Michael Sabala joined the Columbia women’s swimming staff in July of 2010. No stranger to the Lions or head coach Diana Caskey, Sabala served as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2006-07 season, as well as in 2008-09.
In 2010-2011, the Lions finished thirrd at the Ivy League Championships, and every swimmer on the IvyLeague squad swam a personal best time at the meet. Sabala helped Katie Meili '13CC to her first Ivy League Championship, in the 200-yard individual medley. Finishing the season with a 5-4 record, the Lions had athletes achieve best times at every meet and during every session over the course of the season. In addition to Ivy League success, Sabala guided athletes on the team to US Olympic Team Trials, USA Swimming Nationals, and USA Swimming Junior National qualifying standards.
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.
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 E.I.S.L Team Championships.
Sabala, a native of Long Island, graduated with honors from Harvard in 2002 with a degree in social anthropology.