Story courtesy of Toledo Sports Information
TOLEDO, OH - The University of Toledo and swimming and diving coach Lars Jorgensen have agreed to a contract extension through 2014, Athletic Director Mike O'Brien announced on Thursday.
Jorgensen, who recently completed his sixth season guiding the Rockets, led the program to its first Mid-American Conference Championship this year. UT also finished the season with an 11-2 dual meet record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in MAC meets, and ranked No. 37 in the final CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Division I Poll.
"I'm honored that Mike O'Brien and Dr. Jacobs want me to stay," Jorgensen said. "I'm excited for the future as we continue to build a tradition here. It's been a complete team effort, from our assistants Liz Hinkleman and Matt Guinan to all of the girls on our team. We've had great support and our mission is to continue to elevate the program and build on our success."
"Lars has evolved into one of the best young coaches in the country," O'Brien said. "After winning our program's first-ever MAC Championship and his second Coach of the Year honor, it was important for us to show a commitment to Lars and his program. His team, in addition to its success in the pool, also excels in the classroom and has made remarkable strides during his time here."
Prior to Jorgensen's arrival, UT had never finished higher than fourth at the MAC Championships and had placed eighth out of nine teams the season before his hiring. Jorgensen's squad finished sixth in his first year (2005) and improved each of the following three seasons, including a runner-up effort at the conference meet in 2008. Jorgensen earned MAC Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after the Rockets took fourth at the Championships.
After recording a third-place effort at the 2009 MAC Championships, the Rockets broke through with a dominant performance at this year's meet. Toledo led wire-to-wire and won the program's first title in the 19 years that the school has sponsored women's swimming.
UT set eight school records at the meet this year, and Jorgensen again was honored as the conference's Coach of the Year. A remarkable 10 swimmers earned all-conference recognition, including Jacy Dyer, who was named the MAC's Co-Swimmer of the Year.
This week, Toledo had nine swimmers earn recognition as Mid-Major All-Americans by CollegeSwimming.com, the most of any school in the country. The Rockets also matched a school-record with seven selections on the Academic All-MAC team, the most of any program in the conference.
"It's a fun process as we continue to improve every year," Jorgensen said. "I don't know where the future lies, but we definitely have more room for improvement. We're not content with where we are now and we're striving to get better."
For his career, Jorgensen has a 45-19-1 (.703) dual meet record and has guided his swimmers to 20 individual MAC titles. Twenty-four athletes have garnered All-MAC honors, including 14 first-team members, and 19 have earned Academic All-MAC recognition.
The Rockets have also experienced unparalleled success in conference dual meets the past three years, going 17-2 against MAC foes in that stretch. UT also has gone 16-2 overall in its last 18 home meets.
Other highlights from Jorgensen's tenure include helping Kylie Gamelier become the first UT women's swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships, a feat she accomplished in 2008. She participated in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, and along with Dyer, also competed at the 2009 World Championship Trials in Indianapolis last July.
Jorgensen said he is excited for the challenges ahead as the Rockets, despite graduating four seniors, will return 13 swimmers who scored points at the conference meet.
"We have a wonderful senior class leading us into the future," he said. "They're a big reason why we've been so successful and why I want to stay. They have a tremendous work ethic not just in the water but with their academics. It's a great group of girls."