The Wolverine

August 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 35 of 161

A Dominant Season Michigan's Men's Swimming Team Claimed Its First National Championship Since 1995 W By Andy Reid hen the coach of a college program says, "We didn't know most of this stuff was going on in the team," it's usually not a good sign. Men's Team Of The Year Swimming & Diving For Michigan men's swimming and diving coach Mike Bottom, it was the first sign that the 2012-13 Wolverines might be a great team. In the summer leading up to the season — after Michigan placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in 2011-12 — the swimmers volunteered countless hours at the Mott Children's Hospital, Habitat For Humanity and several local churches and charities, all under their own direction and motivation, without the coaches even knowing the extent of their charitable works. "We found out about it when one of the guys would say, 'On Saturday, we're going to be doing some cleaning and gardening for Habitat For Humanity,'" Bottom said. "It was all driven by them, and that was what was so special about it. "It's not just about whether the team was special, talent-wise, but whether the kids themselves are special. There was never a moment where we didn't believe we could do great things, because this entire team was comprised of special kids. It wasn't about their swimming. It was about their cohesiveness, their support for one another and the things they were doing out of the pool as well as in it. "This was a group of guys who spent their free time in the community, working at the hospital, volunteering at charities and doing things for a lot of people. Academically, they were outstanding. We had guys with 4.0 GPAs in engineering. The team was special, but not necessarily just in the pool. The whole picture was incredible."

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