July 14, 2011
Each weekday in the month of July, MGoBlue.com will feature an interview with a U-M head coach. Long-time women's swimming and diving head coach Jim Richardson talks about the demands of swimming, the recruiting season, fly fishing and his Sudoku game.
What makes the summer in women's swimming and diving so unique?
It's year round. They get three weeks off the entire year. As soon as the collegiate season is over, they are back in getting prepared for the sectional championships or the national championships, one or the other. They'll get some time off in early August to just relax and not worry about meets. Swimming is a demanding, demanding sport.
Why are the summer months so important to the development of your team?
Well, number one is long-course training. You aren't in class, so you have a little more time to relax after workouts. We can get more work done at a higher level, and that allows for us to improve.
What do you see as the team's biggest strength heading into next season?
First and foremost, we have a great group of young women. They are a great team that has an awesome culture. That, to me, is the most important thing. We've got the right people on the bus. With that said, we need to work very hard to try and find people who get it the way we get it, who want everything that Michigan has to offer. This is a very important recruiting year for us because we graduate a very good senior class, so we hope to be able to find people who fit our culture.
What was your first summer job?
I had a number of jobs. I started as a paperboy, and that was year-round. I mowed lawns. From my swimming, I began to learn how to take care of pools. Lifeguarding at a public pool and teaching lessons. Those kind of all evolved.
Do you or did you have any special travel plans this summer?
Absolutely not. We're tired up until mid-August. My wife injured her knee, so any plans we initially had were put on the wayside. I'll probably drive up to the Muskegon River, put on my waders and climb into the river, just let the water pull on me, and see if I can fool a trout with a fly.
Tell us one unique thing you've done since the season ended?
My Sudoku game has really gone down. It has not been great. I've lost a little bit of that. I try to do one of those a day. As soon as camps are over, I have a reading list that I want to get into.
Past MGoBlue.com Summer Sessions
Head Volleyball Coach Mark Rosen (July 13)
Head Men's Soccer Coach Steve Burns (July 12)
Head Women's Cross Country Coach Mike McGuire (July 11)
Head Men's Cross Country Coach Alex Gibby (July 11)
Head Women's Soccer Coach Greg Ryan (July 8)
Head Men's Tennis Coach Bruce Berque (July 7)
Head Men's Track & Field Coach Fred LaPlante (July 6)
Head Water Polo Coach Matt Anderson (July 5)
Head Men's Swimming & Diving Coach Mike Bottom (July 1)