Bill Dorenkott Resigns as Penn State Head Swimming Coach
April 29, 2008
University Park, Pa. - Penn State head men's and women's swimming coach Bill Dorenkott today announced his resignation to accept the position of head women's swimming coach at Ohio State. Dorenkott departs following 13 years of service at Penn State, including 10 years as the women's head coach and seven years as the men's head coach. Dorenkott led the women's program to its first Big Ten Championships, coming in 2002, 2005 and 2006.
Dorenkott came to Penn State in the 1995-96 season and served as an assistant coach with the men's swimming program for three seasons before being named the head coach of the women's program prior to the 1998-99 season. After heading up the women's program for three years, the programs were merged prior to the 2001-02 season and both put under his leadership.
"We want to thank Bill for all of his hard work and efforts on behalf of the Penn State swimming programs," said Penn State Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Women's Administrator Susan Delaney-Scheetz. "During Bill's tenure, our programs reached new heights at the Big Ten and NCAA levels. We will look to find a new coach who will continue the academic and athletic excellence that our men's and women's programs have achieved."
During his tenure at Penn State, Dorenkott led the women's program to three Big Ten titles, two second place finishes, two third place finishes and two fourth places. Prior to him becoming the coach of the women's program, Penn State had never finished higher than fourth in the Big Ten. During his 10 years with the program, the Nittany Lions finished below fourth only one time, which was in his first year as head coach.
The women's program also had a great deal of success both at the NCAA Championships and in the classroom. The Nittany Lions scored points at NCAAs in nine of his 10 years as head coach and qualified 10 or more swimmers to NCAAs six times. At least three swimmers qualified for NCAAs in every year of his tenure. A total of 17 swimmers earned a total of 23 All-American finishes in his tenure. On the academic side, Dorenkott coached a total of 165 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 59 CSCAA Academic All-America honorees on both the men's and women's sides. Two swimmers also earned the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
On the men's side, prior to Dorenkott joining the coaching staff, the Nittany Lions had never finished above sixth place at Big Ten's. In his time as an assistant, the team finished third once and he also led the team to a third place finish at Big Ten's as the head coach. The team scored points at NCAAs in four of his seven years as men's head coach and this past season, Pat Schirk became Penn State's first-ever national champion in men's swimming, capturing first place in the 200 backstroke at the NCAA Championships.
His work with the swimmers has also been evident on the national scene. Prior to his arrival at Penn State, the swimming programs had only qualified a total of nine swimmers to Olympic Trials. With this summer's Olympic Trials still to come, a total of 47 Dorenkott-coached swimmers have swam at or will swim at the Olympic Trials. A total of 18 swimmers have qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials this year while two others will swim at the South African Olympic Trials. One swimmer, Basil Kaaki, has already qualified for this summer's games in Beijing. Two swimmers, Schirk and Kaitlin O'Brien, swam for the U.S. National Team at an international meet in Japan last August.
"We are sad to see Bill leave Penn State but we are very appreciative of all of the things he has done for our swimming programs during his time here," said Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley. "He has raised the standard of excellence for our swimming programs, both in the pool and in the classroom. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."
Curley said a national search for a new swimming coach will begin immediately.