Lara Jackson and Andy Waeger Named to Florida Gulf Coast Coaching Staff

Photo Courtesy: FGCU Swimming & Diving

With the 2019-20 season just around the corner, FGCU swimming and diving head coach Dave Rollins has announced the additions of assistant coach Lara Jackson and volunteer assistant Andy Waeger to the Green and Blue staff.

A nine-time NCAA Champion and a 14-time All-American with the Arizona Wildcats, Jackson joins the Eagles after spending the past three years coaching in France with Vichy Val d’Allier Natation. During her time abroad, she served as both the head senior coach as well as the head strength and conditioning coach.

“Fort Myers is such a beautiful setting to get into NCAA coaching and I am grateful for this opportunity to coach alongside my old teammate, Dave Rollins,” Jackson said. “We’re both excited to take this program to the next level and help these ladies grow as athletes and individuals. Wings up!”

Waeger comes to Fort Myers after a five-year stint as the Colgate Raiders’ head swimming and diving coach. During his tenure in Hamilton, the Raiders were ranked as one of the most improved programs in the country.

“What an honor it is to have the chance to join the Eagle family,” Waeger said. “I could not be more excited to get to work with this team that has had such a successful past. I am thankful for Dave Rollins for giving me the opportunity to continue to coach.”

Dave Rollins on Lara Jackson

“Building a program must focus first on the student athletes. That is why I am so excited to have Lara join us. She is committed to helping all of us get better. She knows first-hand what focus, dedication and caring can bring to the pool and more importantly, to life. I am beyond excited to welcome her and her husband Julien to the Eagle Family.”

Dave Rollins On Andy Waeger

“I am thrilled to welcome Andy Waeger and his family to FGCU. Having someone with his background and head coaching experience join our staff as our volunteer is huge for our program. We are fortunate that his family found their new home here in Fort Myers and that Andy is passionate about helping our program. I am looking forward to learning from Andy and continuing to help our student-athletes.”

Lara Jackson Bio Blast

During her time in France, Lara Jackson coached multiple athletes that qualified for French Nationals. In addition, she has worked as a stroke clinician both in France and the United States with former Olympic Medalist, Josh Davis and Torreau Sports, respectively. Her background in sport is an overall blend of athletic accomplishments at the highest level, solid coaching experience and a unique perspective on the sport.

After starting her career as a walk-on athlete at the University of Arizona, Jackson, now a former American record holder, stands as one of the most decorated swimmers in NCAA history. She was inducted into the University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017. Jackson was an integral member of the University of Arizona’s 2008 NCAA Championship team. In 2009, she earned the prestigious Ruby Award as the university’s premier senior female student-athlete. Jackson also set both the NCAA and American record in the 50-yard freestyle (21.27) in 2009, which stood as the fastest time in history until 2015.

Following her collegiate success, Jackson set the American record in the 50-meter freestyle in 2008 and continued to swim as a member of the United States National Team. In 2011, she represented the United States at the Pan-American Games, where she won a gold medal in the 50 free, setting a new meet record. She was also a finalist at the 2012 US Olympic Trials.

Jackson brings to the Green and Blue a perspective to the sport that is greatly influenced by her collegiate experience. Lara credits her success as an athlete and a coach, to the total unity and human development that NCAA Swimming and Diving fosters.

A native of El Paso, TX, Lara Jackson graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science, with a concentration on the Equine Industry. She is married to French Native, Julien Mathias.

Andy Waeger Bio Blast

Waeger joins the Eagles’ staff with a wealth of experience in coaching collegiate swimming. During his most recent stop at Colgate, the women’s team posted a 19-13 record and the men’s team earned a seventh-place finish at the 2017 Patriot League Championship meet, the best finish in program history. He also ensured that his teams focused on their work outside of the pool. Both the men’s and women’s teams excelled in the classroom and were recognized by the CSCAA as Scholar All-America programs.

Prior to his time in upstate New York, Waeger served as an assistant coach at TCU for two seasons. During his stint with the Horned Frogs, he assisted with both the men’s and women’s teams and served as the overall recruiting coordinator, as well as the breaststroke and butterfly stroke group coach.

While in Fort Worth, Waeger coached TCU’s first Big 12 Conference champion, as well as the team’s first NCAA qualifier (2014). He helped the Horned Frogs set 30 school records and 151 top-five performances. The team earned 73 All-Big 12 Conference honors, 87 NCAA “B” cut performances and eight Academic All-American honorable mentions.

Waeger served as the head coach at Lock Haven for seven years and led the program to the highest-ever team finish at the NCAA Championships in 2010 (16th place). During his tenure, he recruited and coached Lock Haven’s first PSAC champion and guided six student-athletes to All-American honors and six additional student-athletes to honorable mentions. Included in that total are two student-athletes who turned in bronze-medal performances at the national championship. In Waeger’s final five seasons with the Eagles, Lock Haven became a national point-scoring program and the team broke school records 76 times.

While pursuing his master’s degree in sport management as Slippery Rock, Waeger served as a graduate assistant for the D-II program. After graduating, he was offered a full-time position with the coaching staff and served as the head coach for two seasons. In his two years as head coach, the team broke eight school records and produced a conference champion.

The Dublin, Ohio native began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater, Fairmont State College, working with distance, IM and breaststroke training groups. In his college career with the Fighting Falcons, he was a four-year letter winner and took home the conference titles in the 200 Breast and 400 Medley Relay events as a captain his senior year. He graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in education.

Andy Waeger and his wife, Kim, have two children, Aiden and Kendall.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact