BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Former Washington & Jefferson College men’s and women’s swimming/water polo coach Mike Orstein added another accolade to his resume as part of the 2020 Pennsylvania Aquatics Hall of Fame induction class.
The Pennsylvania Aquatics Hall of Fame was established by the Pennsylvania State University in 1968 and recognizes those Pennsylvanians who have exhibited extraordinary service and achievement through aquatics. The Hall of Fame is located in McCoy Natatorium Building on the University Park Campus. It includes a plaque with appropriate inscription, nameplates, framed pictures of elected members, and a brief summary of their accomplishments.
Orstein is no stranger to the world of aquatics, a sport that he has been a part of his entire life. His 487-219-3 record W&J over 30 years made him the most successful swimming and diving coach in the college’s history. For his accomplishments, 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 into the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
On May 7, 2016 Orstein was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the Susquehanna Valley Chapter. He earned his 400th career victory at W&J during the 2011-12, while also coaching four student-athletes to individual conference championships, including diver Bethany Haver, who made her second-straight appearance at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III National Championships.
Coach Orstein’s continued success has also been 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. This honor was only conferred upon eight NCAA coaches that year.
Recently, Orstein has been honored by the American Swimming Coaches Association with a Certificate of Excellence for outstanding achievement (2006-2008).
Coach Orstein’s career record, which has spanned 34 years, is 547-244-4. During the 2014-2015 season, he passed a major milestone as he earned his 500th college swimming victory.
Coach Orstein had been at the helm of the swimming and diving programs at W&J for 30 years, and earned the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Swimming Coach of the Year award an impressive 15 times. His other accomplishments during his career at the college include producing eight national champions, 17 All-America honorees, 36 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship qualifiers and 251 PAC Champions. He has coached teams to nine PAC titles, 221 school records and 61 conference records.
During the 2010-11 season, Haver earned a pair of First All-America awards after placing among the top eight finishers (5th, 3-meter; 7th 1-meter) at the NCAA Division III Diving Championships.
From 2004-08, Orstein coached his daughter, Kaitlyn, to one of the most impressive careers in the history of NCAA Division III swimming. Kaitlyn won eight national championships and earned 14 NCAA All-America citations. She won 25 conference championships and was a four-time PAC Swimmer of the Year.
An equally impressive and important accomplishment is his team’s success out of the water. Coach Orstein’s teams consistently earned CSCAA All-Academic recognition for having one of the highest GPA’s in the country.
His most prized possession is being honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership on January 17, 2005, by Washington & Jefferson College.
Prior to his tenure at Washington and Jefferson College, Coach Orstein served as the Athletic Director at York Country Day School and Head Women’s Swimming Coach at York College (PA). During his time there he built the York team into a regional Division III power, earned a winning percentage of .847, and rewrote the college’s record books.
From 1979-1982 Coach Orstein gained international experience through his position in Bermuda as the first Aquatics Director at Warwick Academy. During his time in Bermuda, he coached numerous national champions and record holders, and was integral in the revival of water polo through his position as the player/coach for the Belmont team.
In much the same way, Orstein was responsible for the emergence of water polo at W&J when he secured a $60,000 grant from the United States Olympic Committee in April 1999. This victory came after eight years of effort on Coach Orstein’s part to bring the sport to the college. During his four seasons as head coach, both men’s and women’s teams were ranked nationally in the Top 10 every year. The women’s team traveled to the Collegiate III National Championships, where they finished seventh in 2000 and sixth in 2001. In this short amount of time the team produced three All-America selections. Orstein also received the honor of being named the Division III Tournament Championships Coach of the Year in 2002 and as well as earning Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Coach of the Year that same season.
Prior to Coach Orstein’s involvement in the successful water polo program, he served as the W&J men’s and women’s track and field coach. Under Orstein, Jaimee Heffner became the first W&J female athlete to win an individual NCAA championship when she won the 1997 Division III Championship in the women’s javelin. She ended her career at W&J with honors including being a four time All-American, nomination as one of 10 finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, and the reception of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award.
Orstein’s athletic accomplishments are nearly as weighty as his achievement in coaching. He is a four time All-America swimmer from Springfield College (Mass.), where he completed both his B.S. and M.Ed. in Physical Education.
Coach Orstein was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he was an All-State swimmer, an All-District III track and field athlete and a graduate of Manheim Township High School.
Coach Orstein has been happily married to his wife Heather for 40 years. Mike and Heather are the proud parents of their two adult children, Jepthah and Kaitlyn. Jepthah is a 2004 graduate of Washington & Jefferson College and a 2008 graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law. He is a successful lawyer for Ainsman, Levine, LLC in Pittsburgh. He has been recognized for five consecutive years as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, Rising Star. Kaitlyn, a 2008 W&J graduate, works for Fife Heating & Cooling as their office manager.
