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Calympian Profiles: Meet the 10 Coaches/Staff Calympians

10 of the 52 Calympians will be there in support capacity as coaches/staff.

Dave Durden, Justin Howell, and JT Okada are three current Cal coaches that are also serving as coaches in Rio.
Cal Women’s Gymnastics Twitter (

[UPDATE: We added a new Calympian Staff to this post on August 11th]

Not all Rio 2016 Calympians are athletes, 10 Cal alum or current Cal coaching staff are at this year’s Olympic games in supporting capacity. Let’s meet these Calympians:

Two current Cal Head Coaches will be at Rio as (you guessed it!) coaches

Dave Durden

Cal affiliation: Head Coach for Cal Men’s Swimming

Rio 2016 role: Assistant coach of USA swimming

With 5 of his swimmers (Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot, and Tom Shields) qualifying for Rio at the recent 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, Dave Durden was named the Coach of the Meet and named to the coaching staff that is heading to Rio under head coach for Team USA Bob Bowman, current head coach of Arizona State.

Since taking over the Cal program in the fall of 2007, Durden has established the Golden Bears as a perennial national title contender. His Bears won the NCAA team titles in 2011, 2012, and 2014 while finishing as the runner-up in the 4 other seasons since 2010. The Golden Bears have won 35 NCAA (22 individual and 13 relay) and 63 Pac-12 titles under his leadership. Durden himself has won the NCAA Coach of the Year award 4 times.

Durden graduated from UC Irvine in 1998 with a degree in electrical engineering. He has also coached as an assistant at Auburn and then as the head coach at Maryland before the move to Cal.

Justin Howell

Cal affiliation: Head Coach of Cal Women’s Gymnastics

Rio 2016 role: Head coach of Jamaica women’s gymnastics

Twitter: @CalCoachJustin

The Jamaica Women’s Gymnastics delegation to Rio consists of just one athlete, Cal rising junior Toni-Ann Williams. Coach Justin Howell will continue to serve as Toni-Ann’s coach at the Rio Olympics.

Howell has got the Cal Women’s Gymnastics team on the rise since taking over the program in 2012. He’s a two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year and the 2016 National Coach of the Year for taking the Golden Bears to the program’s best finish ever (7th place in the country) at the NCAA Championship.

Howell graduated from San Jose State in 1999 with a degree in kinesiology. He has served as the head coach and team director at Airborne Gymnastics in Santa Clara since 1997 prior to taking over the Golden Bears.

Other Calympian who will serve as Coaches

Cory Bosworth

Cal affiliation: Cal women’s crew alum (English ‘99, master degree in Education ‘02)

Rio 2016 role: head coach of Bermuda women’s rowing

Twitter: @CoryBosworth

Cal alum Cory Bosworth is the head coach of Bermuda in women’s rowing. Like the case for Howell and Okada, Bosworth is in charge of one athlete - Michelle Pearson in women’s single sculls. Bosworth, an assistant coach at Harvard, has trained Pearson, who graduated from Harvard in 2013.

Bosworth earned a degree in English from Cal in 1999. She rowed with Cal women’s crew for four years after joining as a walk-on. Bosworth lead the Golden Bears to a 3rd place finish in her senior season as the team captain. Bosworth was a Chancellor’s Scholar who also won the Anna Espencschade Award as teh top female student-athlete at Cal. After an year as a Harvard coaching intern, Bosworth returned to Berkeley to earn a master degree in education in 2001. She became the Harvard-Radcliffe heavyweigh assistant varsity coach and recruiting coordinator in 2002 and has stayed in that position.

Laurel Korholz

Cal affiliation: Cal women’s crew alum (English and Political Science ‘93)

Rio 2016 role: assistant coach for USA women’s rowing

Cal alum Laurel Korholz is back at another Olympic games. The Calympian experienced three Olympics as an athlete (1996 Atlanta - 4th in Eight; 2000 Sidney - 5th in quadruple sculls; 2004 Athens - Silver in Eight). She joined the US Rowing coaching staff in 2005. As a coach, she guided the women’s double at 2008 Beijing and then led the US quadruple sculls to a Bronze in 2012 London.

One of the most successful rower in Cal history, she was recently named to the Pac-12 All Century team.

Korholz actually started her undergraduate career at Wesleyan University where she started to row in 1990 before eventually landing at Cal.

