ALISO VIEJO, Calif., July 5 – SOKA University’s Director of Aquatics and Head Swim Coach Dave Salo has announced the hiring of the Program’s first Assistant Coaches.
Legendary former-University of Michigan Head Coach and five-time Olympic Staff member Jon Urbanchek has been named Co-Director of Soka University Swim Camps and Assistant Coach for the University. In addition to assisting with the Soka University men’s and women’s teams, Urbanchek’s focus will be on coaching an elite-level distance training group in conjunction with the Irvine Novaquatics Swim Club, also led by Dave Salo.
Irvine Novaquatics Assistant Coach Adam Crossen has also been named Assistant Swim Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Crossen will handle coaching and recruiting responsibilities with the Soka University men’s and women’s teams, and will retain his position with the Novas in addition to his duties with Soka University.
According to Head Coach Salo, “With the hiring of Adam Crossen and the partnership between Soka University/Irvine Novaquatics and Jon Urbanchek, Soka University has positioned itself to compete with all-comers for the nation’s top swimming recruits. This may be the only university in the nation that can boast two USA Olympic Coaches as staff members.
“Combined with the knowledge and organizational skill of Crossen this staff will match the fire-power of even the most resource-rich programs in the country. Collegiate swimming is about attracting the best student-athletes. With this staff, Soka University will do just that, as we’ve put our resources into a coaching staff that may be regarded as the best “on-deck” coaches in the country.”
Special Thanks to the University of Michigan and Long Beach State University Athletic Media Relations Departments for their assistance with this information.
Co-Director of Soka Swim Camps
The compliment of Urbanchek’s history as a legendary distance coach and Coach Salo’s reputation for developing sprint and stroke talent can lead Soka University Aquatics to a level of performance unmatched by comparable programs.
Salo is happy to be reunited with his mentor. “It will be a great opportunity to work with Jon again. [Salo swam for Urbanchek at Long Beach State in Urbanchek’s first year of collegiate coaching]. There is no better on-deck coach in this country. Jon is the most systematic and methodical coach that I know.
“We are going to attract some outstanding young talent that wants to work with one of the best distance coaches in the history of our sport. The opportunity with Soka University will allow Jon to soak in the California sun, drink his Starbuck’s coffee and coach motivated athletes – all of which he does better than most!”
Urbanchek and Salo look forward to developing a west coast competitive swim camp that will excite young swimming athletes to excel.
Urbanchek began his coaching career in Southern California. Before going to Michigan as Head Coach, Urbanchek spent 1978-82 as the Head Coach at Long Beach State University, earning 1981 Pacific Coast Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors. Prior to entering the college ranks, Urbanchek enjoyed 15 successful years as the swimming and water polo coach at Anaheim High School in California.
But it was at Michigan that Urbanchek rose to national and international prominence. In his 22 years as the Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach at Michigan, Urbanchek guided the Wolverines to a total of 13 Big Ten Conference Championship titles, 10 of them in consecutive years (1986-95), and an NCAA National Championship in 1995. His teams lost just four Big Ten Conference dual meets, compared to his 100 victories, including a span of 42 straight league duals from 1988-89 to the end of the 1998-99 season. His numbers are nothing short of astounding, with Wolverines swimmers winning 35 NCAA titles and 146 Big Ten titles since 1983.
Urbanchek led Michigan to four straight NCAA top 3 finishes from 1993-96, including the Title in 1995, the only team to accomplish such a feat in that time span. The Wolverines finished in the Top 10 in 15 of the last 17 seasons at the NCAA Championships.
In 1995, Urbanchek placed himself in the NCAA record books, coaching the Wolverines to the NCAA National Championship title. It was Michigan's 11th such title, tying it with Ohio State for the national record. Urbanchek himself was a member of Michigan's 1958, 1959 and 1961 NCAA champion teams. He was named the 1995 NCAA Coach of the Year, after leading Gustavo Borges to his 10th national title and Tom Dolan to four NCAA titles and three American records over the weekend. Urbanchek received the 1995 Swimming Coach of the Year award from the American Swimming Coaches Association. In 1996, he received the Baton of Victory from the NCAA, honoring his 1995 national title.
Urbanchek served as an assistant coach on the US National Team in the last five Olympic Games (1984-2000), while joining many of his own swimmers at each Olympiad. Most recently at the 2000 Sydney games, Urbanchek saw three of his swimmers make the men's U.S. Olympic Team, in addition to six others on their respective national squads.
