Lars Jorgensen begins his fourth season as assistant coach with the LSU swimming program as a valuable asset to head coach Jeff Cavana.
Jorgensen is instrumental in helping Cavana continue to recruit top-caliber athletes, as well as by devoting many hours to on-deck coaching and administrative activities. Jorgensen specializes in the training of the distance swimmers, and is the main link to the LSU Sports Information Office.
Jorgensen’s coaching paid off in a big way in 2001-02, as the Tigers had another season of outstanding performances by its distance swimmers and a few pleasant surprises as well. One surprise was sophomore Stephanie Smith, who swam her first full season for the Lady Tigers last season after rehabilitating a neck injury for the better part of two years and was named an Honorable Mention All-American in the 1650-yard freestyle. Smith finished the event in 13th place at the 2002 NCAA Championships, swimming the event in a time of 16:25.47, which set the school-record.
Jorgensen joined the Tigers in 1999 after previously being involved with numerous swimming organizations. While attending the University of Tennessee, he was a vital member of the swimming and diving team and set the school record in both the 1000- and 1650-yard freestyle events. He was also the Ironman Triathlon record holder, a six-time USS National Champion, an NCAA All-American and participated in the 1988 Olympic Games for the United States in the 1500-freestyle competition.
After graduating from Tennessee with a bachelor of arts in political science in 1994, Jorgensen earned his masters degree in sports management in 1996 and then went into coaching. He was the assistant coach at Tennessee under head coach John Trembley until 1994 when he was hired as the head coach at the Blount Aquatic Club in Maryville, Tenn.
Lars moved back to his hometown of San Diego, Calif., where he was hired as the head age-group coach of the Blue Fins Swim Team. The Blue Fins are considered to be one of the premier teams in Southern California, and consistently produce numerous top 16 and junior national qualifying swimmers in the age-group program.
Jorgensen has developed many national age group record holders primarily in the backstroke events, and has consistently produced top-16 swimmers at the national level throughout his coaching career.
In 1999, during his debut season with the LSU Tigers, Lars helped guide both the men’s and women’s teams to top-25 finishes. Under his watchful eye and supervision, the Lady Tigers and Tigers finished the season ranked 16th and 23rd in the nation, respectively. Jorgensen coached two All-Americans during the 1999 campaign in Rodrigo Castro and Melissa Knox. Castro established new school records in the 200 and 500 free and Knox finished ranked second all-time at LSU in the 1650-freestyle competition by scoring at the NCAA Championships.
Jorgensen’s goals are to bring the LSU swimming and diving program into the top-10 in the nation, while recruiting blue-chip talent each season he is in Baton Rouge. Jorgensen’ ability to improve young swimmers and motivate the athletes will aid in helping the Tigers to reach an even higher level in the future.
Jorgensen is married to the former Rachel Evans of Brownsville, Tenn. They had their first child, Margaret Elizabeth Jorgensen, on Sept. 1, 2000.