Matthew Jabs returns to ECU as the Head Coach for Women’s Swimming & Diving, previously Jabs served as Men’s & Women’s Head Coach (2017-20), winning the 2020 American Athletic Conference Men's Swimming & Diving Championship where he and his staff were honored with the league's Coach-of-the-Year award. Both programs were discontinued after the 2020 season. The women’s team was reinstated in the spring of 2021.
Under his guidance, ECU’s dual meet record was a combined 35-18 (M 16-9, W 19-9). In that time the Pirates set 66 school records, (38 varsity/28 freshman), won 26 American Athletic Conference championship events, with 50 all-conference athletes accumulating 78 all-conference performances. ECU set multiple championship records during those three seasons and hit numerous NCAA “B” qualifying standards, with four athletes getting invites to NCAA’s (1x2019, 3x2020) Overall, more than 100 ECU All-Time Top 10 Performances have been achieved during his tenure as Head Coach.
Serving 17 years as an assistant coach under ECU Hall of Fame coach Rick Kobe, Jabs began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant initially before becoming a graduate assistant in 2001. After completing his master's degree in 2003, he was promoted to a full-time assistant coach and spent the next nine seasons as a full-time assistant with the Pirates, including eight as the program's lead assistant before being elevated to associate head coach in 2013. During that time the Pirates captured three men's American Athletic Conference titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017, while the women won a pair of league championships in 2001 (ECAC) and 2003 (Conference USA). As an assistant at ECU Jabs coached multiple NCAA Championship qualifiers and individual conference champions. The athletes he mentored as an assistant posted 196 ECU All Time Top-10 career performances and accounted for 35 records. His swimmers also received ECU’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Award seven times and its Most Improved Swimmer Award eight times.
As a member of the coaching staff in 2013-14, Jabs helped the women’s squad post the only undefeated regular season by an ECU female athletic program in school history. Neither the men’s nor women’s teams have finished below .500 during Jabs’ tenure.
As an athlete, Jabs was a four-year letterman at ECU (96-00). Primarily a sprinter, Jabs was a multiple time CAA Championship finalist, served as team captain his senior year and was awarded ECU's Most Outstanding Swimmer Award twice (1999, 2000). At the end of his career he was ranked among the school's all-time top-10 in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyle. With his most notable accomplishment coming in his final meet as a Pirate, where he posted the then-fastest 100-yard freestyle time in school history, a record that had previously stood for over 20 years.
A native of Vernon, Conn., Jabs graduated from East Carolina University in 2001 with a degree in exercise and sports science with a minor in recreation and leisure studies, and earned his master's in athletic and physical education administration two years later. Jabs is married to Jaclyn a ECU graduate and former athletic trainer, they have two son’s Evan 12, and Jackson 9.