#30MostSwimfluential: Jon Urbanchek

Photo Courtesy: Greg Smith - USA Today Sports

Who is Jon Urbanchek?

  • Best known for serving 22 years as head coach at the University of Michigan.
  • Has coached alongside some of the nation’s finest coaches including Bob Bowman, Dave Salo, and Mike Bottom.
  • Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on July 6, 2008 (the 18th Wolverine in history).
  • Led the Wolverines to 13 Big Ten titles including ten consecutive titles during the “Decade of Dominance” from 1986-95. The team maintained a top three finish at every Big Ten Conference meet during Urbanchek’s career.
  • Named “Coach of The Year” by the NCAA and the American Swimming Coaches Association in 1995.
  • Inducted into the Michigan State Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

How did he influence the swimming community?

Jon Urbanchek guided 44 of his swimmers at Michigan to represent their countries at the Olympic level. Since his retirement from the college team, Urbanchek has distributed his knowledge and success working with the elite swimmers at Club Wolverine, as well as becoming the assistant coach at USC. In 2014, he was named the recipient of the Speedo Lifetime Achievement Award; an award presented to an individual who has accomplished success within the sport while applying the educational and character-building qualities of the collegiate swimming experience.

*USA Swimming and Speedo invited the swimming community to help celebrate their 30 years of partnership by voting for the “30 Most Influential People in Swimming Over the Past 30 Years.” Votes were cast through social media with the hashtag #30MostSwimfluential and the final vote came from a panel of 10 judges selected by USA Swimming and Speedo. All 30 nominees have had a powerful impact on the swimming community. Many are recognizable names, but some have remained unsung heroes of the sport. Swimming World will profile each swimfluential person over the course of the week.

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