Jarod Schroeder, who served as the interim head coach at Maryland in 2007-08, joined Northwestern as an assistant coach prior to the 2008-09 season. He was elevated to NU's head coaching position effective Sept. 1, 2009, following the retirement of 20-year head man Bob Groseth. Schroeder is in his fifth season at the helm of the Wildcats.
Schroeder immediately set to work putting his stamp on the program while regaining and maintaining the Wildcats' recent history of national success. In his first year in charge in Evanston, Schroeder coached both Sean Mathews and Alex Tyler to 2010 NCAA Championships appearances, with Tyler picking up an All-America honorable mention honor in the 200 IM to give NU a 34th-place national finish.
Schroeder implemented a unique strength training program and took the squad to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., over winter break to give his Wildcats a chance to worked toward the kind of success he had as a competitor while training at the facility.
The Wildcats improved upon their national effort in 2010-11, landing three at the NCAA meet and improving to a 30th-place national finish after both Tyler and Mathews recorded honorable mention All-America performances. It marked the 10th time in the last 11 years that Northwestern has scored points at the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Charlie Rimkus joined the senior duo at the national meet for the first time to give the Wildcats their largest NCAA contingent since 2008.
Northwestern has sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships in four of Schroeder's five seasons. In addition, NU swimmers have seen success outside of the collegiate pool, most notably in 2013 when then-freshman Jordan Wilimovsky earned an open water spot in the 25K event on USA Swimming's National A Team for the FINA World Championships in Barcelona. He followed that up with a No. 2 finish in the 2014 Open Water National Championships in both the 5K and 10K to earn a spot on USA Swimmings' Pan-Pac Team. Wilimovsky also became an All-American in 2013-14, finishing No. 4 in the NCAA Championships in the mile and No. 2 at the Big Ten Championships.
Recruiting really picked up for Schroeder with the incoming class of 2012-13, featuring several strong homegrown and international talents and earning the No. 16 national class ranking from Collegeswimming.com.
The move back to Evanston essentially was a homecoming. Schroeder has been a part of the Wildcats' program either directly or indirectly since 1993. The 1995 graduate of Northern Illinois trained with Groseth in Evanston in the summers during his collegiate career, served as a head age group coach with the Northwestern Aquatic Swim Association (NASA) beginning in 2000 and was a volunteer assistant with NU's varsity programs from 2000-06.
In addition to his duties with the Wildcats which continued until 2006, Schroeder served as the head coach of the New Trier Swim Club beginning in 2002. While at New Trier, he developed Olympic Trials qualifiers, U.S. Open finalists and U.S. National finalists, and was named the Illinois Swimming Coach of the year on two occasions.
Schroeder took his first full-time collegiate job in 2006-07 as an assistant coach at Maryland, earning interim head coaching duties the following year in 2007-08. He coached his team to seven school-record swims during a rebuilding phase in the program's history.
Schroeder had a decorated career in the pool despite getting a late start. A swimmer until the age of 10, Schroeder stepped away to excel at other sports before returning as a senior in high school. A walk-on at Northern Illinois, Schroeder became a team captain who won three Mid-American Conference Swimmer of the Year awards, two Illinois Collegiate Swimmer of the Year honors and seven individual conference championships under head coach Jeanne Fleck. He was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Schroeder continued to train with Groseth following graduation knowing he had a lot left to accomplish during his relatively short competitive career. He qualified for his first Olympic Trials in 1996, finishing 12th in the 100 fly. He then made the United States' squads for the 1998 Pan-American Games and the 1999 Goodwill Games, earning election as captain on the Pan-Am squad.
Following his time as a student-athlete, Schroeder took on volunteer assistant coaching jobs at his alma mater and the University of Wisconsin.
Schroeder and his wife, Liz, have two sons, Tate and Turner.