On July 11, 2011, Mike Kotch was named head coach of the Brandeis University men’s and women’s swimming & diving team. He succeeded long time coach Jim Zotz, who had previously led the judges for 32 seasons. Coach Kotch’s immediate task was to restart a program that had been temporarily suspended for two seasons due to infrastructure issues with the campus pool.
In his first five full seasons as head coach, Kotch’s women’s program has set or reset 15 university records and achieved 65 top ten all-time university performances. On the men’s side, his program has set or reset 15 university records and achieved 87 top ten all-time performances.
Academically, Kotch’s squads have carried on the long tradition of academic excellence set by those under Coach Zotz. The women’s program has maintained the streak started under Coach Zotz and has earned College Swim Coaches Assocation of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America status for 52 semesters in a row. The men have now achieved this distinction for 10 semesters in a row.
Prior to Brandeis, Kotch was the head coach at nearby Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, for three years where he helped develop 19 college record holders. While at Regis, Kotch also served as the staff liaison to their Student-Athlete Advisory Council and was a member of the campus judicial board.
Kotch’s collegiate coaching career started at Bentley University in 2002 where he was the program’s first full time assistant coach for 6 seasons. He helped manage recruiting efforts which yielded the program’s first ever division 2 All-Americans, as the teams won a combined 11 New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving (NEISDA) championships.
Kotch holds two degrees from Bentley, receiving his B.S. in accountancy in 1998 and his M.B.A. in 2004. During his time as an undergraduate, Kotch competed on the first ever editions of the varsity swim program and was also a member of the men’s baseball team for four seasons.