Kozlina jumped in a swimming pool competitively for the first time
when he was eight years old in a summer league. He enjoyed it so
much, he began to swim in winter and summer leagues a year later.
The result has been rather fabulous.
Mike became a phenom at Hopewell High. The 1985 grad won state
championships in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly, not once,
but twice. He won the state title as a junior and senior. And, oh yes, he
set commonwealth records in both events in both years. He was named a
high school All-American four times for those performances.
The college recruiters were after him big time. When it came to choose,
Mike went with Texas A&M, because the Aggie coach (Mel Nash) was
originally from Pittsburgh and was an excellent recruiter.
While at College Station, Mike continued to excel. He was a member
of the 400 Medley Relay team, which won All-American honors.
However, the distance from home was becoming an issue, and Mike
decided to transfer to Pitt.
While at Pitt, Mike's career expanded with much success and many
plaudits. He set three individual team records, in the 100 butterfly
and the 100 and 200 backstroke, and was also a member of
record-breaking relay teams in both the butterfly and backstroke.
Mike won the Big East championships in his solo events in 1989 and
1990, and was named Big
East Swimmer of the Year both years. Pitt won the team title in all
three seasons he competed in the Big East. In 1989, Mike was named
the Male Athlete of the Year at Pitt and has his name on the Walk
of Fame at the Cathedral of Learning. He was also an honorable
mention All-American in three events in his final two years.
Mike was a finalist in the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 100 meter
backstroke, finishing eighth. He also competed in the 100 meter
butterfly at the Trials.
Following graduation, Mike took up coaching. He spent two years as a
Pitt grad assistant. In 1997, he took over the reigns of the Hampton
High School swimming team. In four years there, he produced two
state championship squads.
Today Mike resides in Cranberry Township. He has two children, Alexa
and Shane. In 2003, he was elected to the Western Pennsylvania
Sports Hall of Fame for his outstanding swimming exploits.