| Monday, January 23, 2017Dave Durden and Greg Meehan, standout collegiate coaches and assistants for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games, have been selected to lead USA Swimming as head coaches at the 2017 FINA World Championships, National Team Director Frank Busch announced today.
Durden, the men’s coach at the University of California, Berkeley, will serve as the U.S. men’s head coach, while Meehan, the Stanford University women’s coach, will lead the American women. Durden-and Meehan-coached swimmers combined to win 18 medals at the 2016 Olympic Games.
“Dave and Greg are two of the brightest coaching minds in the United States. They guided their athletes to incredible success in Rio and played a key role in Team USA winning 33 Olympic medals last summer,” Busch said. “With their commitment to the team concept, I’m confident they will do a tremendous job leading the United States to continued excellence this summer in Budapest.”
Durden, an assistant men’s coach for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, coached five members of the U.S. men’s roster in Rio – Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot and Tom Shields. This group combined for nine medals, including four by Adrian and three from Murphy, who also set a world record in the 100m back. Adrian, Murphy and Prenot were all individual medalists.
The 2016 American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Durden also served as the head coach for the U.S. men at the 2015 FINA World Championships and was an assistant at the 2011 World Championships and the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships.
On the collegiate front, Durden guided the Golden Bears to a runner-up finish at the men’s 2016 NCAA Championships. He was won three men’s NCAA titles in Berkeley (2011, 2012, 2014) and his team has finished first or second at the NCAA Championships in each of the last seven seasons.
“Any time you’re asked to be the head coach of a World Championships for USA Swimming it’s a tremendous honor and responsibility,” Durden said. “I’m really excited to reconnect and work again with Greg Meehan on the women’s side, and hopefully between Greg and myself and the staff, we’ll put together a good showing out in Hungary. I think we will have a mixture of veterans and newcomers to the team that will make USA Swimming proud.”
Meehan’s swimmers made quite an impact on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team with Maya DiRado, Simone Manuel and Lia Neal combining to earn nine medals in Rio. DiRado and Manuel were breakout stars, winning four medals each at the Games, five of them in individual events. Manuel claimed gold in the 100-meter freestyle and silver in the 50m free, while DiRado earned gold in the 200m backstroke, silver in the 400m individual medley and bronze in the 200m IM.
A women’s assistant coach for Team USA in Rio, Meehan also guided the Stanford women to a runner-up finish at the 2016 NCAA Championships, and he currently coaches five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, who is in her first year with the Cardinal.
Prior to 2016, Meehan served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2015 FINA World Championships and the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. He has served as the women’s head coach at Stanford since 2012 and has guided the Cardinal to top-three NCAA finishes in each of the past three seasons.
“I am humbled and honored to receive the appointment of Team USA's women’s head coach for the World Championship team. I appreciate the trust shown in me by National Team Director Frank Busch and the leadership within USA Swimming,” Meehan said. “The post-Olympic year Worlds team is a wonderful blend of Olympic veterans and athletes making their first appearance on the world stage. I’m looking forward to working with these great athletes this summer as we lay the groundwork for Tokyo 2020.”
The 2017 FINA World Championships are slated for Budapest, Hungary, with the pool competition taking place from July 23-30. Team USA’s sole qualifying event is the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships, which will be held June 27-July 1 in Indianapolis.
The United States has topped the medal table at 11 consecutive FINA World Championships dating to 1986. Over this span, the U.S. also won the medal count at the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games – good for a streak of 19 consecutive major international meets atop the medal table.