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 20 years with the University.
Since taking over the reins, Howell has guided the Eagles to a combined 39 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Division III men's and women's National Championships and 40 conference team titles. This past season in 2017-18, he oversaw the women’s team to their ninth consecutive NCAA Division III National Championship, saw the men's team post their third national runner-up finish and first since 2009 and was honored as the Women's National Coach of the Year for the seventh time. The women’s title also marked the 18th-straight season of finishing fourth or better at nationals with the men posting their 19th consecutive top-5 finish.
At the 2017 National Championships, Howell garnered both the Men and Women National Coach of the Year honors presented by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America as Emory swept both team titles for the first time in school history. It marked the sixth time, and second consecutive, that Howell received the Women’s Coach of the Year award, also winning in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2016 while it was the first time in his career he was bestowed with the Men’s honor.
During his tutelage, Howell has seen 45 individual and 41 relay national champions and an incredible 1,145 All-America certificates awarded to Emory swimmers. He has coached three National Division III Swimmer of the Year winners in Liz Horvat in 2009. Andrew Wilson in both 2015 and 2017 and Oliver Smith in 2018, 21 conference swimmers of the year, seven conference divers of the year, 18 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 20 seasons with the team. In addition to the conference titles, Howell and his assistants have been honored 12 times as the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year, most recently in 2018.
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.