Jon Howell, who was named the Emory University Swimming & Diving Head Coach in the summer of 1998, has transformed the program into a national powerhouse in his 18 years with the University.
Since taking over the reins, Howell has guided the Eagles to a combined 35 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Division III men's and women's National Championships and 36 conference team titles. This past season in 2015-16, he oversaw the women’s team to their seventh consecutive NCAA Division III National Championship and ninth overall in program history while the men’s team finished in the top-three at the NCAA Division III Championships for the 13th-time in program history, placing third. The women’s title also marked the 16th-straight season of finishing fourth or better at nationals with the men posting their 17th consecutive top-5 finish.
At the 2016 National Championships, Howell led the Emory women to six event National Championships, tying a school record for a single NCAA Championship meet, including a perfect five-for-five in relay events for the first time in school history, two school records and one Division III national record. He was named the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Women’s National Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career, also winning the award in 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011.
During his tutelage, Howell has seen 30 individual and 24 relay national champions and an incredible 1,038 All-America certificates awarded to Emory swimmers. He has coached two National Division III Swimmer of the Year winners in Liz Horvat in 2009 and Andrew Wilson in 2015, 17 conference swimmers of the year, seven conference divers of the year, 16 conference rookies of the year and has led both the men's and women's teams to University Athletic Association titles in each of his 18 seasons with the team. In addition to the conference titles, Howell and his assistants have been honored nine times as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year, most recently in 2016.
Howell was also the 2015 recipient of the National College and Scholastic Swimming Trophy, one of the five major awards presented annually by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. It is awarded to an individual or organization for having contributed in an outstanding way to swimming as a competitive sport and as a healthful recreational activity at schools and colleges and is the highest award of its kind in the United States.
Before his arrival to Atlanta, Howell was the interim head coach at Kenyon College (Ohio) during the 1995-96 season in which his teams won the NCAA Division III national men's and women's championships. That season Kenyon won 14 national championships in individual or relay events, produced a Division III national record, established four new school records and swept the men's and women's conference titles.
Howell is a 1990 graduate of Kenyon, where he was an 11-time National Champion and a 21-time All-American, primarily as a sprint freestyler. Among his 11 individual national championships are three consecutive in the 50-yard freestyle (1988-90), one of only two swimmers all-time to accomplish the feat in the event, and one in the 100-yard freestyle event (1990). Howell helped Kenyon to four national team championships and was twice voted the team's Most Valuable Performer. At the completion of his senior season, Howell was voted the school's Athlete of the Year.