Passages: William & Mary Long-Time Coach Dudley Jensen

Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins - UVM Athletics

The William & Mary athletics department is saddened to announce the recent passing of former men’s swimming & diving coach Dudley Jensen (1925-2018). Jensen was a fixture at W&M for nearly 50 years, from 1951-96, and coached the men’s swimming & diving team for 33 years over three tenures from 1951-89.

A graduate from Springfield College, Jensen arrived in Williamsburg in the summer of 1951 as an instructor in physical education and men’s swimming & diving coach. Over the years, he earned promotion to full Professor of Physical Education and then Kinesiology, was the Chair of the Physical Education Department from 1978-84, and also served as the university registrar from 1964-1975. In 2008, he was named an Honorary Alumnus by the W&M Alumni Association.

As the men’s swimming & diving coach, Jensen grew the Tribe program immensely, and produced several of the greatest seasons in school history. Beginning with a 6-5 season in 1960-61, Jensen’s team had 15 winning seasons, including W&M’s only undefeated season (10-0) in 1969-70, and a 10-1 campaign the following year. At the Southern Conference Championships, the Tribe had five second-place finishes, including four-straight seasons between 1969-72 as well as in 1964. Overall, Jensen’s record was 170-144-1 (.541), still the all-time record for any coach in W&M swimming & diving history, men or women.

Jensen coached six W&M Hall of Fame inductees, and was himself named to the Hall in 1995. His charges included 1963 NCAA qualifier Ron Good ’65, who won three-straight Southern Conference titles in the 50 free, as well as Pete McIntosh ’65, the 1965 Southern Conference MVP and five-time conference champion. McIntosh would go on to coach W&M for the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons, while Good coached UVA to a 55-33-1 (.624) record over nine seasons from 1969-78. Towards the end of his tenure, Jensen’s team included Shawn McLane ’86, a two-time NCAA qualifier and four-time All-American in diving.

Jensen graduated from Bourne High School in Massachusetts in 1943, and enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving on active duty until 1946. He continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves from 1947-58, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant, and also served in the Coast Guard Reserves from 1946-86, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. Jensen was also a basketball official for 45 years, and a Lay Minister at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg for 20 years.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with William & Mary Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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