A native of Long Island, Sabala is familiar with both the Columbia women’s swimming program and the Ivy League, as a four-year swimming letter winner at Harvard, and a two-time volunteer assistant with the Columbia women’s swim team.
Sabala spent both the 2006-07 and 2008-09 season working as a volunteer assistant coach under Caskey. In 2009-10, Sabala worked at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), where Bob Bowman named him lead coach for NBAC's summer college group. He also served as the head coach of the Discovery Training Group, Stroke Clinic, and Masters swim team. In February of 2010, NBAC won the U.S.A. Swimming Club Excellence Championship, an award given to the highest performing swim club in America.
“Michael is a great technical coach,” Caskey said. “He is a critical learner and a passionate student of the sport of swimming. He thinks outside the box and is an excellent stroke technician, as well as race strategist and analyst. He has passion for the sport and a strong understanding of the needs of the Ivy League student-athlete. He has boundless energy, and the desire to make Columbia women’s swimming & diving an Ivy League Championship program. I am very excited to have Michael with us. He will bring much to our program.”
Prior to his stint at NBAC, Sabala spent a year as the Director of Competitive Swimming and head varsity coach at The Berkeley Carroll School in New York City. Sabala also worked as a coach counselor at the Auburn Tigers Swim and the Stanford University Swim Camp, and has coached a wide range of athletes, from 10-and-under Junior Olympic Champions to USA Swimming Senior National Qualifiers. He is a lifetime member of the American Swimming Coaches Association and a certified Wharton Performance Stretching Technician.
A four-year varsity letter winner at Harvard, Sabala was a member of the men’s swimming & diving squad that won three Ivy League Team Championships and three ECAC Team Championships.
“I'm tremendously excited to return to Columbia to work with Diana and the team,” Sabala said. “I am grateful to Bob Bowman at North Baltimore for the opportunity he gave me to coach on his staff; I learned so much from him and my other colleagues. But for me, there was no other option but to return to New York and to Columbia when presented with the chance. It's going to be a privilege to coach some of the brightest, most driven female student-athletes in America.”