Michigan Finalizes Coaching Staff; Big Ten Diver of Year Ross Todd to Return for Fifth Season

canham natatorium Michigan Swim Camp
Photo Courtesy: University of Michigan

University of Michigan swimming and diving head coach Mike Bottom announced the 2021-22 Wolverine coaching staff on Wednesday (Aug. 4), with Priscilla Barletta being named a new assistant coach, while Cauli Bedran has been elevated to assistant coach. 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver-medal winning diver Michael Hixon returns to the staff for the upcoming campaign and Ksenia Gromova joins the staff as a volunteer.

Meanwhile, Big Ten Diver of the Year Ross Todd will take his extra year of eligibility.

Barletta comes to U-M by way of Penn State, where she has served as an assistant men’s and women’s coach since 2019. While in State College, Barletta worked with the distance group, developing the backstroke and freestyle workouts for 2021 400-yard individual medley Big Ten Champion Michael Daly. The Nittany Lions earned the most points in program history at the Big Ten Championships in 2021 and sent seven swimmers to the NCAA Championships.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the Michigan family,” said Barletta. “I would like to give my sincere thanks to Mike Bottom for giving me this opportunity to be part of such a prominent program that is so rich in success and tradition. I can’t wait to start working with the team and staff and continue to strengthen the legacy of Michigan swimming and diving.”

Prior to her time at Penn State, Barletta spent two seasons at Army West Point, leading the distance group and serving as the lead recruiter for the east coast. While there, she helped Army set 42 team records and win 13 individual Patriot League championships over two years. Before West Point, Barletta also spent a season working at the University of Connecticut as the sprint and middle distance coach.

After serving Michigan as a volunteer assistant since 2018, Bedran is being elevated to the full-time staff. In his time with U-M, Bedran has helped with the sprint group in addition to recruiting. During that time, Cauli helped develop school record holders in both the men’s and women’s 100 freestyle.  He also traveled to the World University Games in Naples, Italy, as a coach with his native country of Brazil.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to continue coaching at Michigan for the long term,” said Bedran. “My time here has been incredible in both my growth as a coach and in the relationships that I have developed with the amazing Wolverine student-athletes.”

Prior to Michigan, Bedran served as assistant at Bowling Green State University, where he led recruiting and operations. He was previously the head coach at Olivet College.

After competing at Wayne State University as a student-athlete, Bedran stayed on at his alma mater, helping coach WSU to 13 NCAA DII records.

In the summer of 2018, Cauli joined the University of Michigan coaching staff as a volunteer assistant and jumped into the U-M program just in time to travel home as a coach for team Brazil at the World University Games in Naples and has been part of the program’s many successes since.

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“Every person on this team would agree that we have all gotten better in Cauli’s presence over the last three years, and we couldn’t be more excited that he is here for the long haul,” said Bottom.

Returning to the staff for the 2021-22 campaign is graduate assistant and two-time Team USA diving silver medalist Hixon. He, who joined the staff for 2020-21 while attending graduate school in the Ross School of Business, won NCAA Diver of the Year as a freshman at Texas and went on to win the one-meter dive as a senior at Indiana three years later. The Amherst, Mass., native trained with Wolverine diving coach Mike Hilde with Team USA in Tokyo.

Also joining the staff as the team’s new volunteer assistant is Gromova, who comes to Ann Arbor from Duquesne University. Gromova’s coaching career began in 2015, with the milestone of her coaching journey coming as the head coach at Lindenwood Belleville for two seasons (2017-19). While there, her men’s team saw three individual national championship titles, while the women’s team had the highest GPA in the NAIA.

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