MOSCOW, Idaho – Collegiate swimming returned to the University of Idaho with Friday's introduction of five-time Olympic Gold Medalist and one-time UCLA standout Tom Jager as the Vandals' coach.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to recruit swimmers from around the country and introduce them to the great school at the University of Idaho," Jager said. "It's a great campus and a great school."
The task ahead for Jager is to revive a swimming program that has been dormant since 1985. The lessons he learned at UCLA should go a long way in setting the foundation he needs to rekindle the UI program.
"It was really great to be on a team where everyone's goal was swimming and school," he said. "I don't know any different. That's what I will try to develop at the University of Idaho."
Director of athletics Rob Spear said Jager is the perfect choice to build a program and the perfect fit for the UI.
"When I met Tom, he impressed me in a number of ways," Spear said. "Obviously, his background speaks for itself. Beyond that, his commitment to academics and his enthusiasm about the University of Idaho are exceptional.
"We are elated to have Tom as our swim coach."
For Jager, who has been a club team coach and is the founder and executive director of Gold Medal Swim Camps and Gold Medal Swimming Clinics, Inc., coaching is way to return to swimming what it gave to him.
"Swimming changed my life," he said. "This is a way for me to pay back and to help other kids realize those dreams and goals."
A native of Collinsville, Ill., and a 1982 graduate of Collinsville High School, Jager began to make his mark on the swimming world at UCLA. His Olympic and collegiate careers overlapped during his years with the Bruins. By the time he graduated in 1987, he had seven NCAA championships and two Olympic gold medals. As team captain for the U.S. national team, he added 11 national titles, three more gold medals, one silver and one bronze while becoming one of just two swimmers in history to compete in three Olympics (1984, 1988, 1992).
Jager is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame and the USA Swim Team of the Century. He held the 50-meter freestyle record from 1990 until 2000.
Jager and his wife, Becky, have two sons – Wyatt and Cy.
Tom Jager Highlights
· International Swimming Hall of Fame (Inducted 2000)
· Member of USA Swim Team of the Century
· Former World Record Holder in 50-meter Freestyle (1990-2000)
· Broke World Record in 50-meter Freestyle six times
· One of two swimmers in history to swim on three Olympic Teams
· Winner of Seven Olympic Medals
· 1992 Barcelona Olympics: Team Captain and winner of Gold and Bronze Medals
· 1988 Seoul Olympics: Team Captain and winner of two Gold and Silver Medals
· 1984 Los Angeles Olympics: winner of two Gold Medals
· UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame (Inducted 1998)
· Won seven NCAA Titles
· Won 11 National Titles
· Kalispell Aquatics Team / Kalispell, Mont.
Head Swim Coach / Aug. 2003 - present
· Flathead High School / Kalispell, Mont.
Head Boys and Girls Swim Coach / Aug. 2003 - present
· The Summit Health Club / Kalispell, Mont.
Business Development Manager / Aug. 2003 - present
· City of Lakeway / Austin, Texas
Pool Manager / Aug. 2003-2003
· St. Stephen's Episcopal School / Austin, Texas
Head Swim Coach of Swim Academy / Aug. 2001-July 2002
· Gold Medal Swim Camp / Las Alamos, N.M. & Kalispell, Mont.
Founder/Executive Director/Head Coach / 1996-present
· Gold Medal Swimming Clinics, Inc. / Austin, Texas
Founder/Executive Director/Coach / 1985-present
· Midnight Sun Swim Team / Fairbanks, Alaska
Visiting Head Coach / Jan. 2000-April 2000
· University of New Mexico / Albuquerque, N.M.
Assistant Coach/Sprint Coach / 1990-1995
Academics and Personal
· Graduated from UCLA in 1987, with B.A. in Sociology
· Attended Collinsville High School at Collinsville, Ill.
· He and his wife, Becky, have two sons – Wyatt and Cy.
Women's Swimming Returns to The UI
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