In total, 28 of Coach Urbanchek’s swimmers have made Olympic teams. The list is long and distinguished, and includes 1988 gold medalist Brent Lang, former world record-holder and 1992 gold medalist Mike Barrowman, former world record holder and 1996 and 2000 gold medalist Tom Dolan, former American record-holder and 1992 and 1996 silver medalist Eric Namesnik, four-time medalist Gustavo Borges, former world record holder and 1996 silver medalist and 2000 gold medalist Tom Malchow, and 2000 bronze medalists Chris Thompson and Marcel Wouda.
Awards to Urbanchek are many, including being named head coach of the United States' 1994 and 1998 World Championship teams. He has been honored as the 1995 NCAA Coach of the Year, the Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times, and the 1990 and 1995 United States Swimming Coach of the Year by his peers in the American Swimming Coaches Association.
Urbanchek’s Record at Long Beach St.
Year Overall Record PCAA Record PCAA Finish NCAA Finish PCAA Champions* NCAA Champions*
1979 N/A N/A 3rd 23rd 2 —
1980 N/A N/A 3rd 24th 4 —
1981 N/A N/A 2nd 26th 6 —
1982 N/A N/A 2nd 28th 5 —
Urbanchek’s Record at Michigan:
Year Overall Record Big Ten Record Big Ten Finish NCAA Finish Big Ten Champions* NCAA Champions*
1983 6-0 5-0 3rd 16th 2 —
1984 5-1 4-1 3rd 11th 2 —
1985 8-0 5-0 2nd 15th 2 —
1986 9-0 4-0 1st 25th 3 —
1987 9-0 6-0 1st 6th 11 —
1988 8-0 6-0 1st 5th 10 1
1989 10-1 5-1 1st 3rd 5 2
1990 10-2 6-0 1st 4th 8 3
1991 7-2 3-1 1st 6th 8 1
1992 9-1 5-0 1st 10th 5 2
1993 7-1 5-0 1st 2nd 15 5
1994 9-3 5-0 1st 3rd 9 3
1995 9-1 3-0 1st 1st 14 7
1996 8-1 5-0 2nd 3rd 5 4
1997 6-2 4-0 1st 7th 8 3
1998 4-1 3-0 2nd 12th 8 —
1999 4-4 3-1 3rd 8th 6 1
2000 8-2 5-0 1st 14th 5 1
2001 5-4 4-0 2nd 10th 3 2
2002 8-3 5-0 2nd 9th 6 —
2003 8-2 5-0 1st 9th 4 ^
2004 6-4 4-0 2nd 5th 7 3
Total 163-34 (.827) 100-4 (.962) — — 146 38
* Total refers to events won, rather than individuals, includes winning relay teams.
^ Does not include diving championships
Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
Salo is excited about adding Crossen to the University’s staff. “In his own right, Adam stands alone as one of the top collegiate assistant coaches in the country. His experience as an athlete at the University of Southern California and as an assistant coach in such storied programs as Auburn University and Cal Berkeley make him uniquely qualified to help lead a program to success.
“Adam has worked the decks with some of the finest college coaches in the country – Dave Marsh, Mark Schubert, Teri McKeever, Nort Thornton. I don’t know anyone who knows the sport and its’ the participants as well as Adam. Crossen is knowledgeable, organized and enthusiastic about building a respected first rate aquatics program at Soka University.
Crossen has moved quickly up the ranks of distinguished young coaches. He currently is the Senior Team Assistant Coach for the Novaquatics, preparing Olympic medal hopefuls Lenny Krayzelberg, Jason Lezak, Dave Denniston, Brad Schumacher and Stacianna Stitts for the US Olympic Trials. In addition to his coaching duties he will monitor all operations and logistical aspects of the Novas’ 22 qualifiers for this month’s Trials in Long Beach, CA. He was also the Director of the USA Swimming 2004 Select Camp for the Western region held at Soka University.
Crossen came to the Novas from Cal, where he was Women’s Swimming Assistant Coach. Crossen coached all strokes and was recruiting coordinator during his stint at Cal, where the Bears were a Top-10 NCAA finisher each season. Prior to Cal, Crossen was a graduate assistant coach at Auburn, where he earned his M. Ed in Exercise Physiology while part of the coaching staff that won the 2000 Men’s NCAA National Championship team.
Crossen competed as a collegian at USC. He was a PAC-10 Finalist as a swimmer, and a member of both USC’s and the PAC-10’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.