Chris Oeding

Cal affiliation: Cal alum (‘94)

Rio 2016 role: assistant coach for USA women’s water polo

Chris Oeding was a standout with the Cal men’s water polo team from 1989 to 1992. Oeding was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1992 and has lead the Golden Bears to two NCAA championships (that is what is written on his CalBears bio despite the Bears winning the national championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992). The Calympian competed as an athlete in 1996 Atlanta (7th place) and 2000 Sydney (6th place). Oeding was named as an assistant coach for USA women’s national water polo team in 2013.

When not with the US National team, Oeding is the head coach for the Long Beach City College. He has lead LBCC to six state championships. He is taking a sabbatical year to serve on the USA women’s water polo senior national team’s coaching staff.

JT Okada

Cal affiliation: Assistant Coach on Cal Men’s Gymnastics, Cal alum (Anthropology ‘09)

Rio 2016 role: Head coach of South Africa men’s gymnastics

With the South African men’s gymnastics being a delegation of one, recent Cal graduate Ryan Patterson, JT Okada who has been coaching Patterson at Cal and throughout the Olympic qualifying will serve as the head coach of the South African men’s gymnastics in Rio. This is South Africa’s 1st Olympic appearance in men’s gymnastics in more than 50 years.

Okada was a Cal graduate who worked as an announcer for Cal men’s gymnastics as a student. The anthropology major served as an instructor at Golden Bears Gymnastics and the president of National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs before getting a full-time position with the team in 2012.

Calympians as other type of staff

David Dantes

Cal affiliation: Cal volleyball director of operations

Rio 2016 role: Video analysis for USA men’s volleyball

David Dantes has been the Cal Volleyball director of volleyball operations since 2010. He started his affiliation with Cal Volleyball by being a volunteer assistant coach in 2007 and 2008.

Dantes went to Boston University where he played on the men’s club volleyball team and earned a degree in political science with a minor in religion in 2007. He also served as the head coach of the BU women’s club volleyball team in 2006. After the two years as a Cal Volleyball volunteer, Dantes moved to Yale where he worked as a volunteer coach for another year before being promoted to the position of an assistant coach. The East Bay native returned “home” to Berkeley to work in a full time position an year later.

Kelly Knapp

Cal affiliation: Cal field hockey alum (Sociology ‘05, minor in education), volunteer assistant coach at Cal

Rio 2016 role: team manager for USA women’s field hockey

Cal alum Kelly Knapp was a standout goalie for Cal Field Hockey from 2001 to 2005. She won the NorPac Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004 when she led all Division 1 goalkeeper in minutes played. After her Cal playing career, Knapp served as the head coach of Westview High School before returning to the Cal Field Hockey program as an assistant coach. To be completely honest, I am kind of confused by just what the role of the manager is on the team (there is a head coach listed so I don’t think manager is making moves like in baseball). Nevertheless, this is Knapp’s 1st year as a Calympian.

The sociology major was once in a writing class as the author of this article where she had the pleasure of peer editing some bad stream of consciousness last minute writing assignments of mine.

Dr. David Kruse

Cal affiliation: Cal men’s gymnastics alum (‘97)

Rio 2016 role: team physician for USA men’s gymnastics

David Kruse was a standout gymnast at Cal from 1994 - 1997. The 3-time captain, 6-time All-American was the Cal Male student-athlete of the year in 1997 when Cal won the NCAA team championship.

After Cal and a 3 year stint with the USA national team, Kruse went on to earn his medical degree from UC San Diego. Kruse practiced for 4 years at UC Irvine as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Family Medicine before joining the Orthopedic Specialty Institute. He has been the USA men’s gymnastics’ team physician since 2008.

Christopher Lee

Cal affiliation: Cal assistant women’s water polo coach and (Architecture) graduate student (2012 - 2015)

Rio 2016 role: technical support for USA Women’s Water Polo

Lee, a relatively new hire to be the head Water Polo coach at Occidental College, is in Rio with the USA Women’s Water Polo team in a technical support capacity. He also worked with the US National team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Lee went to University of Pennsylvania for undergrad (Applied Sciences ‘04) and then for a master in Architecture (‘08). He coached the Penn club water polo team from 2000 to 2008. While at Cal, he was also pursuing a graduate degree in Architecture before putting that on hold to take the head coaching job.