Dan Schinnerer saw one of his dreams become a reality last year when he became a part of the Michigan men’s swimming program as the volunteer coach. While the position wasn’t paid, Schinnerer was happy enough just being a part of the team.
“Growing up in Michigan, you definitely associate world class swimming with this university,” Schinnerer said. “It became my dream to end up at Michigan.”
This year, with the induction of new head coach Bob Bowman, Schinnerer was named as the assistant coach a paid position.
Schinnerer grew up in Grand Rapids and began swimming competitively at an early age. Because Canham Natatorium is one of the largest and most prestigious pools in the state of Michigan, Schinnerer regularly competed there. He became well- acquainted with the Michigan staff, and began a friendly relationship with previous head coach Jon Urbanchek.
Schinnerer graduated from East Kentwood High School in 1996 and attended Yale University where he was a member of the Bulldogs’ swim team. As a long distance swimmer, Schinnerer competed in the 1,000- and 1,650-meter freestyle events and swam in four Eastern Conference Championships.
“Swimming at the college level was a great experience,” Schinnerer said. “It has provided a good point of reference as a coach. I’ve been through a similar experience. I understand the juggling act that these athletes are enduring. The balance of a higher level of academia and the quality of a Division I team is tough to handle.”
Upon graduation in 2001, Schinnerer began teaching and coaching at The Peddie High School in Hightstown, N.J. After two successful seasons coaching at the high school level, Schinnerer was ready to move onto the college scene. Having stayed in contact with Urbanchek over the years, Schinnerer told the coach that he was going to begin graduate school at Eastern Michigan and would be available to help out the Wolverines.
“When Urbanchek offered me the volunteer position, I was pretty happy,” Schinnerer said. “I had always wanted to be a part of an elite program like this.”
In his first year, Schinnerer helped the team place fifth at the NCAA Championships its best finish since 1996.
“It is a privilege to work with a team like this,” Schinnerer said. “It’s amazing to help and facilitate great athletes.”
Schinnerer and the Wolverines will compete in East Lansing at 6 p.m. tomorrow in their second Big Ten meet of the season. Michigan is 70-5 in program history against Michigan State and hasn’t lost a meet since the 1976-77 season.