Longtime Michigan swimming and diving coach Mike Bottom to retire this summer

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Michigan athletics is saying goodbye to another coaching legend.

Mike Bottom, who has been coach of the Michigan men's swimming and diving teams for 15 seasons and coach of the combined men's and women's teams for 11 seasons, has announced his retirement. Athletic director Warde Manuel made the announcement Wednesday.

Michigan swimming and diving coach Mike Bottom, who led the men's team to a national title in 2013, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Bottom's last day will be Aug. 4. He will remain as coach while the university launches a search for his replacement.

"My excitement moves to cheering on future success," Bottom said in a statement Wednesday. "In the coming weeks, I will enjoy being part of our summer national and international pursuits. I am excited to pass the helm to a fresh new leader who will win championships and mentor champions. I am so grateful for the leadership of Warde Manuel and (associate athletic director) Rob Rademacher over these past years and the growth partnerships that I've enjoyed with so many coaches and staff members. Go Blue!"

At Michigan, Bottom was a nine-time Big Ten coach of the year, and had a 111-13-1 duals record with the men and a 74-19 duals record with the women. He led the men to a 2013 national championship, and won nine Big Ten championships with the men and three with the women. He coached nine individual national champions.

He was an advocate not just for Michigan but the entire swimming community. He was an outspoken critic of Michigan State for deciding to eliminate the swimming and diving programs in 2020.

Bottom came to Michigan after serving as co-head coach at Cal-Berkeley from 1997 through 2008, and before that was an assistant coach at Southern California and Auburn. Bottom has coached in six Olympics, and he was head coach for Team USA in the 2013 and 2015 World University Games.

Bottom's news follows the retirement of legendary softball coach Carol Hutchins last year. He also follows the recent retirement of legendary Oakland swimming and diving coach Pete Hovland.

"Today, Mike Bottom informed us that he plans to retire from full-time coaching," Manuel said Wednesday. "An Olympic-caliber coach, Mike sustained Michigan's legacy of success in the pool for many years and will always be remembered for stewarding great success in men's and women's swimming and capturing the 2013 men's national championship. I deep appreciate his passion for the sport, his love of UM, and his willingness to continue leading the program while we search for his replacement."

Bottom was a swimmer at Southern California from 1975-77, winning an NCAA title in the 400-medley relay in 1976. He was a five-time All-American, and earned a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team.

Bottom, 67, a native of Akron, Ohio, signed a five-year contract extension just last year that is worth more than $1 million, or $200,000 a year. In 2008, Michigan hired Bottom to succeed Bob Bowman, who was best known for coaching Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984