University of Michigan Men’s and Women’s Swimming to Merge; Mike Bottom to Serve as Head Coach

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, August 10. MIKE Bottom is set to become head coach of the newly-merged men's and women's swimming teams at the University of Michigan, the school announced today.

Bottom has been coach of the men's team since 2008, but the women's team has been without a permanent head coach since longtime coach Jim Richardson announced his retirement in May after 27 years there.

The announcement makes Michigan the second major Division I university to merge its women's and men's programs this year. The University of Tennessee did the same thing in April when Matt Kredich took over both squads.

“This is really a great opportunity and advantage for both of our programs, and the student-athletes should be the ultimate beneficiary,” said Bottom. “We will have the opportunity to add excellent coaches to our current staff. We can combine the administrative work that has been done by both the men's and women's staffs and allow the coaches to focus more on the training, coaching and mentoring of the student-athletes. The future looks bright for the men and women associated with Michigan Swimming and Diving.”

This would be Bottom's first time as head coach of a collegiate women's team. Before he arrived in Ann Arbor, he was co-head coach of the men's team at UC-Berkeley from 1997 to 2007, and assistant coach for the men's and women's teams at the University of Southern California form 1994 to 1997. His first collegiate coaching gig was assistant coach of the combined teams at Auburn University from 1991 to 1994.

In addition to his coaching duties, Bottom was the head coach of The Race Club, which was started by Gary Hall Sr. in Florida as a training ground for postgraduates aspiring to Olympic glory. Among the Olympic medalists he guided there were Gary Hall Jr., Anthony Ervin, Milorad Cavic and Nathan Adrian.

According to a source at the university, Josh White is set to become the men's team associate head coach. White had been assistant men's coach at Michigan for three years. The men's and women's teams will train separately for the most part, though some practices are expected to overlap.

Rick Bishop has been named as associate head coach, though it's unclear if he will be solely responsible for the women's team or if he will divide duties between both teams. Bishop's previous coaching experience includes stints at the Bolles School and the Baylor School. He has also been working as Sports Performance Consultant for USA Swimming.

Additional hires for assistant coaches are expected to be announced soon.

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