Doug Gjertsen swam at the University of Texas, winning 12 NCAA titles, including three individual titles. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2006. Gjertsen swam internationally for the USA mostly in relays, including at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. At Barcelona he made the final of the 200 free, placing eighth. He won gold medals in both freestyle relays in 1988 and added a bronze in 1992 in the 4x200 free relay. At the 1988 Olympics Gjertsen and teammate Troy Dalbey were accused by Korean police of stealing an expensive marble lion statue from a hotel bar. After questioning they were released but sent home by USA Swimming, and banned from competition for 18 months, although they were later exonerated.
At the 1991 World Championships, Gjertsen won gold in the 4x100 free relay and silver in the 4x200 relay. His only international individual gold medal came at the 1989 Pan Pacific Meet in Tokyo, where he won the 200 freestyle. He added relay gold at that meet in both freestyle relays, and also won bronze in the 100 freestyle.
After his swim career ended, Gjertsen was planning to move to Wyoming to become an apprentice to a big game hunting guide, when his former high school coach, Bill Behrens, asked him to return to Atlanta to coach. Gjertsen did that, first coaching SwimAtlanta in Roswell, Georgia, and in 1999 taking over the Georgia Tech program for SwimAtlanta.
Athlete Olympic Results Content