UC Davis' Jahn Selected for Steadman Award

The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) Executive Board of Directors has selected Barbara Jahn as its 2019 Richard E Steadman Award winner. Jahn will be recognized at the 59th Annual CSCAA Awards Banquet on May 6th in Myrtle Beach. For forty-four years Barb Jahn has brought a relentless positive attitude to the pools, fields, gyms and classrooms at UC Davis.  She has been the women’s Head Swimming Coach for 43 seasons and has led the Aggies to five conference titles since their transition to Division I a decade ago. 

Over the course of her career Jahn has won championships in five different conferences, but don’t ask her to brag.  Jahn’s underlying philosophy is that the performances are not hers, but rather the swimmers’.

She believes that the swimmer wins their races, achieve their best times, explains Peter Mortekatis, her counterpart at UC Davis, “She is utterly egoless about her swimmers achievements and allows them total ownership and credit.”

Despite the modesty, Jahn’s student-athletes have accomplished a great deal.  Six of her protégés have gone on to win the campus' Hubert Heitman Award as the outstanding female athlete of the year with three more also earning the W.P. Lindley Award as the university's top scholar-athlete of the year.  In 2018 her senior class had eleven swimmers and divers.  Each competed all four years, graduated on time and had a full-time job or graduate school lined up prior to the last session of school. 

Jahn’s impact extends well beyond the pool and college team.  For a short time Jahn was head softball coach at UC Davis.  Said one player, “What she lacked in expertise, she made up for in energy, and support for the players.  We really were fortunate to have as our coach”

For the past four years Jahn has been the Director of Physical Education at UC Davis having taught classes as diverse as lifeguard training, archery, weight training, team building and dance.  More than that, Jahn has connected UC Davis with the local community by teaching water safety.  Each spring an entire third grade class from a local school get the opportunity to take lessons from Coach Jahn.  “I have seen this in action at our local community pool,” explains her peer Peter Mortekatis. “The amount of fun and zest that fill the pool is awesome.   It is amazing how much the third graders improve in such a short time.”

“As thousands of alumni know, Barb’s impact on students at UC Davis has been immeasurable,” stated UC Davis athletic director Kevin Blue. “I’m very happy that she’s being recognized with the Steadman Award.  It represents everything that Barb stands for.”

The Steadman Award is conferred annually to a swimming or diving coach in high school, club, or university ranks who, in the opinion of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the CSCAA Forum, and the CSCAA, has done the most to spread happiness in Coach Steadman’s beloved sport of swimming and diving.

About the CSCAA

Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) is the first professional association of college coaches the United States. The CSCAA is dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming and diving at the collegiate level.

The CSCAA works to

  • protect, promote and expand competitive intercollegiate swimming and diving programs;

  • recognize outstanding achievements by coaches, swimmers and divers;

  • promote communication and cooperation within swimming and diving and with our partner National Governing Bodies, the NCAA, NAIA and Junior College Associations;

  • provide ongoing educational and leadership training for coaches and athletes; and

  • serve as a resource to its membership and for the general public.