Tom Jager was named the Washington State University Head Swimming Coach, Monday, Cougar Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced.
Jager (Jay-Ger) comes to Pullman from the University of Idaho and replaces Erica Quam who announced her retirement from collegiate coaching last month.
“We are thrilled to have a coach and person of Tom’s caliber take over our swimming program,” Moos said. “He was a world class athlete and has carried those skills into his coaching career where he has done a tremendous job developing student-athletes to reach their athletic and academic goals.”
A 1987 graduate of UCLA, Jager was named the head coach at Idaho in Jan. 2004, after the Vandals’ program was dormant for nearly two decades. Jager also helped bring back diving to Moscow in 2008.
“I am excited about the opportunity to coach at one of the best universities in the country,” Jager said. “Washington State has a great deal of pride and I look forward to sharing my energy and excitement for the sport of swimming with the team, the athletic department and the university. It is a privilege to be a Division I coach and an honor to coach the Cougars as we head into the Pac-12, the best swimming conference in the nation. I look forward to the challenge.”
A native of Collinsville, Ill., Jager earned six NCAA championships, including five individual, and two Olympic gold medals (1984) as a member of relay teams by the time he graduated from UCLA. He added two gold medals on relay teams and a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 1988 Olympic Games. In 1992, he closed out his Olympic career with a gold medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle.
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 is a former captain of the U.S. national team, won 11 national titles and held the 50-meter freestyle world record three times, including a 10-year run from 1990-2000.