He is among three water polo coaches/players inducted in the Class of 2020 by joining Henry Jamison “Jam” Handy and John Bayes Norton:
2020 Pennsylvania Aquatics Hall of Fame Class:
Anthony “Tony” Bartle was a four-year high school All-American swimmer who competed at LaSalle College before attending North Penn HS for his senior year. He as a two-time Catholic MVP. While at North Penn HS, Tony was the PIAA State Champion in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle as well as a member of the 400 free relay. After high school, Tony attended UCLA on a full scholarship where he was a 9 time All-American and NCAA finalist in the 500 yd. free, 200 yd. butterfly, and 800 yd. freestyle relay (1977-1980). Other accolades at UCLA were: Team Captain, MVP (1977), Most Inspirational Swimmer (1980), and Coaches Award (1980). On the National and International level, Tony was a 6-time High Point Award winner at the Middle Atlantic Swimming Championships and a two-time Kiputh Award winner at the Eastern Long Course Swimming Championships. Most impressively, Tony is a two-time American record holder. He placed fourth at the US Olympic Trials in the 200-meter butterfly and was ranked fifth in the world in that event. Tony was a silver medalist at the US National Championships on three different occasions and was a 5 time US National team member. Over the years he was ranked in the top 10 in the world in 4 events (200 butterfly, 200, 400 and 1500 freestyle). Tony closed his career at the 1980 US Olympic Trials with a 4th place finish in the 400 Freestyle and a 6th place finish in the 200 Butterfly. In his last swim at that meet, all 8 finalists bettered the silver medalists time from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Tony proudly joins his brother Bill, as a member of the PA Aquatics Hall of Fame.
William Ronald Forrester, Jr. was born in Darby, Pennsylvania and is an Olympic medalist and former world record-holder. He represented the United States as an 18-year-old at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, where he won a bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter butterfly, finishing behind U.S. teammates Mike Bruner and Steve Gregg. At the 1975 World Championships, Bill Forrester won the gold medal in the 200m butterfly and the bronze in the 100m. He bettered that performance at the 1978 World Championships, winning golds in the 200 freestyle and on the 4×200 freestyle relay, adding a bronze in the 400m free. Forrester also won
the AAU 200m butterfly in 1976. He graduated from Auburn in 1980 and later became a swim coach, founding the Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team in 1994.
G. Michael Gobrecht has been a part of the Central Pennsylvania aquatic scene his entire life having swum all of his life for teams such as Elizabethtown Aquatic Club, Hershey Aquatic Club, and the West Shore YMCA (WSY). Mike has been the Director of Competitive Swimming at the WSY since 1989. Mike has coached High School teams at Central Dauphin East (1992-1994), Trinity High School (2002-2013) and since 2014 has been the Head Coach for Cumberland Valley High School. Mike’s philosophy, in and out of the water, is one that allows the ambitious student-athlete to excel both in the pool and in the classroom. In this philosophy, goals and preparation must match and athletes are taught and expected to budget their time effectively. Coach Mike participates actively in swimming legislation and political bodies. A member of the Olympic International Operations Committee, Coach Mike has served on the Olympic International Operations Committee, as well as previously served on the YMCA of the USA Coaches executive committee and the Middle Atlantic Swimming Inc, Board of Directors. Mike has also previously served on the YMCA of the USA National Swimming and Diving “Steering Committee” as well USA Swimming Open Water “Steering Committee.” Under his leadership,
WSY student-athletes have been accepted to and have earned athletic and academic scholarships to many prominent colleges and universities in the United States. Mike has also coached athletes that have represented the United States at major swimming championships including the FINA World Championships, USA Swimming National Junior Team, USA Olympic Team Trials, and Open Water Pan American Games. Coach Mike has won awards such as YMCA National “Coach of the Meet” and well as the American Swimming Coaches Association “Awards of Excellence.” Mike was the appointed head coach of the FINA Open Water World Championship Team in Roberval, Quebec Canada in 2009 and has been an assistant coach for the USA Swimming Junior Team at the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006.
Henry Jamison “Jam” Handy was born in Philadelphia and was an American Olympic breaststroke swimmer, water polo player, and leader in the field of commercial audio and visual communications. Handy was noted for the number of training films that he produced over the years. As a swimmer, Handy introduced a number of new swimming strokes to Americans, such as the Australian crawl. He would often wake up early and devise new strokes to give him an edge over other swimmers. Swimming led to him earning a bronze in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. Twenty years later he was part of the Illinois Athletic Club water polo team at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France. He broke the record of the longest period of time between first and last competition. The team won the bronze at that Olympics. Handy briefly attended the University of Michigan and competed for the Chicago AA and the Illinois AC while working for the Chicago Tribune. He was forced to do most of his training at 3 AM after the newspaper had been put to bed. Handy was an innovative swimmer and would have won more championships had all his ideas stood the test of competition. However, in many fields he was years ahead of his time; he was, for example, the first to use the alternate arm style in the backstroke. He also pioneered underwater photography for stroke analysis and in his later years, set up the Jam Handy Corporation, which specialized in motivational and training films, notably producing many films for the auto industry. The Jam Handy Organization was probably best known for producing the first animated version of the then-new Christmas story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer directed by Max Fleischer.
