Michigan Hires Bottom

The University of Michigan athletics department announced Tuesday (June 10) the hiring of Mike Bottom as its new men's swimming head coach. The ninth head coach in the 87-year history of the U-M men's swimming program, Bottom will assume head coaching duties on July 1, replacing Bob Bowman, who announced in April that he will leave U-M in July after the U.S. Olympic Trials and return to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club as chief executive officer following the Beijing Olympics.  Bowman and Bottom were seen during the recent Mutual of Omaha Swimtational discussing the transition.

Bottom has extensive collegiate and international coaching experience. He coached at each of the last three Olympic Games and has spent 17 years in the collegiate ranks. He has been with The Race Club in Tavernier, Fla., since 2003 and has served as head coach of the World Team, its elite level training group. Among his most notable protégés is 10-time Olympic medalist Gary Hall Jr.

"I'm really excited to be part of the Michigan tradition," Bottom said. "I look forward to incorporating my expertise to help build on that tradition and enhance the strong program established by my predecessors."

In each of the last two Olympic Games, Bottom coached the top two finishers in the 50-meter freestyle, with Hall (USA) and Duje Draganja (Croatia) placing 1-2 in 2004 (Athens) and Anthony Ervin (USA) and Hall tying for the gold medal in 2000 (Sydney). In the past three Olympiads, nine of the 18 medals awarded in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events have been won by Bottom's swimmers. In the year leading into the 2004 Olympics, six of the world's top 10 50-meter sprinters were coached by Bottom.

"Mike is recognized internationally as one of the finest swimming coaches in the world, and we are extremely excited to have him join the Michigan family," said U-M athletics director Bill Martin. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will enhance the tradition of excellence Michigan swimming is known for."

At the NCAA level, Bottom has mentored individuals in every stroke to 17 national titles. He has learned from the best in his sport, coaching alongside the likes of Doc Counsilman (Indiana), George Haines (UCLA, three-time Olympic head coach), Peter Daland (USC, two-time Olympic head coach), Mark Schubert (USA Swimming national team head coach, USC) and Nort Thornton (Cal).

Bottom spent 10 seasons (1997-2007) at California, serving as co-head coach of the men's team alongside Thornton. In the last of four years as the Southern California men's and women's assistant coach (1994-97), Bottom helped the women's team to its first NCAA championship. Prior to that, he spent four years with the Auburn men's and women's squads, coaching with David Marsh.

Since 1987, Bottom has directed BottomLine Aquatics, a start-up company dedicated to promoting health and growth in individuals of all ages. Initiatives range from after-school care programs for children ages 4-11, fundraisers, and instructional classes for beginners to elite level swimmers.

A member of the 1980 United States Olympic team, Bottom was a world record-holder in the 400-meter freestyle relay. A four-time USA National team member, he was part of three NCAA champion teams (1975-77) at USC and was an NCAA medley relay champion and five-time All-American.

Bottom is a charter member of the American College Counseling Association, a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Swim Coaches Association and College Swim Coaches Association of America. He is also certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors.

Following the 1980 Olympic boycott, Bottom spent 10 years in the business world, including positions with Pacific Bell in San Ramon, Calif., as a systems analyst (1984-90), and with Utah International, Inc., in San Francisco as an internal controls analyst (1982-84).

Bottom received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California (1978) where he graduated with the highest grade-point average among student-athletes and was a health advocate and peer counselor. In 1993, he graduated summa cum laude with a master's degree in counseling psychology from Auburn University. From 1995-98, he completed all course work for a Ph.D. in sport psychology.