Wheeling University is looking to make a splash by reinstating its men’s and women’s swimming programs.
New Cardinals coach, East Washington resident Michael Orstein, is diving head-first into building something special.
The former Washington & Jefferson College coach was eager for a new challenge and Wheeling seems an appropriate fit.
“I had 30 memorable years at Washington & Jefferson College,” Orstein said. “There will always be a special place in my heart for W&J. I just felt there was another calling out there for me. Wheeling University is an exciting and challenging undertaking for me. It is awesome for the sport of swimming to reinstate two collegiate programs.”
Orstein posted a 487-219-3 record at W&J and was named Presidents’ Athletic Conference Coach of the Year 12 times, won nine PAC championships and coached eight NCAA champions. In addition, he coached 17 NCAA All-Americans, 36 national qualifiers and 251 PAC champions.
“As we discussed reviving our swimming programs, we knew we wanted to find an individual with a dynamic personality and a proven track record to lead us,” said Rudy Yovich, athletic director at Wheeling. “We found that and more with the hiring of Michael Orstein.
“His resume speaks for itself, but what we truly discovered was his passion for servant leadership and a holistic approach to coaching. We couldn’t be more excited to have Coach Orstein join the Cardinal family.”
Orstein will spend the next year recruiting athletes to join the Cardinals’ program. He has a reputation as a tireless worker and recruiter.
The Cardinals are a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference.
Orstein was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for Washington-Greene County Chapter in May of 2014. He is also a May 2015 inductee of the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In May of 2016 Orstein was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the Susquehanna Valley Chapter.
Orstein’s career record, which has spanned 34 years, is 547-244-4. He came to W&J from York College, where he compiled an .847 winning percentage and turned that program into a regional power.
Orstein’s success also includes being recognized at the national level, as he was awarded the prestigious Master Coach Award at the May 1996 College Swimming Coaches of America Association’s (CSCAA) national convention.
“I plan to build a program that the university will be proud of,” Orstein said. “I did not come here to sit on my hands. I want to surround myself with good caring people who believe in what I’m doing and want to maximize their potential as student athletes. I am excited and proud to be a part of Wheeling University. My main goal is to help this institution flourish.”