Mike Lehto begins his seventh season as the head coach of the women's swim team, but his ties to Cleveland State go back to the early 1980's.
Lehto began his collegiate swim career at the University of Pittsburgh in 1981-82, but transferred to Cleveland State in the fall of 1982. He excelled in the freestyle and butterfly events under the tutelage of current men's head coach Wally Morton. His time of :50.70 in the 100 fly was a school record in 1984.
After using up his eligibility, Lehto became the men's assistant coach while finishing his bachelor's degree in geological studies.
After completing his degree, he went on to have an outstanding coaching career on the prep level. Lehto served as the head swimming and diving coach at Gilmour Academy for the 1986-87 season before taking the reins at St. Ignatius High School from 1988-1994. During his tenure at St. Ignatius, Lehto molded the swim program into one of the finest in Ohio. Not only did his team finish second in the state championships in 1992 and `93, but Lehto was also voted Ohio Boys State Coach of the Year in `92 and was a finalist the following year.
Lehto also enjoyed success as the senior age group coach for the Berea Midpark Swim Club. While serving in that capacity, he produced five junior national qualifiers and 28 high school All-Americans.
Lehto is married to former Cleveland State swimmer Maureen O'Malley and has four children, Brian, Sean, Nolan, and Michael. They currently reside in Cleveland.