Olympian Tom Jager Out as Head Coach at Washington State


Washington State University and Head Coach Tom Jager have “mutually agreed to part ways,” Athletic Director Patrick Chun announced in a press release Friday.

“We thank Tom, appreciate his years of service to Washington State University and wish him great success in his future endeavors,” said Chun.

The school said that it will immediately begin a search for the next head coach of its women’s-only team. Jager’s wife, Becky – who served as his assistant coach for the last three years – is presumably out as well.

Jager, one of the most decorated US Olympians of all-time, was hired before the 2011-2012 season. He coached the team to 32 dual meet victories in his seven seasons, and his swimmers garnered Pac-12 All-Academic honors 67 times. The team finished 8th of 9 teams at the women’s 2018 Pac-12 Championships, and never finished above 7th place in the conference under Jager.

Jager, a UCLA alum, was in 2016 named to the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Olympic Sports All-Century Team for his own swimming success.

Before joining WSU, Jager restarted the University of Idaho’s program that had been on-the-outs for 20 years. Though that team never had immense success in the pool, but during his tenure, it grew a great academic and community-service reputation. Jager has also served administrative roles in USA Swimming (including as a part of the National Steering Committee), and as a US National Team Captain.

As a swimmer, he earned seven Olympic gold medals (five of which were gold), and six-times broke the 50 free world record. The latter of those records (21.81) stood for over 10 years. As a true sprinter, Jager was possibly the world’s first superstar 50 freestyler, as he won the first two World Championships (1986 and 1991) ever held in the race.

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