“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).