Jon Lederhouse Announces This is His Last Season at Wheaton College

by SwimSwam 12

September 23rd, 2016 Coaching Changes, College, News

Courtesy of Wheaton Athletics.

Jon Lederhouse, head swimming coach at Wheaton College, has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2016-17 school year. Entering his 41st season as a head coach at Wheaton, Lederhouse’s swim programs have won 48 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Championships (24 men and 24 women). Additionally, he coached the women’s team to four Chicago Metro Conference championships prior to the CCIW adding women’s swimming as a conference sport.

Julie Davis, Wheaton’s Director of Athletics says of Lederhouse, “Jon represents the very best of a Wheaton College head coach. Jon is an incredibly successful coach, building the swim program at Wheaton and accumulating numerous conference championships and national top-10 finishes along the way. Equally important, he has been an outstanding Christian leader and mentor to his many student-athletes. His personal devotion to Christ and his commitment to student discipleship has marked hundreds of lives. He will be deeply missed, and I am incredibly grateful for his contributions over the years.”

The NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming Co-Coach of the Year in 2000, Lederhouse’s women’s teams have scored points at the NCAA Championships 32 times, including 10 top-10 finishes. His 2000 women’s squad finished fifth at Nationals. Four women have won a total of 11 NCAA Division III individual championships in his lengthy tenure.

Lederhouse’s men’s program has finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Division III Championships 11 times, including a third-place finish in 1990 and a fourth-place finish in 1991. Wheaton has won five individual NCAA men’s swimming Championships from three of Lederhouse’s swimmers. Under his guidance the program has scored points 33 times at the NCAA Division III Men’s Swimming Championships.

A 1974 graduate of Wheaton, Lederhouse was a two-time NCAA College Division Champion in the 100-yard backstroke and a 15-time All-American in his swimming career.

Davis notes that a national search for Wheaton’s next swim coach will begin in November.


We asked Coach Lederhouse for his career highlights over the last 40 years. Here are his highlights, categorizing them as either priceless, fulfilling or exciting:

— Swimming on the first Wheaton College teams to win their Conference (CCIW) Championship and place top-10 at the NCAA Championships – EXCITING
— Coaching 52 of the 55 Wheaton conference swim team championships and 21 of the 22 NCAA top-10 squads – FULFILLING
— Hosting the 1990 NCAA D3 Men’s Championship Meet, opening the trophy boxes and saying to myself, “…like we will ever win one of these,” then finishing third in the meet! – PRICELESS

— Coaching my first two NCAA scorers, two Wheaton divers, as a volunteer assistant coach in 1974 and 1976 – EXCITING
— Coaching 84 Individual Wheaton All-Americans in swimming, diving, and water polo – FULFILLING
— Coaching my three children and my two brothers as Wheaton swimmers – PRICELESS

— Coaching three Wheaton swimmers to breaking NCAA D3 records – EXCITING
— Coaching seven Wheaton swimmers to NCAA Division III titles and 17 others as runners-up – FULFILLING
— Coaching one Wheaton swimmer to the U.S. Olympic Trials Track final in the 5K run and another Wheaton Swimmer to an Olympic berth in speed skating – PRICELESS

— Serving on the design team for the first and only Wheaton College pool and hosting 70 taper meets there – EXCITING
— Serving on the NCAA Rules Committee for much of the 1990s – FULFILLING
— Serving as a spiritual influence for some swimmers and coaches during my career – PRICELESS

— Teaching classes for 25 years in the Wheaton College Kinesiology Department from beginning swimming to sports ethics – EXCITING
— Coordinating instructional and competitive aquatics programs for community children – FULFILLING
— Debating teaching and coaching philosophies for 40 years with a professor in the Wheaton College Education Department (and still being happily married to her) – PRICELESS

— Occasionally receiving the CCIW Coach of the Year award – EXCITING
— Co-recipient of the 2000 NCAA D3 Women’s Coach of the Year award – FULFILLING
— Receiving the 2012 Wheaton College Distinguished Service to Alma Mater together with my wife, Jill –PRICELESS

— Having the Wheaton swimming and water polo alumni volunteer coach with me – EXCITING
— Having rival athletes from within the conference assistant coach with me – FULFILLING
— Having my own Wheaton College swim coach still volunteer coaching with me 45 years later – PRICELESS

— Swimming or coaching for Wheaton at NCAA’s all but one year since 1971 – EXCITING
— Coaching the children of my teammates and former swimmers – FULFILLING
Getting a visit from any of nearly 700 swim alumni and having their best times pop up in my head before their names – PRICELESS

Courtesy of Wheaton Athletics.

Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Dave Thomas

Truly top of the class when it comes to coaches. He brought out the best in my coaching abilities. I loved competing against Jon’s teams. But more importantly he is a friend and mentor.

Aaron Paskvan

John is a class act, a great educator and this world needs more people like him.


He’s a great guy, and I enjoyed being across the deck from him. I always found his swimmers to be gracious. They always brought a great enjoyment to meets, making meets less about rivalries and more about fellowship in swimming and spurring everyone on to doing the best they could. This is a direct reflection of the values he instilled, top to bottom. We always enjoyed competing against them! Interesting note about team members: the first time they came to compete against the team when I was coach, the Wheaton swimmers had been up late participating in the first dance allowed under the college’s new policy. They were bleary-eyed from staying up late, but they came and gave us a… Read more »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!