Click here to Skip to main content
University of South Dakota - Swimming
University of South Dakota - Swimming mobile


The 2016-17 season will be Jason Mahowald’s 12th as the head men's and women's swimming and diving coach at the University of South Dakota. Mahowald began his tenure in 2005-06 when the Coyotes were in Division II and has guided the program through the transition to Division I.

Mahowald began his coaching career by leading the women’s swimming and diving team to three-straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Division II National Championships, including an eighth-place finish in 2005-06, which tied for the programs best result. That same year the women’s swimming and diving team was named an Academic All-American team by

During the three-year stretch (2005-08) that Mahowald coached the Coyotes in Division II, he led the men’s and women’s teams to 29 All-America performances, 24 of which were individual performances.

Mahowald has received coach of the year honors twice. In 2006-07, Mahowald was named the North Central Conference Coach of the Year. In 2008-09, the one year the Coyotes spent in the Northern Sun Conference, Mahowald was named the NSC Coach of the Year. That same year, he was also honored as one of the outstanding coaches for the season by the American Swimming Coaches Association and received the Coaching Excellence Award.

USD made the jump to Division I in 2009-10 and the swimming and diving teams joined the Summit League. Mahowald coached the men’s and women’s teams to a third-place finish in 2012, the best finish for both teams. He also led the women to a third-place finish in 2016.

Throughout his career, Mahowald has coached 28 individuals and two relay teams to conference titles in the NCC, NSC and the Summit.  A total of 20 individuals and 13 teams have earned All-Summit League honors for placing third or better in their events. Ten athletes were named to the All-Academic Team in the Summit League and four were named to All-Academic NCC and NSC teams. Swimmer Elizabeth Hoffman was twice named Academic All-District in 2009-10 and 2011-12. Swimmer Colin Krysl joined Hoffman on the 2011-12 team.

Mahowald led diver Jill Smolczyk to the Coyote’s first-ever Division II national title as she won the one-meter dive in 2007-08. She was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Women’s At-Large team in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Smolczyk was also named Outstanding Diver at the NCC Championships in 2007-08.

Mahowald helped coach diver Greysen Hertting to three straight one- and three-meter Summit League diving championship titles from 2013-16. Every season, Hertting was named the Women’s Diving Championship MVP and Summit League Diver of the Year. She is the only female diver in Summit League history to accomplish the feat.

Also earning awards under Mahowald are: Scott Bruce who was named Men’s NCC Newcomer of the Year in 2005-06, Smolczyk was the Diver of the Year for the NCC in 2006-07, Leita Rolfe was named Co-Outstanding Swimmer of the NCC Championships in 2007-08, Thad Stoddard was named Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year in the NSC for 2008-09 and Emilie Kluth was named to the 2007-08 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team.

Mahowald earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wisconsin- Stevens Point (2002) where he was a four-year letter winner and swimming and diving team captain. He received a master's degree in sports administration from Ball State University (2005). As assistant swimming coach (graduate assistant) at Ball State from August 2003 prior to his arrival at USD in 2005, Mahowald conducted workouts, arranged travels needs, and served as a recruiter for the program. He served as an assistant swim camp director (2004) at Ball State and was the Longhorn Swim Camp Coach at the University of Texas (2001, 2003) where he worked with Olympic Coach Eddie Reese and World Championship Coach Jill Sterkel.

While in high school, Mahowald was a national top-16 swimmer for the Hastings-Area Swim Team in Minnesota.

Mahowald and his wife, Melanie, live in Vermillion with their daughter, Addelle, and sons Luke, Bridger and Ryker.