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WASHINGTON, Pa. — Former Washington & Jefferson College swimming and water polo coach Mike Orstein is among five individuals comprising the Washington & Jefferson College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023. 

The Hall of Fame class will be inducted on Friday, Sept. 15, in a 6:00 p.m. ceremony on W&J’s campus in the Rossin Ballroom.

The award continues a series of Hall of Fame honors for Orstein who joined the Pennsylvania Aquatics Hall of Fame in 2020.  Further, on May 7, 2016 Orstein was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for the Susquehanna Valley Chapter after earning prior inductions in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for Washington-Greene County Chapter in May of 2014 and the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in May 2015.

His 487-219-3 record at W&J over 30 years made him the most successful swimming and diving coach in the college’s history.  He earned his 400th career victory at W&J during the 2011-12, while also coaching four student-athletes to individual conference 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.

He was 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 College Swim Coaches Association (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.


Collegiate Water Polo Association