MITCH DALTON • BY THE NUMBERS
- helped lead Princeton to 2011, 2012, 2013 Ivy League titles
- 2011 World University Games Coach (Estonia)
- 2012 Recruiting Class ranked #5 in the nation (collegeswimming.com)
- 2011 Recruiting Class ranked # 13 in the nation (collegeswimming.com)
- 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year- Nomination- (collegeswimming.com)
Mitch Dalton is entering his fourth season as the assistant coach of the Princeton men's swimming and diving team. In his first three seasons with the Tiger program, he has helped guide the men to three straight Ivy League championships, while also generating a trio of highly touted recruiting classes.
His highest-ranked recruiting year was the Class of 2016, which was ranked fifth by CollegeSwimming.com during the summer of 2012. Those prognostications proved true last season, as a freshman-led Princeton squad upset undefeated Harvard to win the 2013 Ivy League Championship. Six underclassmen went to NCAAs, including freshmen Byron Sanborn, Teo D'Alessandro and Sandy Bole. They were joined by sophomore teammates Connor Maher, Michael Strand and Harrison Wagner, each of whom were individual Ivy League champions.
His first year was as memorable as it gets, as he helped lead the Tigers to a dramatic 5.5-point victory at the 2011 Ivy League championship. Princeton came into the championship weekend as an underdog after losing in the regular season to Harvard, which hosted the conference championships. The Tigers took the early lead on day one and fought off a furious charge by the hosts to swim away with the program's third straight Ivy League title.
Princeton defended that title in 2012 with a wire-to-wire victory at Denunzio Pool, an effort that was bolstered by a strong freshman class. He also helped a group of five reach the NCAA Championships, where Princeton earned All-America honors in both individual and relay events, and also placed 23rd as a team.
Dalton, who spent two seasons helping build up the men’s and women’s swimming teams at George Washington University, replaced Jamie Holder, who was named the head coach at Georgetown during the summer of 2010.
"I am beyond excited to be a part of the Princeton swimming and diving family,” said Dalton upon his hiring. “I am extremely grateful and honored by the opportunity to work with Coach Orr. The Princeton swimming and diving program is one of the best in the country, both in the pool and in the classroom. I look forward to recruiting future Tigers, developing current student-athletes and helping Coach Orr continue the tradition of success at Princeton."
Dalton was in charge of recruiting at George Washington and brought in the largest back-to-back recruiting classes in program history. His 2010 class included multiple Junior National qualifiers, a state record holder and a German Junior National champion. That squad included a three-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and the second-highest freshman scorer at the 2010 Atlantic 10 championships.
While he spent his coaching time working with all aspects of the program, his primary focus was on the sprinters and stroke specialists. He was also instrumental in the strength and conditioning program, and that work translated to 16 new school and three new conference records. David Zenk won three conference titles during Dalton’s time while setting five school records and recording an NCAA qualifying time in the 200 back.
Dalton also focused on work in the classroom. The 2009-10 George Washington women’s team was ranked in the Top 5 in team GPA for the second straight semester. The men’s team was one of 60 NCAA programs to produce a GPA of 3.0 or better last spring.
Dalton, a four-year letterwinner at James Madison, began his coaching career with his alma mater. In one season, he helped the Dukes to a seven-win improvement as a team and nine new individual school records.
Dalton was a four-event finalist (100/200 breast and 200/400 IM) at the Colonial Athletic Association championships. As a senior captain, he was awarded the Steven H. Miller Award for Leadership and Dedication to the team. Dalton led the Dukes to a third-place finish at the C.A.A. championships, the highest team finish for a non-scholarship program.
A native of Sydney, Australia, Dalton has been trained by some of the top coaches in his home nation, including Australian Olympic head coach Gregg Hodge, fellow Olympic coach John Carew and Olympian Georgina Parkes.