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This Week in Michigan Women's Swimming & Diving
Deck Pass Blog: Week 1
Rick Bishop wrapped up his third 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 helped the women's program jump 14 spots at the NCAA Championships (36th in 2013 to 22nd in 2015), while also coaching on deck for the men's program's NCAA Championship in 2013.
The women's team made huge improvements during the 2014-15 season, leading to a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, its highest since 2010. Led by one of the top freshmen classes in the nation, Michigan set nine program records during the season (six individual, three relay, five of which are held by freshmen. Clara Smiddy, a four-time NCAA All-America Honorable Mention in 2015, holds three of them (200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke) and contributed to all three relay records. Additionally, Emily Kopas broke the 20-year old school record in the 200-yard breaststroke (and became only the second U-M swimmer to ever crack the one-minute barrier in the 100-yard breaststroke), while junior Ali DeLoof broke the 18-year old school record in the 100-yrad freestyle.
Prior to coming to Michigan, Bishop spent the last 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, as well as coordinating participation efforts for Team USA at the upcoming FINA World Cup.
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.
Bishop began his coaching career by serving a three-year stint as an assistant men's swimming coach at Harvard (1988-91) before moving to the University of Memphis Tiger Swimming (MTS) Club (1992-96), where he coached six swimmers to the Top 50 of the world rankings between 1994 and 1995.
In 1998, Bishop moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he began a four-year stint as an assistant coach for The Bolles School, a private college preparatory day and boarding school. He assisted with high school national championship and state championship teams, coached high school All-Americans and U.S. Nationals finalists, and was co-Director of The Bolles School Summer Swim Camps. He went on to serve as head coach and aquatics director at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., beginning in 2002, and also served as program director for the Baylor Swim Club, the school's club team. In 2004, Bishop guided Baylor to a first-place finish (combined team) at the Tennessee State High School Championships, and coached 20 men's and women's All-Americans from 2003-04.
Bishop returned to The Bolles School in 2006 as head coach of the high school team and aquatics director of the club team, the Bolles Sharks. In his first year, both his boys and girls teams won the Florida High School 1A State Championship. The next year, in 2007, Bishop guided Bolles to a second-place finish at the 2007 USA Swimming Spring Championships (combined team), with Bishop guiding four Olympic Trials qualifiers and five swimmers ranked in the Top 105 in the world rankings.
Bishop attended the University of Massachusetts (1988), receiving his B.S. in exercise science, with a concentration in exercise physiology. At UMass, Bishop was team captain on the first team championship in the program's history (1987).
Bishop and his wife, Pamela, have three sons - Liam, Aidan, and Kilian