Bill Dorenkott took over as the head coach of Ohio State's women's swimming program in 2008, and in March 2017 he was announced as the director of swimming and diving for OSU's new combined program. During his time in Columbus, Dorenkott has built the Buckeyes into a consistent contender vying for Big Ten Conference titles, racing for NCAA crowns, and sending its athletes to the Olympic Games and World Championships.
In Dorenkott's first season as Ohio State's head coach (2009), he took a team that had not finished in the Top 5 at the Big Ten championships in more than a decade and managed an eighth-place finish. The squad's performance provided a foundation for the future of Ohio State women's swimming, representing an important step in the evolution of the program.
In 2010, the Buckeyes held off two other programs to finish in fifth-place at the Big Ten championships. The Top 5 effort represents the highest finish for the team in 13 years (since the 1997 team finished fifth). The 399 points was the most scored by Ohio State in 16 years. In 2011 and 2012, the progression of the program only continued as the Scarlet and Gray concluded each season in the Top 3 of the conference standings.
Most recently, Ohio State maintained its five-year run of Top 5 Big Ten finishes with a fourth-place effort in 2014.At the meet, Ashley Vance, a junior at the time, captured aBig Ten title in the 200 individual medley with a school-record time of 1:56.91.
A proven winner who inspires that excellence in his swimmers, Dorenkott placed three Big Ten championships - 2002, 2005 and 2006 - on his resume during a 10-year stint as Penn State's women's coach; the Nittany Lions never finished lower than fourth at the women's Big Ten championships during the Dorenkott decade (prior to his arrival, they had never finished higher than fourth). His Nittany Lion teams also finished in the Top 20 at the NCAA championships in three of his last five years in State College.
Dorenkott has coached 28 different student-athletes to 34 Big Ten individual championships, including 19 women to 31 Big Ten titles. During his final season of three coaching the Penn State men, he guided Pat Schirk to an NCAA championship in the men's 200 backstroke. A total of 57 of his PSU swimmers qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, and his student-athletes set 10 Big Ten records and four Big Ten championship records.
Just as in the pool, Dorenkott's athletes experience success in the classroom. Two of his Penn State swimmers earned the prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarship. He has had a total of 246 academic All-Big Ten honorees and 48 College Swimming Coaches Association Scholar (CSCAA) All-Americans. His teams have been honored with a CSCAA Team Academic award 14 times, most recently in 2014.
Dorenkott recruits student-athletes who have vision and goals beyond just being a swimmer. In fact, he recruits on the philosophy that swimming is going to be the fourth-most important priority for his student athletes. He believes if his athletes take care of the first three priorities: 1) Be a great person; 2) Remember who you are, where you came from and understand that family is important; and 3) You are at Ohio State to get an education, and your degree will open doors for you a long time after you leave Ohio State.
Dorenkott has coached on four continents, and his student-athletes have competed in the Olympic Games, PanAm Games, World University Games, World Championships, Pan-Pacific Championships, U.S. National Championships and on the U.S. International circuit. He has been a member of the United States Swimming National Team coaching staff since 2001. He served on the U.S. National Team coaching staff during the 2001 World University Games, the 2003 PanAm Games and the 2007 Japan International Grand Prix.
An outstanding competitor as a student-athlete at Cleveland State, Dorenkott became a 15-time conference champion, setting a school record in the process. He was a varsity record holder and a U.S. National qualifier and scorer. In 1990, he earned the team MVP award and then served as a team captain in 1991. Dorenkott received two degrees while attending Cleveland State, earning bachelor's degrees in both communications and psychology.
He was named a graduate assistant coach of the men's and women's swim team at Ashland University in 1991 immediately following graduation and was named head coach of both teams after just two seasons. In his first season at Ashland, he led the women's team to a conference championship, and led the men to a fourth place showing. He turned the men's team around the next season as they joined the women's team as conference champions as the women repeated. In his two seasons as the Eagles' mentor, the program produced 16 All-Americans in 49 events. Five Ashland swimmers were named Academic All-Americans in 1995, and 33 records were set under Dorenkott's tutelage. His 1995 men's team finished sixth at NCAAs after a 9-2 dual meet season, and the women placed 11th. While at Ashland, Dorenkott was the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Penn-Ohio Conference Women's Swimming Coach of the Year and the 1994-95 Penn-Ohio Conference Men's Swimming Coach of the Year. He served as the meet director of the 1994-95 Men's and Women's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. He also served as the head coach of Ashland's women's tennis team from 1991-93.
A native of Westlake, Ohio, Dorenkott and his wife Adrianne (who like Bill, swam at Cleveland State) have four children - Jack, Matt, Ann and Will.