Michigan head swimming coach Mike Bottom was named an assistant coach of the U.S. men’s team for this summer’s Olympic Games.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was 10 years old,” Bottom said in a statement Sunday. “This is my Olympic dream. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help the U.S. be successful in Rio. I can’t wait to get started.”

Despite this being his first time coaching the U.S. team at the Olympics, Bottom has had a lot of experience at the Games — he has coached at the past five, and had also previously said that he would be coaching Michigan sophomore Mokhtar Al-Yamani and Al-Yamani’s country, Yemen, at this year’s competition in Rio.

“In the past I’ve been with other small countries,” Bottom said at a press conference May 31. “The nice thing about coaching with a small country is that I can coach everybody. I’ve signed something that says I won’t coach against the U.S. team, so that gives me the freedom to do what I do.”

Bottom, who coaches both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Michigan, spent the early part of the summer in Ann Arbor helping current team members and alumni — as well as other athletes representing countries from across the world — train for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which have taken place over the past week.

Bottom has been in Omaha for the trials as several current and former Wolverines have competed for coveted spots on the national team.

Notable performances came from alum Connor Jaeger, who also swam at the 2012 Olympic Games, qualified for the 1,500-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle by winning both events, while alum Tyler Clary, who won a gold medal in 2012, narrowly missed out on qualifying for this year’s games after finishing third in the 200-meter backstroke.

Bottom will now get a chance to be part of the U.S. team for the second time in his life — he had previously qualified for the 100-meter fly in 1980, but the U.S. boycotted that year’s games as they were held in Moscow during the Cold War.

Now, close to 40 years later, he will look to help his country to success — this time, though, he will be out of the water.


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