Toledo Head Coach Jonas Persson to Return to Utah as Assistant

University of Toledo head coach Jonas Persson is returning to the University of Utah as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, the school announced Tuesday.

“I am honored to be back at the University of Utah,” Persson said in the announcement. “My wife and I loved our time in Salt Lake City and we cannot wait to go back. It is an exciting time for the University of Utah and the athletic department as it keeps growing and improving at a very impressive rate, something I am looking forward to be a part of. I am still impressed with Head Coach Joe Dykstra and his staff. They are certainly taking the right steps to be a top program in the country. I would like to thank Joe and all the administrators who were a part of the hiring process. I am excited to start working with all the student-athletes at Utah.”

Persson, a 2008 Olympian for Sweden, was with Toledo’s women-only program for three seasons. In his second year, the team finished sixth at the MAC Championships, the school’s highest finish in five years. Last year, they finished seventh.

Prior to Toledo, Persson spent five years as head sprint coach at Utah. Under his watch, athletes broke every men’s team record and 17 women’s team records. He coached seven swimmers who made NCAA Championship appearances and 11 swimmers who ranked in the top-50 nationally.

Persson swam collegiately for the University of Tennessee, where he set seven school records and was a 13-time All-American and team captain.

Also currently listed on the Utah staff is head distance coach Michele Lowry and assistant coach Jos Smith.

In 2018, the Utes men posted their first All-American relay since 1975 in the men’s 200 medley relay, and Paul Unger became Utah’s third-ever medalist at the Pac-12 Championships when he got in a three-way tie for first in the 100 back. On the women’s side, the team send Jordan Anderson to NCAAs in the 400 IM, where she finished 28th in prelims (also competed in the 200 IM and 200 fly).

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Todd Mann
2 years ago

Who is coaching at Toledo now?

Ohio Coach
2 years ago

Kind of a BS move at this time of the year leaving the girls at Toledo without a head coach!

Reply to  Ohio Coach
2 years ago

On the surface, yes. I do not disagree with you; however, who knows how long Toledo has known.

I do know that Toledo does not support this program very well. A few coaches have left because of this, many coaches did not apply because of this and some have even withdrawn their names from consideration after interviewing because of the lack of support. Hopefully this will change.

Reply to  Greg
2 years ago

How are they not supported? They still have 14 scholarships- same as when Lars was there. Difference is talent and coaching. He got out before he was nonrenewed

Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

Salaries and budget. Not sure if it has changed, but for years the Diving Coach was a GA position.

UT Fan
Reply to  Greg
2 years ago

It’s changed and it changed to accommodate Persson. Toledo didn’t know – coach called meeting of swimmers and said he was leaving effective immediately. That was just a week ago. This was just an immature move by the coach. Thomas has it right – and it’s a shame that he didn’t announce sooner so now the team is left picking up the pieces.

Reply to  UT Fan
2 years ago

There is more to this than meets the eye. It wasn’t just about money

Pennsylvania Tuxedo
Reply to  Ohio Coach
2 years ago

You have to always do what is best for you and your family. Always.

2 years ago

The young lady he just hired as an assistant coach is taking interim role at the moment. The position is posted internally at the moment. I suspect they will try and reach out nationally, but at this stage of the year that might be tough

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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