Jordan Wolfrum 1
While growing up in Longmont, Colorado, competing in swimming and diving played a large and important role in Jordan Wolfrum’s life.
Little did she know, the sport would end up taking her all around the country and eventually landing her the job of her dreams years down the road.
Wolfrum, a 2009 graduate of St. Cloud State University and a former standout on the Huskies women’s swim team, was recently named the new head coach of the UCLA women’s swimming and diving program in July.
Wolfrum, who majored in Mathematics at St. Cloud State, is one of just three women in charge of Top 25 Division I women’s swimming and diving programs throughout the country.
She is also one of more than a dozen former SCSU athletes and graduate assistant coaches who are currently coaching swimming and diving at the college level.
“My dream job has always been UCLA. If I could be a head coach anywhere, this is where I wanted to do it. I really got my dream job,” Wolfrum said. “I got lucky a few times and happened to be in the right places at the right times, but what got me here was the awesome relationships that started with (SCSU men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach) Coach Hegle at St. Cloud.”
SCSU as a stepping stone for success
Former SCSU Huskies swimmers coaching at the college level in 2019:
Ben Gill — Head coach, St. John’s (Minn.)
Ryan Goggans — Head coach, Ripon
Anthony Harris — Assistant coach, Arkansas
Jeff Hegle — Head coach, SCSU
Bailee Jackson — Graduate assistant, SCSU
Charles King — Head coach, MSU-Moorhead
Jessica Kramer — Graduate assistant, SCSU
Jake Larson — Assistant coach, Miami (Ohio)
Kelsey Leeson — Assistant, Alaska Fairbanks
Steve Mohs — Head coach, UW-LaCrosse
Chris Pape — Head diving coach, South Dakota
Abby Rasmussen — Assistant coach, SCSU
Becca Weiland — Head coach, Alaska Fairbanks
Jordan Wolfrum — Head coach, UCLA
Mandy Wolvert — Head coach, St. Benedict
During her senior year of high school in Colorado, Wolfrum decided she would start to look at colleges where she could get both a good education and carry her passion for swimming to the collegiate level.
After deciding she wanted to swim at the Division II level and following a few recruiting visits around the country, Wolfrum made the decision to move nearly 900 miles away from her hometown to attend St. Cloud State.
“It just felt like a really, really good fit. I was excited and wound up at St. Cloud, living in Shoemaker Hall and swam every day at Halenbeck Hall. It was a really great experience,” she said. “You felt like a part of the community on campus, you felt like this place belonged to you and you felt a part of the student body, which is still special to me. Those are the things that stuck with me.”
After spending four years at SCSU on the swim team, it was time for Wolfrum to decide what she wanted to do following her career in St. Cloud. After meeting with her coach Jeff Hegle to discuss her future beyond school, Hegle offered Wolfrum the opportunity to take an assistant coaching position with the swimming and diving team at the College of St. Benedict just a few minutes down the road from St. Cloud.
Wolfrum spent three years at St. Benedict under head coach Kathy Walker, before coming the head coach of the Blazers team following Walker’s departure.
“I went to St. Ben’s and absolutely fell in love with coaching. My first summer at St. Ben’s, Kathy took me out to be a camp counselor at a Stanford swim camp and I fell in love with the idea of coaching,” Wolfrum said. “Kathy took another job and said that she was going to take that opportunity only if I took over as the head coach. So I took over and it was an amazing experience. That’s when I knew that’s what I really wanted to do.”
After serving as the Blazers head coach for one year, Wolfrum was offered a position at Stanford as a volunteer coach. From that point on, her career took off.
“The coaches at Stanford told me to come join them as volunteer coach, so I sold everything I had and just went out there. I took a chance and worked at Stanford for a year on no pay and scraped by, but it was awesome,” she said. “It was a game-changer of an experience.”
One year at Stanford led Wolfrum to taking an associate head coaching position at Ohio State a few years later, before accepting the dream job as the head coach at UCLA this summer.
“I’m a Husky through and through”
Although Wolfrum is no longer at St. Cloud State, the university where she earned her degree and sparked her love for coaching will forever hold a special place in her life.
“My experience at St. Cloud State was awesome. I had some great professors that I loved. I met so many people from so many different backgrounds and places. I fell in love with the town of St. Cloud,” she said. “It felt like, when you’re in St. Cloud, you feel like you own that city and that space, whether it’s going to hockey games or going out to eat or going to the quarries. There was so much about that experience that holds a special place in my heart.”
Wolfrum created a lot of memorable experiences at SCSU in her four years at the school, including meeting lifelong friends and even marrying her husband who she met while attending the university.
“I lived all four years around campus, I had a large group of friends and it was really, really special. The number of people that I met there, those are the kind of relationships that have lasted so long and they are really special to me. During my time at St. Cloud, we took a lot of pride in the university as both athletes and students, that was really important to me.”
About a year ago, Wolfrum and her now husband Kyle Cordry, a 2010 graduate and former St. Cloud State men’s swimmer, got married near Wolfrum’s hometown in Colorado. The couple ended up having about 30 of their former Huskies teammates and their spouses attend the wedding, where they were able to reminisce about their experiences on the Huskies swimming and diving team while recalling what made their time in St. Cloud so special.
“We all worked really hard for everything that we had. We fundraised, we hustled and we worked for this kind of pride that we have. One of the core values on our team that came from Coach Hegle was that you are lucky to have this opportunity and we have a responsibility to take care of each other,” Wolfrum said. “We all had a responsibility on the team to take good care of each other. You looked out for each other, it’s just what you did.
“That concept has been the single biggest piece in why I coach and the way that I coach. It’s a direct reflection of the team that I came from and the pride that we had and the places that I came from.”
Wolfrum wasn’t initially sure if landing her dream job at UCLA would occur during her coaching career. But in July, that dream became a reality. And her experience at St. Cloud State has played and continues to play a large role in where she is today.
“I’m a husky through and through,” she said. “I absolutely love St. Cloud State.”