Jamie Kolar Will Transfer from Illinois to Cincinnati for Final Season

2016 Olympic Trials qualifier Jamie Kolar will transfer from Illinois to Cincinnati for the 2020-2021 NCAA season. Kolar completed her undergraduate degree at Illinois and will begin working toward a Master of Science in Marketing after completing her undergraduate studies in inderdisciplinary health sciences with a minor in business.

Kolar graduated with highest honors from Illinois.

I am beyond excited to announce my commitment to the University of Cincinnati. I will be attending graduate school as well as using my final year of eligibility in the water. Thank you to my family and coaches at HSC for helping me along this tremendous journey. Thank you to the coaches at Cincinnati for giving me this amazing opportunity as well! I can’t wait to see what this next chapter holds in a new city and a new school!
Go Bearcats 🐾

The redshirt senior spent 4 seasons at Illinois, but took a medical redshirt during the 2018-2019 season, which leaves her with one remaining season of eligibility. She ranked 3rd among Illinois swimmers last season in the 100 back (55.67) and 2nd in the 200 back (1:59.86). She finished her season at the Illinois Swimming Senior Championships in early March and didn’t race at the Big Ten Championships.

Best Times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 24.37
  • 100 free – 53.14
  • 100 back – 55.25
  • 200 back – 1:58.12

Best Times in Meters:

  • 100 free – 59.61
  • 200 free – 2:08.64
  • 50 back – 30.35
  • 100 back – 1:03.18
  • 200 back – 2:15.85
  • 100 fly – 1:06.49

She raced in the 100 backstroke (133rd place) at the 2016 Olympic Trials. After swimming lifetime bests in 6 primary events in long course last summer, she was approaching time standards for the 2020 Olympic Trials as well, including just half-a-second away in the 100 back, before that meet was postponed a year. USA Swimming has not yet announced a plan for how to handle Olympic Trials standards between now and the rescheduled dates.

Kolar’s best time in the 100 back last season would have won the B-Final for Cincinnati at the American Athletic Conference Championship meet, while her best time in the 200 back would have qualified her for the A-final. This is a big pickup for the Bearcats, as backstroke was a deficiency for them last season: their lone scorer in the event at the AAC Championships was freshman Jaclyn Klimczak, who scored 11 total points between the two races.

That group will be much deeper next season. In addition to Kolar, the team has in its class of 2020 Erin Shema (56.3/2:02.5) and Morgan Shinault (56.4/2:00.1), both of whom already have times that would have scored at last year’s AAC Championship.

The Cincinnati women finished 3rd as a team at the AAC Championships, 78.5 points behind runners-up SMU.

Kolar is a native of Lincolnwood, Illinois, where she attended Loyola Academy and trained with the Hinsdale Swim Club. Her younger sister Julie is a rising junior on the swim team at Illinois State.


Leave a Reply

4 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Good call. Best of luck


Great pickup for Cinci. Kolar will be a big contributor. Not surprised U of IL could not hold onto the only swimmer on their roster who had qualified for 2016 Olympic trials. It says a lot about U of IL’s failing swim program. They need to clean out the coaching staff. Novitsky needs to go- it’s ridiculous she is still coaching. E. McGill does NOT have a history of success in his past coaching positions.


Seems like it is more for education than the program. Best of luck!


University of IL provides great graduate programs. You can’t deny that U of IL swim program is in bad shape.


She quit in the middle of last season and wasted a season of eligibility. This was all about getting away from that coaching staff at UofI.


You could say she wasted 3 years of eligibility at UofI. The UofI swim program is typically the end of swim careers. The program clearly exists because of Title 9. Novitsky hasn’t done anything for the program and McGill was hired only because he’s from Champaign and his brother was an Olympian. Neither has any coaching ability.


Former U of I swimmer here. I will admit the u of I swim program has some MAJOR issues (as do many other D1 programs) that warrant restructuring several aspects of the program. I hope U of I’s swim program continues to grow and improve because under the right leadership it has so much great potential and could be a major powerhouse in the Big Ten conference.

Best of luck to Jamie at Cincinnati and in your future swimming career! Swim fast!


Let’s just admitted. McGill and Sue are dysfunctional at best. If you look the social media pages it’s a joke. A swimmer dropping a half second and finishing 24th at big tens is not something to hang your hat on. You are still 24th. This program has no real traction/direction. Token wins cheapen the process.


Congrats and good luck!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »