Jon Urbanchek (USA)
2008 Honor Coach
For the Record: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: Men’s Assistant Coach; 1994, 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Men’s Head Coach; Coach of 28 OLYMPIC SWIMMERS: winning 5 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals; 1983, 1987, 2003 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: Coach; 22 YEARS COACH UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: 1 NCAA National Team Championship;
Wherever he goes, honors follow him. As a coach, his swimmers hold him in high regard and his opponents treat him with respect. History has looked kindly on this man who has spent almost 50 years pacing the pool deck developing and training the world’s best swimmers – Jon Urbanchek “rules”.
A Hungarian immigrant, Urbanchek enrolled at the University of Michigan where he competed on the University’s three National Championship swimming teams from 1958-1962. He moved from the water to the deck in 1963 as the swimming and water polo coach at Anaheim High School for 16 years. He then spent another five years at Long Beach State University before returning to Michigan in 1982. For the next 22 years, Urbanchek developed Olympic medalists, world champions and world record holders. His Olympic medalists include: Mike Barrowman (1992), Gustavo Borges (1992 and 2000), Tom Dolan (1992 and 1996), Dan Ketchum (2004), Brett Lang (1988), Tom Malchow (1996 and 2000), Eric Namesnik (1992 and 1996), Chris Thompson (2000), Peter Vanderkaay (2004) and Marcel Wouda (2000).
Urbanchek coached 34 Olympians to seven gold, six silver and four bronze medals in five Olympic Games that included four world record holders. Sixteen of Urbanchek swimmers earned medals at the World Championships of 1991, 1994, and 1998. He served as the Head Coach of the World Championship Teams in 1994 and 1998, U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coach five times from 1988 to 2004, the 1986 and 1990 World Championship Team Assistant Coach and six-time coach of the Pan American and Pan Pacific Games Teams. Jon won the 1995 NCAA National Team Championship, has been twice named ASCA Coach of the Year and has had 35 NCAA individual National Champions.