I believe that even casual fans know that Cal has a very strong swimming programs. It’s what has turned Olympic swimming coverages into Cal ads.
On the women’s side, Teri McKeever, who helmed the Team USA Women’s squad for the 2012 Beijing Olympics (the relationship she build there was why Missy Franklin came to Cal), has done a great job training/creating/luring Calympians. On the men’s side, Dave Durden has managed to matched that impressive feat of training/creating Calympians since his arrival in 2007.
The 2016 Rio Games saw 6 Calympians trained by Durden at Cal winning a total of 11 medals, including 8 Golds - Ryan Murphy, Nathan Adrian, Josh Prenot, Anthony Ervin, Tom Shields, and Jacob Pebley (who finished 5th and didn’t medal). Thus, it is not a big surprise when Dave Durden was officially named USA Men’s Team Head Coach by USA Swimming for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Games.
Durden is expected to lead a team that should have multiple California Golden Bears. Even with the USA Swimming Olympic Trial being one of the cruelest selection process in sports, backstroke superstar Ryan Murphy is nearly a lock to defend his Golds in 100m Back and 200m Back in Tokyo. Fellow alum in sprinter Nathan Adrian, breaststroker Josh Prenot, backstroker Jacob Pebley are also good bet to make it to Tokyo. All these guys are still training at Cal with Durden since graduation; Durden has also trained women Calympians such as Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin in his pro group. Current Cal senior Andrew Seliskar leads a lengthy list of potential future Calympians that is swimming for Durden at Cal right now. Top swimming recruits for the past two years like Ryan Hoffer last year and Reese Whitley this year have also come to Cal due to the presence of Durden.
Durden’s Cal men just dominated at the very competitive Georgia Fall Invite this past weekend. After several years of placing 2nd as a team in the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships to Texas (Longhorns have had a big edge in diving), Cal might be able to break that streak with another championship next March from the home pool of Texas Longhorns.
With 6 Cal Bears on the 2016 Team USA, Durden was named an assistant coach for the Rio Olympics. Durden has also led the Golden Bears to team national championships in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Golden Bears have won 24 individual and 13 relay NCAA titles under Durden’s guidance.
On the women’s side, Stanford’s women’s swimming head coach, Greg Meehan, will be the head coach.
Congratulations to Coach Durden on this great honor.