nine spots in the 1,650-yard freestyle and five of the top 16 spots in the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships. One month earlier at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, Michigan placed 1-2-3-4 in the 1,650-yard freestyle, 1-3-4-6-9 in the 500-yard freestyle and 1-2-3-4-6 in the 200-yard freestyle. Additionally, White tutored the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Connor Jaeger, Anders Nielsen, Justin Glanda and Michael Wynalda to an NCAA record at the 2014 Big Ten Championships. He also mentored freshman 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. On the women's side, Gillian Ryan set a new program record in the 500-yard freestyle and ended the 2015 season with the second-fastest times in school history in both the 200-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle.
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 (2013-14: 1,650-yard freestyle, 2013: 500-yard freestyle) and winning two medals in international meets: a gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2013 FINA World Championships. Other top distance swimmers under White's watch include Ryan Feeley (2012 FINA Short Course World Championships), Sean Ryan (a gold medalist in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2013 World University Games, 2013 FINA World Championships), Nielsen (2014 Short Course World Championships, 2014 European Swimming Championships, 2012 Olympics) and women's swimmer Emily Brunemann (U.S. National Team). The Michigan and Club Wolverine contingent also placed three swimmers in the final of the 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 Trials including former Wolverine Matt Patton. Feeley was the highest placing NCAA athlete in this event finishing fifth. At the 2012 Olympic Games, White served as the head swimming coach for Barbados, coaching former University of Florida standout Bradley Ally in the 100-meter backstroke, and the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys.
Athletes coached by Dr. White have also had great success in Open Water competition. 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. White has coached athletes at each of the last three World Championships including every distance from the 5-25k. Ryan is a multiple U.S. National Team selection, winning a world championship in the 5K team race from the 2011 World Championships and finishing second in the 10K at the 2013 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships. Brunemann, the 2008 NCAA champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle, was coached by White in 2009 when she won the 10K at the US National Championships and in 2010 when she placed third at the Pan-Pacific Championships.
Prior to his arrival in Ann Arbor, White was head coach of the men's and women's swimming teams at Division-III Pomona-Pitzer (Claremont, Calif.) from 2006-08.
In 2006, White attained his Ph.D. in human performance from Indiana University, studying in the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming. His graduate research focused on the power generated during swimming and swimming power training. While pursuing his Ph.D. at IU, White spent three years as a volunteer assistant coach with the Hoosier men's swimming team. Additionally, White coached at Bloomington South (Ind.) High School and has club team experience with The Indiana Swim Team and Bloomington Swim Club.