Stu Marvin is a 1978 graduate of Bloomsburg, Stu was an 11-time All American performer for the Huskies, winning five PSAC titles, and setting six conference records. He was a two-time winner of the school’s Underclassman Athlete of the Year award and received the Robert B. Redman Award as the school’s top male senior athlete in 1978. He was the first swimmer inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. In 2002, the YMCA of the USA named him the recipient of the 2002 Joseph G. Rogers Award for outstanding service to their National Competitive Swimming & Diving Committee. In addition to the BU Athletic Hall of Fame, Marvin has been enshrined in three other Halls of Fame: the Florida Gold Coast Masters Hall of Fame (2005), the Broward County Florida Sports Hall of Fame (2011) and the Upper Dublin High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Marvin is a two-time FINA Masters World Champion and former world record holder, a 28-time US Masters National Champion, and a 13-time YMCA Masters National Champion. He is a certified Level 5 member of the American Swimming Coaches Association, as well as a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. Coach Marvin spent 30 years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he oversaw the operation of the aquatic complex at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was involved in coaching with the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team and Fort Lauderdale Aquatics. Marvin was also an administrator for the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) during their annual Swim Forum. Stu returned home to become the Head Coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams at Bloomsburg University in 2008. Since his return, Marvin has coached 16 All-Americans, 34 individual PSAC champions, and 56 All-Conference performers between the two programs. Under Marvin’s guidance, the women have broken 19 of the school’s 20 records, including the PSAC championship meet record in the 200 medley relay, and his swimmers now own 169 of the 210 times on the all-time top ten list. On the men’s side, the Huskies now hold six PSAC Conference records and six PSAC championship meet records. Every team record has been broken multiple times since his arrival and his swimmers occupy 197 of the 210 spots on the BU All-Time Top Ten list. Additionally, Bloomsburg posted its first-ever undefeated season in program history when it went a perfect 7-0 in 2016. As a result of these accolades, Coach Stu Marvin has been named the PSAC Coach of the Year multiple times during his tenure.
John Bayes Norton was an American water polo player who competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics. In 1924, the USA won the bronze medal with John playing three matches and scoring three goals. He was also a member of the Chicago AA team that won the AAU indoor water polo championship in 1926 and 1928. He lived most of his adult life in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Mike Orstein was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he was an All-State swimmer, an All-District III track and field athlete, and a graduate of Manheim Township High School. After high school, he attended Springfield College (MA) where he was a four time All-American swimmer. Upon graduation, he became involved in coaching both water polo and swimming at Warwick Academy in Bermuda followed by a coaching tenure at York College where he built them into a perennial power. Finally, in 1988 he made Washington & Jefferson College his home where his accolades are endless. Over his 30 year career at W&J, he became their winningest coach with a record of 487-219-3 (his career record is 547-244-4) and was named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Swimming Coach of the Year award an impressive 15 times. His other accomplishments during his career at the college include producing eight national champions, 17 All-Americans, 36 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship qualifiers and 251 PAC Champions. He has coached teams to nine PAC titles, 221 school records, and 61 conference records. In addition, he founded the W&J Water Polo program in 1999. While coaching at W&J, his Women’s and Men’s Teams consistently earned Scholar All America Recognition by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for Highest GPAs in the Country. Some of his most prized accomplishments are that he was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership in 2005, awarded the prestigious Master Coach Award by the CSCAA in 1996, and was honored by the American Swimming Coaches Association with a Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement 2006-2008.
Susanne Marie Shields , also known by her married name Susan White, is a former American Olympic champion and world record-holder. Susanne represented the United States as a 16-year-old at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where she received a bronze medal for her third place performance in the women’s 100-meter butterfly, finishing behind Australian Lyn McClements and fellow American Ellie Daniel. Shields was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and retired from competitive swimming after graduating from high school in Kentucky. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Louisville and has worked as a teacher and swim coach. Robert Raymond “Bob” Sohl was born in York, Pennsylvania and represented the United States at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, where he received a bronze medal for his third-place performance in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, finishing behind fellow Americans Joe Verdeur and Keith Carter, and completing an American sweep of the event. Verdeur, Carter, and Sohl had finished in the same order at the 1948 U.S. Olympic Trials. Sohl attended the University of Michigan, where he swam for the Michigan Wolverines swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 1947 to 1949.