The LSU Tigers, buoyed by a pair of seasons that were the most successful in their recent history, will enter the 2012-2013 season with both a big-name new assistant coach, and some new branding.
The former will be in the form of Chris Ip, who just completed winding down the Clemson swimming program to non-existence, and in the process saw one of the most powerful two-year performances in college swimming history. Ip’s boys program, despite vastly diminished resources, a leaking pool, and limited numbers, remained nationally relevant up until the very end.
Prior to the recent few seasons, though, it was the Clemson women who were a powerhouse, so he can certainly work with the co-ed LSU program.
Ip first made his name as the head coach at Indian River State College, the top Junior College program in history. During his 13 seasons there, he won 13 National Championships and 10 JuCo National Coach of the Year awards.
He has a massive amount of college experience, having been in-the-game at various levels since 1978, consecutively. Most of those were spent as a head coach, including at Delaware. He also was an assistant for a year with the women of Brown, helping to lead that program to the Ivy League Championship in 1984. His Ivy League experience lends a clue as to why his teams have achieved so highly academically. During his time at Clemson, the men averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and the women 3.33. In his last season with his former Tigers of Clemson, the women had the highest GPA of any division 1 program in the country.
He also brings with him the expertise of his wife, Dr. Loreto Jackson. She previously served as the Director of Student-Athlete Performance at Clemson.
This team is going through many changes. A new top assistant, the removal of the team’s best swimmer for her senior year, some great new recruiting classes, and head coach Dave Geyer really settling into his role as head coach in his 3rd season. To go along with that theme, the LSU Tigers have rebranded the team with its own, swimming-specific logo (seen above). It features the right eye of their tiger mascot along with the familiar LSU logo, but has a Swimming & Diving banned layed in the forefront.
This allows the swimming program to continue to be branded with the athletically-powerful LSU insignia, while still differentiating themselves and having an independent identity.