Jerry Champer, who was a six-time Mid-Continent Swimming Coach of the Year, returns for his 10th year as a member of the Georgia coaching staff, and his first as an associate head coach.
In 2012, under Champer's direction, Doug Reynolds and Michael Arnold went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly at the SECs. Arnold then followed that up with a 10th place showing in the 100 butterfly at the NCAAs.
In 2011, Mark Dylla won the NCAA title in the 200 butterfly after two runner-up finishes and Dylla took the SEC title for the fourth straight year. Todd McGraw (fifth) and Matt Bartlett (seventh) also had top-10 efforts at the SECs in the 200 butterfly.
In 2010, Dylla won his third consecutive SEC title in the 200 butterfly, and he took third at the SECs and seventh at the NCAAs in the 100 butterfly. Anne-Marie Botek was fourth at the SECs and eighth at the NCAAs in the 100 butterfly, while Lisa Caprioglio, Annie Broome, Adrienne Bicek and Matt Bartlett also had top-8 finishes at the SECs.
In 2009, Dylla came in second in the 200 butterfly at the NCAA Championship and won the Southeastern Conference title for the second straight season. Dylla lowered his own SEC meet record and set the school record at the NCAAs. Also at the NCAAs, Annie Broome had a 10th-place effort in the women's 200 butterfly and Todd McGraw took 12th in the men's 200 butterfly. Champer helped Georgia come in second on the women's side and 10th on the men's side at the NCAAs.
In 2008, Champer's charges reached new heights. Gil Stovall and Dylla went 1-2 at the NCAAs in the 200 butterfly, with Stovall setting the NCAA meet record. Dylla won the 200 butterfly at the SECs, breaking the league mark. On the women's side, Broome and Elizabeth Hill earned All-America honors in the 200 butterfly.
In 2007, Champer helped the Lady Bulldogs to a fifth-place effort and the Bulldogs to a 13th-place finish at the NCAAs.
In 2006, Champer assisted as the Lady Bulldogs won the SEC Championship, and he helped coach Mary DeScenza to two butterfly national titles. DeScenza was the 2006 National Swimmer of the Year and ended her college career with six NCAA titles in the butterly events.
Virtually every butterfly time on Georgia's all-time list have been established during Champer's tenure in Athens, including DeScenza's school marks in the 100 and the 200, and the records of Stovall in the 100 and Dylla in the 200.
Champer came to Athens after serving as the men's and women's head swimming and diving coach at Western Illinois from 1994-2001. He was named to the Western Illinois Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012, as the school's winningest swimming and diving coach. In 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, Champer was named the Mid-Continent Conference Men's Coach of the Year. He also picked up the conference Women's Coach of the Year honor in 1995 and 1999. Champer led Western Illinois to five conference titles - four by the men (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999) and one by the women (1999).
Champer earned Southern States Conference Men's Coach of the Year honors after the 1999 and 2000 seasons after leading his team to conference titles. His 2001 men won the Midwest Championships title and he was chosen as the Midwest Championships' Coach of the Year.
He was also named the 1998 and 2001 Illinois Men's University Division Coach of the Year. Under Champer's direction, Western Illinois produced 44 individual conference champions and 46 all-conference distinctions. One of his former pupils represented the country of Georgia in the 2000 Olympics.
Prior to his time at Western Illinois, Champer spent two seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Wisconsin-LaCrosse. There, Champer was a four-year letterwinner and served as team captain (1987-88), earning All-America accolades in 1987. He received a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and a Master's in Human Performance from Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
Champer is married to the former Lu Harris, Georgia's softball coach. The Champers have three daughters - twins Emma and Jenna, and Mya.