One week after SwimSwam reported that Lars Jorgensen had been suspended since early May pending an NCAA investigation into compliance rules violations, the Kentucky head swim coach resigned Wednesday after more than a decade in Lexington.
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart released a brief statement declaring a “national search for a new head coach.”
The official press release simply said Jorgensen has served as head coach since 2013 and also was an assistant coach the year before his promotion. It neglected to mention any of his accolades, such as SEC Coach of the Year in 2021 for leading the Wildcat women to their first conference title ever. This past season, freshman distance specialist Levi Sandidge became the Wildcats’ first-ever SEC champion in the men’s 1650-yard freestyle.
Jorgensen’s legal representation issued a release referring to the coach’s departure from the school as the two “reaching an agreement resolving amicably the issues” between Jorgensen and the University of Kentucky.
“I have enjoyed my tenure at University of Kentucky,” Jorgensen said. “I’ll miss the athletes and the success we have had together.”
According to a source close to the program, the entire Wildcats swim coaching staff was suspended for one week at the start of May. Inconveniently, the team was not informed of the issues with their coaching staff until May 1, the day after the transfer portal closed for women’s swimmers on April 30.
Assistant coaches Jordan Lieberman, Geena Freriks, and Bailey Bonnett are now back on deck with Kentucky Aquatics, but associate head coach Michael Camper stepped down after five seasons. Camper did not respond to SwimSwam’s requests for comment, but his LinkedIn profile indicates he recently took a new job outside of the swimming world as a territory manager for Gardner Inc., a lawn equipment distributor.
The source also told SwimSwam that Jorgensen’s latest violations were not his first offense. According to the source, he was also suspended for the Wildcats’ SEC opener at Texas A&M last November, but did not inform the team of the true reason for his absence.
As a swimmer, Jorgensen set program records at the University of Tennessee and went on to represent the U.S. at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He has also held the record for the Ironman World Championships for nearly two decades with a swimming split of 46:41.