13 Big Ten
years as head coach, Jon Urbanchek has
made himself a permanent fixture in the
Michigan history books. He has maintained the respect and
achieved the stature famed Michigan
coaches Matt Mann and Gus Stager
initiated dating back to the 1920s, and will
continue to be considered one of the finest swimming
coaches ever to grace the pool deck.
those 22 years, Urbanchek has helped guide
the Wolverines to a total of 13 Big Ten Conference Championship
titles, 10 of them in consecutive
years (1986-95). His teams have lost just four Big Ten Conference dual meets, and won 42 straight Big Ten
Conference dual meets from
1988-89 to the end of the 1998-99 season.
His numbers are nothing short of astounding,
with Wolverines winning 35 NCAA titles
and 139 Big Ten titles since 1983.
1995, Urbanchek placed himself in the NCAA
record books, coaching the Wolverines to
the NCAA National Championship title. It was
Michigan's 11th such title, tying it with Ohio
national record. Urbanchek
1958,1959 and 1961 NCAA champion
teams. He was named the 1995 NCAA Coach of the Year, after
leading Gustavo Borges to his 10th national title and Tom Dolan
to four NCAA titles and three American records over the weekend.
also received the 1995 Swimming
Coach of the Year award from the American Swimming Coaches Association.
Recognized by his peers, Urbanchek earned the
honor based on his successes both nationally
and internationally as an American coach.
1996, he received the Baton of Victory from the NCAA, honoring his 1995
national title. His team placed third at the NCAA Championship that
year, as his Wolverines won
a fourth straight 800-yard freestyle relay title, breaking a 12-year-old
American record in
the process. In 1997, Michigan won a record fifth
straight NCAA title in the distance relay, while
senior captain John Piersma won the 500-
and 1,650-yard freestyles, giving the Wolverines
their third straight NCAA titles in both events.
The past five Olympics have taken on a Maize and Blue tint with Urbanchek serving as an assistant coach while joining many of his own swimmers. Most recently at the 2000 Sydney Games, Urbanchek placed three Wolverines on the men's U.S. Olympic Team, in addition to six others on their respective national squads. All told, 28 of his swimmers have made Olympic teams.
swimmers consistently earn spots
on various United States teams and represent
the country world-wide. Seven swimmers
with Maize and Blue ties were at the 1998 World Championships in
Perth, Australia. Former
Wolverines Marcel Wouda and Tom Dolan
swept the 200- and 400-meter individual
medley gold medals, while Wouda added a silver
in the 400-meter IM.
Malchow also won the 200-meter butterfly
for his alma mater, Urbanchek's ties
to the University of Michigan enhance the rich tradition of
Wolverine swimming. A member
of the team from 1958-62, he contributed to three NCAA champion
teams and placed second in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the
1959 NCAA meet.
1978-82, he was the mentor at Long Beach State University, and in 1981
he earned Pacific
Coast Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors. Prior to his
collegiate coaching, Urbanchek
enjoyed 15 successful years as the swimming and water polo coach
at Anaheim High
School in California.
and his wife, Melanie, reside in Ann Arbor. Their daughter, Kirsten, is
a 1991 Michigan
graduate and lives in Pittsburgh, PA.