For those of you who swam, follow swimming, care about swimming, care about all of Michigan's sports here is an interview with Tyler Clary. Since most of you probably don't know too much about him here is a brief synopsis: He is from Cali and was a VERY highly recruited swimmer. He had a great freshman season (2 years ago) and was in the running for NCAA freshman of the year and should have won Big 10 freshman of the year (he finished second behind a diver). This past year (his sophmore season) he won 2 NCAA individual titles, the 400 IM and the 200 backstroke (and got 2nd in the 200 IM, his first race of the meet). In the process he broke Michael Phelp's American Record in the 400 IM and posted the second fastest time in the 200 backstroke behind Ryan Lochte of the olympian fame. Now these records need to be put into context for many of you who are going "WTF he's faster than Phelps?!?!" In short, the answer is no, but he has the potential to medal in London. The times that he posted were short course (25 yard pool) which is not usually swum by elite swimmers (most elite competitions take place in long course pools which are 50 meters ie. Olympics). Most swimmers in short course meets are not shaved or tapered so the times that he swam were in a different situation than those of Phelps and Lochte. I added that last part as a clarification, not to diminish his achievements. Simply put, he is the best swimmer on the Michigan team. Now that I have given a little background here's an interview with him:
Interview w/ Tyler Clary (Mens Swimming)
sprint events will go? any word on why BM went with Bottom? can M retain it's distance tradition at all while building the sprint distance performance?
They hired bottom knowing that Urbanchek one of the former coaches and a legend would accept a volunteer position helping out with the distance swimmers, his specialty. That combined with Bottom's expertise in sprints will make for a very good team in the future. That being said Bottom can and will help contribute to the Olympic Tradition of Michigan Swimming (he is planning on starting up an elite group much like Bowman did during his time in AA). As for the future, Josh White is a VERY good coach, and is Bottom's assistant. He is in the office with Bottom every morning and stays well into the night (Bottom has 2 young daughters, White doesn't). White is a very well educated (PhD in human performance), experienced as a coach (Head coach for Pomona-Pitzer D3), and well respected. He is a young likeable guy who gets along well with everyone and is expected to take over the distance training (he works closely with Urbanchek currently). I personally believe that M can and WILL maintain its dominance in the distance events with its recruiting which you can take a look at in the following link: Michigan Recruiting 2009
As an observer of multiple practices and meets I really like what Bottom brings. Watching his practices makes me want to hop back in the pool and give it my all. He varies things greatly and focuses on valuable yardage while intertwining different aspects of a workout. He focuses on all of the details, from start to early stroke, to midrace stroke to finish. If someone wants to stay after practice and work on something with him, he will stay. He is dedicated to helping these kids get better. That being said, the kids absolutely love him. He is much more personable than Bowman was (that is a conversation for another day) and interacts very well with the kids. The swimmers also love his workouts and his style, especially when he turns the pool to 12.5 yards and yells at them asking "Who's gonna break the World Record today?!" It's fun to be around and watch and I can't wait too see the results.
so Urbancheck is still with the team as a volunteer? I mean I figured he wouldn't move elsewhere, but I didn't think he would stay on the staff...
Well he was still around for a while until Bowman came. Then after Bowman came there was no "need" for him to stick around because Bowman's specialty was distance swimming also (among other reasons related to Bowman). IIRC Jon was here and there for a few years, helping USA Swimming out (such as at USC). Towards the Olympics he came back to AA and was helping coach the Olympic Program for Club Wolverine/U of M Swimming.
Bottom spoke to him about remaining on as a volunteer assistant coach and he agreed to stay here for two years to help smooth the transition. Now whether or not he leaves after 2 years is another question entirely, but he will be here for at least one more. I personally think he'll stay, he loves AA, the swimmers and swimming in general to leave. But who am I to know?
He is much more personable than Bowman was (that is a conversation for another day) and interacts very well with the kids.
One of the biggest complaints about Bowman, especially from the swimmers, was his independent nature. He did not feel the need to bond with the kids or impress them, simply stated: he was the coach. In speaking with swimmers, Bottom takes time to talk to his captains every day, goes out of his way to speak to and learn about the swimmers and genuinely cares about them. It has been rumored (I cannot be the one to confirm it wink wink) that he has gone out with the boys for a drink or two a few times to "hang out" with them, something that Bowman would have never done. On a similar note, this attitude clearly shows in coaching style. Bowman was notorious for writing Michael's practices and then tailoring them slightly to the Michigan Swimmers, something that did not sit well with them. Like I have mentioned previously, Bottom takes time to know how his swimmers are doing and tailors practices, sometimes as he goes, based on how they're feeling. Another reason may have been his coaching style. Bowman liked to pack in the yardage and work the swimmers hard, which works but doesn't get swimmers very endearing of you. Bottom on the other hand varies workouts and makes things fun which combined with his personality makes the swimmers like him. Either way, both are good coaches, just ones with different styles. It was clear once Bowman was hired that it wouldn't be for the long term. His motive was to prove his mettle on a coaching level and oversee Michael for the duration of what should have been his college (academic) career (it was very very shortlived). Bowman achieved what he set out to do and returned to what he likes best, coaching a few elite swimmers, which he believes is where he belongs. He happened to step on a few toes along the way.
Another unconfirmed rumor has it Mike Bottom used to blaze with Gary Hall Jr. and Anthony Ervin.
As for Bowman, I would guess BM willingly hired him for the short-term knowing that he and Michael Phelps would be a package deal. Phelps was the real prize; prospective recruits went to AA knowing they would swim WITH the best, which means more than going to a school where they could train FOR the best. Urbanchek understood the intrasquad competition between his top swimmers motivated them more than he could ever dream.
"That being said Bottom can and will help contribute to the Olympic Tradition of Michigan Swimming (he is planning on starting up an elite group much like Bowman did during his time in AA)."
Olympic tradition and an "elite group" (I assume you mean Club Wolverine) long preceded Bowman's brief time in AA. CW has been around forever, and I'm guessing it was formed under Urbanchek. CW somewhat scandalously allows for coaches to train/recruit high school swimmers before they commit to Michigan.
Also, Urbanchek will roam the deck of Canham until the day he dies. Anybody who has ever met him knows this for fact.
There were Olympic swimmers at Michigan before yes, but they were either currently swimming on the team or had swum on the team. I'm talking about Bowman essentially recruiting swimmers to come swim for his elite program ie. Erik Vendt, Kaitlin Sandeno, Klete Keller. That is what bottom is trying to do, although with a more foreign taste, much like he did at the Race Club down in Florida.
is swimming the one with water?