Jon Larson enters his second year as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lion swimming program, however, he has been associated with Penn State as well as the local area swimming scene for the last 11 years. This is Larson's first collegiate coaching job since his undergraduate days. However, he brings a wealth of experience with him to the Nittany Lions.
In addition to his coaching duties with Penn State, he is also the head coach of Big Cat Aquatics, the club swimming program run out of McCoy Natatorium. Larson has worked with swimmers from elementary school age up through collegiate swimmers from the local area. Big Cat Aquatics, a USA Swimming club team that serves youth within a 50-mile radius of the Penn State campus, uses McCoy Natatorium for training and has provided a training environment for several current Penn State swimmers during their prep days. Among current Penn State swimmers that Larson has coached through his role with Big Cat Aquatics are Molly Crispell, Kailey Morris, Jon Cochrane, Alan Erdley and Ben Ryan.
Prior to taking the assistant position at Penn State, Larson served as the McCoy Natatorium Pool Coordinator for 10 years in addition to his role as the head coach of Big Cat Aquatics, and has worked out of the same office suite that the swimming and diving programs are based. Among his duties were supervising of the staff at McCoy, assisting in the scheduling of all events at the Natatorium, supervising all aquatic programs being held at McCoy, acting as the facility host for major competitions held at McCoy, and instructing exercise sport science classes as well as at Penn State sports camps.
Prior to coming to the State College area, Larson served as head coach and program director of the Coronado Navy Swim Association in Coronado, Calif. from 1989-96. In the role, has responsible for supervising a staff, various administrative duties, coordinating all training sessions for swimmers of all ability levels, and coordinating pool usage.
Larson was the Middle Atlantic Swimming Coach of the Year in 2005 and the head coach of the Middle Atlantic All-Star team from 1999-2000. He was also named Coach of the Year by the San Diego Swimming Coaches Association in 1992 and served as president of the San Diego Swimming Coaches' Association from 1992-93 while in Coronado.
Before heading to California, Larson was a student assistant coach at the University of Alabama after completing his eligibility there. He earned his undergraduate degree in Sports and Fitness Management in 1989 from Alabama. He was a member of the swim team at Alabama for two years and also swam at Arizona State for two years prior to that.