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Tom Jager
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 3 Years
Phone: 509-339-5597
Jager Videos

Tom Jager carries the philosophy that honesty, plus respect, plus punctuality equals integrity. Jager brings this mindset into his fourth season at the helm of Washington State University swimming.

Last season, Jager saw the Cougars finish eighth at the Pac-12 Championships, their best finish since a seventh-place finish in 2011. The Cougars’ 200 medley relay team of Emma Johansson, Frederikke Hall, Alison Mand, and Nicole Proulx broke the school record at the Championships, in a time of 1:39.45. The finish was one of two record-setting finishes by WSU on the season, as the relay team of Emma Johansson, Alison Mand, Haley Rose Love, and Anne Kenney finished the 200 free relay at the Hawkeye Invitational in 1:31.66 seconds.

During Jager’s second campaign with the Cougars, WSU finished 6-6 in dual meets. The Cougars finished sixth in a competitive field of 10 teams at the Hawkeye Invitational, and placed ninth at the Pac-12 Championships. Loree Olson highlighted the season by becoming the Cougar all-time record holder in the 400 IM. Olson also placed second all-time on the Washington State records list in the 200 back, and made the top-10 lists in two other events. Emma Johansson placed in the top three of the Cougar all-time lists in the 50 free, 100 back, and 100 butterfly. Shelbi Luchini notched the third-best time in Cougar history in the 200 back, as did Kelly Tannhauser in the 400 IM. A total of eight Cougar swimmers made the Cougar all-time top-ten lists.

In his first season with the Cougars, Jager led the team to two dual meet victories. The Cougars took ninth place at the Pac-12 Championships, qualifying for 16 (2013-21, 2014-25) spots in evening sessions, including a 21st-place finish by Shelbi Luchini in the 400 IM with a time of a 4:21.18, landing her second on the WSU all-time list.

Under Jager’s leadership the Cougars have earned significant academic praise. The team earned Team Scholar All-America status in 2013-14 and the fall of 2011 from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). In addition, five individual swimmers received the CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-America Award in 2013-14. In Jager’s time at WSU, the Cougars have boasted 28 Pac-12 All-Academic honors, including eight Pac-12 Conference All-Academic First Team members.

A 1987 graduate of UCLA, Jager joined the program in May 2011 after seven seasons as the head coach at the University of Idaho. Jager took charge of the Vandal program in January 2004, reviving the Idaho program that had been dormant for nearly two decades. He also helped into diving to the school beginning in the 2008-09 season.

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.

Jager and his wife, Becky, have two sons, Wyatt and Cy.