COLUMBUS, Ohio Bill Dorenkott was named head coach of the Ohio State University women’s swimming team Tuesday by the Ohio State University Department of Athletics. Dorenkott has served as head coach of the Penn State University women’s swimming team for the past 10 years and he also has coached its men’s team for seven years.
“We were looking for a coach who would help us compete at the national level,” T.J. Shelton, assistant athletics director for sports administration and search committee chair, said. “We feel we have that person in Bill Dorenkott and we look forward to him taking our program forward.”
A 1991 Cleveland State University graduate who started his collegiate coaching career at Ashland University in 1993, Dorenkott has had remarkable success the past 13 years at Penn State (total includes three years as an assistant coach at PSU). Among his many coaching highlights and accomplishments:
This past season Dorenkott guided his women’s team to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten championships and to a 29th-place finish at the NCAA championships. For the fifth consecutive year, and the seventh time in the last eight years, Dorenkott had at least 10 swimmers qualify for the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Eight of those student-athletes attained All-American status, with Kelly Nelson placing sixth in the 200 butterfly to earn first-team All-America honors.
Dorenkott, who has had the unique opportunity to see Ohio State in action numerous times over the past 13 years, has been a fan of the Ohio State athletics program and its tradition.
“I noticed the pride in the program,” Dorenkott said regarding what he saw in Ohio State from afar. “And I saw the pride within the state in the program. I also liked the way that [men’s swimming coach] Bill Wadley and [diving coach] Vince Panzano conduct themselves personally and professionally.
“I view this as a terrific opportunity for both me and my family. We are looking forward to diving into The Ohio State University, the athletics department and the Columbus community.”
Shelton conducted a national search for the position and Dorenkott emerged as the choice of the committee to replace nine-year coach Jeanne Fleck, who is now the head women’s coach at Fresno State University.
“We were excited about the overall quality of the pool of candidates,” Shelton said, “and we felt that Bill Dorenkott was the person we needed to be the next leader of our women’s swimming program.
“He has strong Ohio ties. He knows the Big Ten. He is a championship coach with strong recruiting abilities. He is an individual with great character. His commitment to the student-athlete coupled with his success on the pool deck is unmatched.”
Dorenkott and his wife, Adrianne, have four children Jack, Matt, Ann and Will with Jack, 10, the oldest. He is planning on coaching his Penn State student-athletes through the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer before moving to Columbus. That time will also leave him plenty of opportunity for “good-byes” to the family of people he has come to know and respect at Penn State.
“I don’t think the people will ever realize what a difficult decision this was for me and my family to leave Penn State,” Dorenkott said. “The people are what make this a most difficult decision. I’ve been able to build wonderful relationships with the student-athletes and the administration over the last 13 years. Athletics Director Tim Curley and his staff have been terrific. I will miss the administration. It is sad to be leaving, but I am excited about this great opportunity to coach at Ohio State University.”