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Mike Kozlina

Swimming ∙ Hopewell

 

 

 

 

Mike 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. 
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