Jerry Kollross has been named the UW-Eau Claire menís and womenís swimming and diving coach, Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon has announced.
Kollross spent the 2006-07 season as the interim head coach after Rob Welcher resigned late last summer. He had been a volunteer assistant during Welcherís sixth and final season as the Blugold head coach in 2005-06.
Kollross was selected after a national search as the Blugolds seek to regain the national prominence they had under Hall of Fame coach Tom Prior who retired in 1999. During Priorís 30-year tenure as menís coach, the Blugolds won 25 conference championships including a string of 19 in a row and finished among the top four teams in the NAIA nationals 11 times. During Priorís 21-year tenure as the womenís coach, the Blugolds won 19 conference championships including a string of 18 in a row and finished among the top four teams in the NAIA nationals 10 times with three national championships.
The Blugolds have finished third in the menís conference championship six straight years and third in the womenís conference championship five straight years.
Kollross already has received commitments from 37 freshmen prospects for the 2007-08 season as he works to rebuild the program which had no qualifiers for nationals this past season. The Blugolds no longer compete as an NAIA institution but as an NCAA Division III member.
Kollross is a former Wisconsin State University Conference champion freestyle sprinter at UW-La Crosse, winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle events in both 1983 and 1984 and establishing conference records, one of which stood until the 2006 season. He won the NAIA national championship in the 50 and 100 free in 1984 and still holds the La Crosse school records in those events.
He participated in the 1988 Olympic swimming trials and worked under head coach Jack Pettinger at UW-Madison as a graduate assistant for two years while training for those trials. He has been inducted into the UW-La Crosse Wall of Fame.
He is also a member of the Minnesota Masters Swimming Association. He also was a volunteer assistant for Eau Claire Memorialís girls swim team for two years and head coach at Maple Bluff Country Club in Madison for two years.
Kollross, his wife Linda, a psychiatrist at Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire, and daughters Katie, 17, Taylor, 14, and Alexis, 13, have lived in Eau Claire since 1998. Kollross owns his own company, Top Golf Products LLC which sells golf event programs and products to corporate customers including Pepsi Cola, American Family Insurance, Coors, Nokia and Lipton.
Kollross earned his Masterís Degree in Business Administration from UW-Eau Claire this spring and was named the outstanding student in the masterís program. He has taught classes at UW-Stout and hopes to teach business classes at UWEC this year.
He received his undergraduate degree in marketing from UW-La Crosse in 1984. He has worked in the business sector since 1984 including stints as advertising sales representative of The Bradenton Herald in Bradenton, Florida (1984-85), account manager/sales trainer with American Printing Company in Madison (1985-1991), systems sales representative with AGFA Corporation in Dayton, Ohio (1991-92), sales manager with Printing Service Company/Prestige Display in Dayton (1992-95), director of marketing with Golf USA International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1995-98) and sales manager/national account manager for Innomark Communications of Fairfield, Ohio (1998-2006).