ANN ARBOR, Michigan, June 10. LATER today it is expected that the University of Michigan will announce that Mike Bottom has been named Bob Bowman's replacement as the head men's swimming for the Wolverines.
Although the move to a top-flight sprint coach is a bit of a departure from Michigan's usual distance-first mentality, Jon Urbanchek will remain on staff for at least two more years to uphold the distance tradition at Michigan.
Bowman will leave Michigan after the 2008 Beijing Olympics and return to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club as the club's Chief Executive Officer.
Bottom most recently has been coaching at The Race Club in Florida, where has been coaching the likes of Gary Hall Jr., Duje Draganja, Nathan Adrian and George Bovell.
Prior to joining The Race Club, Bottom coached at the University of California with Nort Thornton before Thornton officially retired in the past year. During his time with the Golden Bears, Bottom established himself as one of the world's top coaches. The team finished eighth place or better at NCAA championships and second place at the Pac-10 Championships.
Prior to his joining Thornton at Cal, Mike coached four years at USC with Olympic coach and now USA Swimming Team Head Coach & General Manager, Mark Schubert. In Bottom's final season at USC, with the help of a strong women's sprint core, USC won its only women's NCAA Championship to date.
For more than a decade Bottom has coached at The Race Club. In the past three Olympiads, one-half (nine) of the 18 medals awarded in the men's sprint freestyle events (50m and100m) have been won by athletes that he has coached. Bottom took a group of 13 swimmers to Europe for a training camp and international competition circuit. After winning the European championships Cal's Bart Kizierowski was number one in the world, Duje Draganja was a silver and bronze medalist in the same competition. During the summer of 2004 he coached 10 swimmers from eight different countries at the Olympic Games in Athens.
In two FINA World Championships (2005 Long Course and 2006 Short Course) all the medals won in the 50 freestyle swimmers had been coached by Bottom. Although he is known world wide for coaching sprinters, 12 of the 18 school records at Cal are held by athletes that Bottom personally coached. He has coached an NCAA champion in every stroke. Senior Henrique Barbosa, won both the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke at the 2006 Championships.
At the 2005 NCAA Championships, Draganja won the 100 yard freestyle with a new NCAA record of 41.49. In the past eight NCAA Championships, Bottom's swimmers have claimed six of the 100 freestyle titles. Cal capped the 2005 NCAA Championships by winning the 400 yard freestyle relay in 2:47.70, which established an NCAA and U.S. Open record. The Bears set the previous record of 2:48.99 in 2003. Bottom's sprinters also claimed the 200 yard freestyle relay with an NCAA Record and were victorious in the 200 yard medley relay.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Bottom served as the Croatian Team Olympic Coach and personal coach to Gary Hall, Jr. In the 50-meter free, gold medalist Gary Hall, Jr. and silver medalist, former Golden Bear, Draganja, were separated by only one-hundredth of a second. Six of the 50-meter sprinters ranked in the World's Top 10 during the Olympic year were all coached by Bottom.
In the 2004 NCAA Championships, Draganja took second in the 100-meter free (46.64) and 100 butterfly (51.57) behind a pair of world records. He was also fourth in the 50 free (21.61). Teammate Milorad Cavic (50.81) and Draganja (51.56) finished 2-3 in the 100 butterfly. Cal's 400 freestyle relay team took second (3:10.68).
At the 2003 NCAA meet, Draganja out touched teammate Anthony Ervin for a 1-2 finish in the 100 freestyle to mark the fifth straight time that Cal's sprinters, coached by Bottom, had won the 100 free at the NCAA championship. The Bears' 4×100 free relay team also claimed a championship title with the then-fastest time in NCAA history (3:48.99).
At the 2003 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Bottom coached athletes from seven countries. Former Bear Gordan Kozulj finished second in the 200 backstroke, while Cavic and Alex Lim finished eighth in the 100 free and 100 backstroke, respectively.
During the summer of 2002, Bottom traveled to Europe with 14 athletes to establish a training base in Split, Croatia. He also served as the official coach of both the Croatian and Polish teams at the 2002 European Championships, where he coached two former Bears to gold medals (Kozulj '00 – won the 200 backstroke; Bart Kizierowski '01 – won the 50 freestyle). He also coached Draganja to a bronze medal in the 100 free, in which he set a national Croatian record.
During the summer of 2001, Bottom was selected to be an assistant coach for the United States at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, where several of the sprinters Bottom has coached excelled. Ervin won both the 50 and 100-meter freestyle; South Africa's Roland Schoeman was third in the 50 free (first medal ever for South Africa at a world championship) and fourth in the 50 butterfly. Sweden's Therese Alshammar won the silver medal in the women's 50 free and 50 fly.
Bottom was the assistant coach for the World Team that finished second at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Poland's Kizierowski won the 50 free and 50 back, breaking a Goodwill Games record and two Polish national records in the process. Kizierowski also won the 50 freestyle and was second in the 100 freestyle at the University Games in Beijing, China. In the 50 free at the 2001 summer US Nationals, Hall won the gold medal and three of Bottom's other swimmers finished in the top nine. Lim won both the 100 and 200 back at the South East Asian Games held in Malaysia. Bottom was also the head coach for team Stars and Stripes at the first-ever Norvo Nordisc Sprint Challenge. His team, made up of men and women from the United States won the competition against strong European and World teams.
At the 2000 NCAA Bottom coached Anthony Ervin to wins in both the 50 and 100-meter freestyle. Then in 2001, Ervin repeated as the NCAA champion in the 100 free, tying the legendary Matt Biondi with a time of 41.80.
At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, history was made in the premier sprint swimming event the 50 meter Freestyle. Two US Athletes, Gary Hall, Jr. and Anthony Ervin finished in a first ever tie for the Gold Medal. Gary and Anthony as well as the 5th place finisher Bart Kizierowski from Poland all swam for Bottom.
Bottom also held a coaching stint at Auburn from 1991-94. He created the ultra sprint program, taking two then unheard-of athletes, Bill Pilczuk and Dean Hutchinson, to the NCAA finals. He assisted in the rise of the Auburn men's team that won the 1997 and 1999 NCAA titles.
Bottom graduated Summa Cum Laude from USC with a bachelor's degree in psychology and received the Scholar-Athlete Award for the graduating athlete with the highest GPA. He received a master's degree in counseling at Auburn. Bottom, a member of three NCAA Championship teams at USC, was an Olympic team member and was on a world record 400 free relay.
Special thanks to California for contributing to this report.