The Ohio State University will combine their men's and women's swimming teams under Bill Dorenkott. The move was largely expected considering the quick application deadline for the position.
The move continues a trend towards consolodation that has largely left only the most accomplished programs separate.
“I am humbled and honored to be presented with this opportunity,” Dorenkott said. “The tradition that is Ohio State swimming and diving is unparalleled. Our goal is to build on the legacy of the athletes and coaches who have worn the Scarlet and Gray. We will do it with the relentless pursuit of excellence in the classroom, the pool and all of our endeavors. We will build a program that all of Buckeye Nation will be proud to call their own.”
While the university touted the fact that combined programs appeared to excel at the NCAA Championships, a disprorportionate share of NCAA Championship teams have come from separate programs. Since 2013, separate programs (which now number fewer than 20% of Division I teams) accounted for 60% of the NCAA Division I Championships and top-four finishes.
“We are excited to announce Bill Dorenkott has been promoted to Ohio State Director of Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving for our newly combined program,” Shelton said. “Bill’s passion for developing young people, operating a program with integrity and his overall commitment to enhancing student-athletes’ collegiate experience make this transition the right thing to do for the Buckeye swimming and diving program.”
“Bill has shown in his nine years as a Buckeye that he is an excellent coach and leader for our student-athletes,” Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith said. “I can’t think of anybody better suited to lead our newly combined program than him. We are eager and excited to see him build upon the storied legacy and tradition of Ohio State swimming and diving as it enters this new chapter.”
Ohio State’s men’s swimming program is one of the most prestigious and successful in the history of the sport. Its 11 NCAA Championships are third-most in the history of college swimming and its 119 individual champions rank fifth. The Buckeyes have claimed 202 Big Ten titles in their history and 13 team championships, the most recent coming in 2010. In 2015 USA Today named Ohio State the number one school in the country for men’s swimming.
“I am grateful to Gene Smith and TJ Shelton for their trust and their vision,” said Dorenkott. “In particular, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to share the deck with my good friend Bill Wadley over the past nine years.”
Head diving coach Justin Sochor, associate head coach Jordan Wolfrum and assistant coach Michael Hulme will all remain in their same roles moving forward and will continue to have a great impact on Ohio State swimming and diving. Dorenkott, who received a five-year contract, is in the process of completing his staff.