Christopher Ip enters his second year with LSU as an assistant coach after serving as the head swimming and diving coach at Clemson for 10 seasons. Ip was instrumental in helping LSU qualify eight student-athletes to the Men’s NCAA Championships and five student-athletes to the Women’s NCAA Championships.
Ip also assisted in LSU shattering seven men’s swimming records and one women’s swimming record during the 2012-13 campaign. Under Ip’s watch, five of the swimmers he worked closely with qualified for the NCAA Championships. The most notable of the bunch, senior Andrei Tuomola, broke three individual records and one relay record during the championship portion of the season.
At NCAA’s, Tuomola earned a pair of individual All-American awards with top-16 finishes in the 50 free and the 100 breaststroke. At SEC’s, Tuomola captured the bronze medal in the 100 breast and finished in the top-eight in both sprint events. In the process, Tuomola shattered LSU’s 25 year-old 50 free record with a time of 19.57, broke LSU’s 16 year-old 100 breast record with a time of 52.76 and tied LSU’s 25 year-old record in the 100 free with a time of 43.22.
Paired with Tuomola on the team record setting 400 medley relay, sophomore Michael Young evolved into one of the conference’s top 100 fly, 200 fly and 100 backstroke competitors. At SEC’s, Young clocked his 200 back in 1:45.64 and moved up to fifth in the program’s all-time record book during the prelims. Young ranks fourth in the program’s record books after swimming the 100 back in a time of 47.64 at the conference meet.
Along with Tuomola and Young, junior Michael Saco also punched a ticket to NCAA’s and swam on both frees relays and on the 200 medley relay. At SEC’s, Saco raced to 13th in the 50 free with a time of 20.07 after swimming a season low 19.97 in prelims at the SEC Championships. Saco also swam his career low in the 100 free (44.76) at the meet.
Ip also played a key role in the development of sophomore Amber Carter and junior Rainey White in the 50 free, 100 and 100 fly. The duo earned a ticket to the NCAA Championships with an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 200 medley relay (1:37.80) at SEC’s. White swam the fly leg and Carter anchored the relay.
At the conference championships, Carter finished 15th in the 50 free with a time of 22.71 after swimming LSU’s fifth best all-time 50 free of 22.58 in the prelims
During his tenure at Clemson, Ip produced 16 NCAA All-American and Honorable Mention All-American performers, 24 ACC Champions and 35 All-ACC swimmers. Seventeen out of 24 of the men’s and women’s records for each team were broken under his direction. Fourteen of his athletes became Olympic trial participants, domestically and internationally.
Ip was honored as a 2012 ASCA Coach of Excellence award winner for pllacing a swimmer top-eight at the 2012 NCAA Championships. In addition to in the pool excellence, Ip’s teams consistently boasted high academic marks and did extensive work in the community. His men and women’s teams averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in 29 separate semesters of classes. Three of Ip’s athletes went on to earn the prestigious NCAA Post-graduate scholarship.
Ip served as the President and Coach of the Clemson Tiger Aquatic Camps, Inc. from 2005-2011.
Ip also has considerable international coaching experience. He served as head coach of the Jamaican National Swim Team for the 1994 World Games in Rome, Italy. He also coached the same team at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia that same year. In the spring of 1997 he was a member of the Venezuelan coaching staff for the FINA Short Course World Championships at Gothenburg, Sweden.
Many of his athletes have gone on to success at the Olympic level. He had a total of 10 athletes represent their respective countries in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Prior to arriving at Clemson, Ip coached at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. for 13 seasons. Incredibly, the Swarthmore, Penn. native won the national championship in both men’s and women’s competition all 13 years he served as head coach at Indian River Community College, presently the most for any coach in NJCAA history.
Ip has been honored as the National Coach of the Year at the junior college level for men’s swimming 10 times, including seven years in a row between 1992-98. He has been named the women’s National Coach of the Year four times and was named the National Coach of the Year in both the men’s and women’s swimming programs in 1998 and 2002.
Before his career at Indian River, Ip served as the Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coach at the University of Delaware. He led the men’s program to conference championships in each of his last two years (1988 and 1989). The Delaware women’s program won the East Coast Conference title in 1989. Overall, his swimmers combined to win 42 individual East Coast Conference championship titles in his five years leading the program. Twelve of his swimmers were USS Senior National qualifiers.
Ip began his college coaching career as the men’s assistant coach at East Stroudsburg State in 1978, followed by two years as the assistant women’s coach at Springfield College before heading to Brown University in Rhode Island. The women’s program won the Ivy League Championship in 1984, his only season with the program.
In terms of administration, Ip has served two terms as NJCAA Swim Coaches Association President, and served in the Florida Swimming Association. He held the rank of assistant professor for 10 years.
He was named a Distinguished All-America swimmer twice at East Stroudsburg State. He will be enshrined in the Warriors Hall of Fame later this year.
Ip earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from East Stroudsburg State in 1978 and a masters of science degree in exercise physiology from Springfield College in 1984. Ip was inducted into the East Stroudsburg University Hall of Fame in 2013. Ip is married to Dr. Loreto Jackson and has recently moved to Baton Rouge.