Jessica Botzum begins her second season as an LSU assistant coach. In her first year with the men’s and women’s teams, she played a key role in the Lady Tigers’ 16th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, while also helping nine athletes earn All-America recognition.
The Tigers’ assistant coach was also instrumental in helping land a pair of top-15 recruiting classes, which are each the best in school history. This season, she’ll continue to aid in the training and development of all swimmers as well as assist in the recruitment of high-level student-athletes, particularly on the women’s side.
Prior to LSU, Botzum gained a wealth of collegiate experience in all stroke disciplines at Virginia Tech, where she emerged as arguably the greatest women’s swimmer in school history. From 2005-08, the Raleigh, N.C., native earned eight NCAA All-America honors, captured five Atlantic Coast Conference titles, shattered numerous records, including the ACC record in the 200-yard breaststroke, and competed at NCAA’s in every season. Furthermore, she became the only swimmer in Hokie history to be named the ACC Swimmer of the Year, receiving the conference’s highest individual honor in both her junior and senior seasons, and was also named the ACC Freshman Swimmer of the Year in her first season.
On the national level, Botzum competed at both the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, reaching the semifinals at both competitions. She placed ninth overall in the 100-meter breast in 2008, missing the final round of the event by only 0.02 seconds, and posted a 10th-place finish in the 200m breast in 2004. In addition, her 200m breast times routinely ranked in the top 50 in the world.
Throughout her stellar career in Blacksburg, Va., Botzum also made her mark as a standout in the classroom and received a plethora of academic awards. A finalist for the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year award, Botzum was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America team in both her junior and senior seasons and received both NCAA and ACC Post-graduate scholarships. She was also a three-time Academic All-ACC selection.
The 23-year-old graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in May 2008 and is currently working toward her master’s in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise physiology.
THE JESSICA BOTZUM FILE
Born: Nov. 29, 1985 in Wayne, N.J.
High School: Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh, N.C.; 2004
College: Virginia Tech University; B.S. in biological sciences, 2008