Barbara Jahn enters her 40th year at the helm of the UC Davis women's swimming program, having guided the team from AIAW Division III through the ranks of NCAA Division II to Division I status. Having completed her 39th year, she owns the unusual distinction of earning Coach of the Year honors in four different conferences. She captured that award numerous times in the Division II Northern California Athletic Conference, won it again in the team's final year of the multi-divisional Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference (2003), then garnered similar honors in the last season of the Big West Conference (2010). Most recently, she earned the inaugural MPSF Coach of the Year award at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship in 2011 in addition to receiving similar recognition in 2013.
Since the university completed its transition to NCAA Division I, Jahn has guided the Aggies to new levels of success. In 2008-09, the women's team earned a second-place at the Big West Championships, with Heidi Kucera capturing Athlete of the Year accolades. Kucera, in turn, became the first female swimmer of the D-I era to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, where she competed in three individual events.
A year later, just the third official year of D-I competition, Jahn led the 2009-10 UC Davis women's swimming program to its first ever Big West Conference championship. Under Jahn's guidance, the Aggie women won six titles at the conference championship en route to a program-best 864 points.
Then in 2010-11, Jahn mentored UC Davis to eight individual MPSF titles and the team championship. Linda Hermann was selected as Athlete of the Year while Liliana Alvarez - who later competed at the NCAA Championship - was named Freshman of the Year.
Success continued for Jahn in 2013 when her team captured its second MPSF crown within a three-year timespan, an event that also saw her swimmers capture the 800 free relay title in addition to Samantha Shellem, Katie Edwards and Liliana Alvarez finish as the league's individual champion in the 500 free, 200 free and 100 breast.
Alvarez also earned a spot in the 100 and 220 breast at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the third straight season she qualified for the season-ending event.
During her tenure at UC Davis, Jahn has coached a multitude of All-Americans, including two student-athletes - Anna Pettis and Kristi Wheeler - selected as part of the NCAA Division II swimming team of the decade for the 1980s. Her student-athletes have been widely recognized on the university level as well. Kobayashi won the campus's Hubert Heitman Award for a second time in 2005, becoming the fourth Barbara Jahn protegé to capture the honor as outstanding female athlete of the year. Additionally, three of her swimmers have won the W.P. Lindley Award as the university's top scholar-athlete of the year.
On the vaunted rosters of the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame, no fewer than six of her student-athletes are listed: Anna Pettis Scott (1991), Kristi Wheeler-Hussain (1993), Jamie McClellan (1999), Mary E. Fiedler-Althof (2001), Koren Pollock Motekaitis (2012) and Yuka Kobayashi (2012).
Jahn is a respected member of the faculty at UC Davis, teaching a number of aquatics courses in the exercise biology program.
A 1973 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Jahn was also a diver for the Gauchos. She received her degree from UCSB in cultural anthropology with minors in ergonomics and coaching.
Jahn earned her master's degree in kinesiology from UCLA in 1975. She and her husband, Tom, reside in El Macero.