Way back during her days as a young swimmer with the Longmont Redtails or even as a prep swimmer at Skyline High School, Jordan Wolfrum never envisioned a professional career for herself in the world of swimming.
But what began as a fun hobby eventually became an inescapable passion and finally came full circle and turned into a job.
On June 27, Wolfrum was named head coach of the UCLA swimming and diving team. While it was never a goal of hers back when she worked at Fox Hill Country Club as a young girl, Wolfrum unexpectedly found herself as a career coach is now leading one of the most prestigious athletic programs in the nation.
“This is absolutely a dream job for me,” Wolfrum said. “Since I’ve been coaching the Division-I level, it’s even been a stated goal of mine. It still feels a little bit surreal. UCLA athletics has been historically successful and it’s arguably the top public institution in the country. So when you put those things together, it’s really a dream come true.”
Prior to being named UCLA head coach, Wolfrum was interim head coach at St. Benedict and was an assistant and then associate head coach at Ohio State for five years. UCLA only has a women’s swim team and Wolfrum believes strongly in the value of the single-gender model for swimming.
“This is a great opportunity to support women’s swimming, which really speaks to my heart,” Wolfrum said. “I never thought I’d coach, if I’m being honest. I studied math and statistics but I ended up taking a job as an assistant coach and working a swim camp at Stanford, and I really fell in love with coaching and working with athletes.
“I think we have an opportunity to empower young women. So I think there’s something to gain in a single-gender team where your women are the leaders and are never secondary to the men. I think to let the women shine is a benefit to women athletes everywhere.”
Even though she was never a state champion and didn’t set any records during her time at Skyline, Wolfrum still credits much of career success to her upbringing and the coaching she received during her youth in Longmont.
“Everyone all along the way has helped me get to where I am today,” Wolfrum said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people in my life pushing me and supporting me.”