“We thank Tom, appreciate his years of service to Washington State University and wish him great success in his future endeavors,” said Chun.
The school said that it will immediately begin a search for the next head coach of its women’s-only team. Jager’s wife, Becky – who served as his assistant coach for the last three years – is presumably out as well.
Jager, one of the most decorated US Olympians of all-time, was hired before the 2011-2012 season. He coached the team to 32 dual meet victories in his seven seasons, and his swimmers garnered Pac-12 All-Academic honors 67 times. The team finished 8th of 9 teams at the women’s 2018 Pac-12 Championships, and never finished above 7th place in the conference under Jager.
Jager, a UCLA alum, was in 2016 named to the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Olympic Sports All-Century Team for his own swimming success.
Before joining WSU, Jager restarted the University of Idaho’s program that had been on-the-outs for 20 years. Though that team never had immense success in the pool, but during his tenure, it grew a great academic and community-service reputation. Jager has also served administrative roles in USA Swimming (including as a part of the National Steering Committee), and as a US National Team Captain.
As a swimmer, he earned seven Olympic medals (five of which were gold), and six-times broke the 50 free world record. The latter of those records (21.81) stood for over 10 years. As a true sprinter, Jager was possibly the world’s first superstar 50 freestyler, as he won the first two World Championships (1986 and 1991) ever held in the race.