Wherever Jon Urbanchek 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 three National Championship swim 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, a role he held 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, including four world record holders. Sixteen of Urbanchek swimmers earned medals at the World Championships in 1991, 1994, and 1998. He served as the Head Coach of the World Championship teams in 1994 and 1998 and was the U.S. Olympic Team assistant coach five times from 1988 to 2004. He was the assistant coach of the 1986 and 1990 World Championship Team and was a six-time coach of the Pan American and Pan Pacific Games teams.
Urbanchek produced 35 individual NCAA champions and led his team to the 1995 NCAA National Championship title. He has twice been named the ASCA Coach of the Year.