2012 SWAMMY AWARDS: College Coach of the Year Winner, Teri McKeever

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 14

December 27th, 2012 College, News

No Surprise: It’s Teri McKeever.

Two-Time Defending NCAA Champs

Teri McKeever’s Cal women were unstoppable at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Caitlin Leverenz broke a U.S. Open/American/NCAA Record in the 200 IM, and nearly got another one in the 200 breaststroke (missing by a slim .01 seconds). She ended up as the recipient of the 2012 Honda Award for swimming, which is effectively the swimmer of the year honor.

They broke their own NCAA and American Records in the 200 medley relay at almost a second faster than the identical foursome broke it a year prior. In maybe the most impressive swim of the whole meet, though maybe not often recognized as such, the 400 medley relay broke the NCAA Record as well. They did so without having to use Liv Jensen at all, a former NCAA Champion in the 100 free.

Meanwhile, McKeever has wrapped maybe the two most high-profile recruiting classes in college history that are likely to destroy all of those medley relay records by the time they’re done.

All-told, the Cal women won 7 NCAA titles out of 18 swimming events.

Too Easy?

Texas A&M's Steve Bultman has taken Breeja Larson to one of the most unbelievable runs in the history of college swimming. (Photo Courtesy: ©Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Texas A&M’s Steve Bultman has taken Breeja Larson to one of the most unbelievable runs in the history of college swimming. (Photo Courtesy: ©Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Sometimes, just giving ‘Coach of the Year’ to the coach of the winning team is too easy. In the case of McKeever and what she’s done at Cal in the last year, including winning the NCAA Title, landing mega-recruit Missy Franklin, and helping Caitlin Leverenz really take her swimming to the next-level, both collegiately and internationally.

There are plenty of other coaches, however, who made monumental efforts, despite hitting a lower ceiling than Cal did.

Coaches like Louisville’s Arthur Albiero, who took his men from a 17th-place finish in 2011 to a 9th-place finish in 2012 at NCAA’s: more than doubling their point total in a single season. Or Chris Ip, who is currently an assistant at LSU after he finished out his run at Clemson with huge success and turned out a girls’ team that had the highest GPA in the country, despite facing the end of their program.

Texas A&M women’s coach Steve Bultman should get some big recognition too, even though his women only finished 6th at NCAA’s. He’s coached Breeja Larson to maybe the most improbable college swimming career in history, and in 2012 she broke American Records in both yards breaststroke events (the 100, many times over), won an NCAA title, and upset Rebecca Soni at the Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke. He put Cammile Adams on the Olympic Team too.

Drury head coach Brian Reynolds is always in the conversation, as his men won yet another NCAA title. This year, though, Sean Peters from Wayne State might upstage him from the Division II level; the Warriors most recent headlines have been for some power from their men’s program, but this year they knocked off Drury by a single point for the women’s title.

GreggPariniOr maybe even Denison’s Gregg Parini. True, his men’s 2011 title, broke the 31-year streak. In 2012, though, they took the always-challenging second-straight title, and led nearly wire-to-wire for a huge 81-point victory.

And of course, McKeever’s counterpoint Dave Durden, who coached the men’s NCAA Championship team, gets a nod too.

Then Again

The Cal women have hit a tipping point. Every recruit that’s anybody takes a visit there. This is a team that seems to have hit a point where they’re only limited by how well they can balance their scholarship dollars: a game that McKeever seems to have mastered as well as anyone.



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9 years ago

and Braden, Thanks for the explanation.. I tried looking before on NCAA site and found it a bit confusing.. much easier your info.

9 years ago

Don’t know why you are citing where her swimmers come from as most top swim program rosters have student athletes from many places, too.

Louisville has or will have a pipeline to South American swimmers, USC ditto in swimmers from everywhere.

I think Cal may not win the NCAA women’s championship in 2013 for reasons you cite (re: losing Jensen and our other sprinter/butterfly star- Isakovic. But the points could come in other events and it’s hard for me to say which events Pelton, Bootsma will enter at this stage as they are so talented.

Oh, and the Mens 2013 championships will be a real dog fight!

Don’t know if we can get any diving points like last… Read more »

John Sampson
Reply to  longseeker
9 years ago

I think cal is going to be hard to beat….Georgia is good but usually they perform better before the NCAAs (save a few). I think cal will win the IMs, the backstrokes, the medleys, and then top 3 in a number of events. And I think Georgia has a handle on the 400&800 free relays and the 100-500 frees, and again top three in a couple events. It’s going to be very close.
I think that bootsma tran and naze are going to have to step up in the butterflies, if they want to win. I think Cindy has a serious shot at going 50 point or faster..bootsma and naze could be 51s on a good meet. But Catherine… Read more »

Reply to  John Sampson
9 years ago

How are the points awarded for each race on NCAA? Each race, Record, and Relay?

Cause just looking on the mens side Auburn with the addition of a flyer now look pretty strong over all sprint and relays..

Is there a overall best swimmer prize for both genders also ?

Reply to  Braden Keith
9 years ago

For overall results.. are Diving, polo, etc. results considered together for the School Ranking or there are ranking for each sports?

Coach GB
Reply to  Braden Keith
9 years ago

Does anyone remember where and why brought on the consolation scoring which started in a conference in NCAA? Original was 12 places.

Reply to  Braden Keith
9 years ago

im going to assume that it was the increased number of 8 lane pools opposed to the 6 lane pools.

9 years ago

She had the international swimmers, the big Arizona star Catlin-Tucson, the Northern Calif bunch Jensen and the others, the Orange County bunch Tran and Klaren and the diver., and other state swimmers.

Reply to  cynthiacurran
9 years ago

Why bag on Teri for making Cal a destination for elite student athletes?!? The program is fully funded with a solid endowment and it would be silly and provincial to turn down Missy, Pelton, Bootsma, and Leverenz because they aren’t from the Bay Area. They’re not enrolling at Cal against their own free will.

Teri adds international swimmers selectively because it reflects the mix at a world class university and she wants her swimmers to experience Cal’s diversity to the fullest extent possible. Shelly Harper and Sara Isakovic hosted a raffle during the Wisconsin meet and based on their accents it was impossible to tell which one grew up in Walnut Creek and which one grew up in Slovenia.… Read more »

Reply to  cynthiacurran
9 years ago

FYI..”The Northern Calif bunch Jensen “(Paly) is in the bay area,.well within of CAL !

9 years ago

She doesn’t have enough good freestylers to beat Georgia. Last year she had a better sprint freestyler and a better butterflyer and the diver perform better than she usually did on the platform.

Reply to  cynthiacurran
9 years ago

No congrats for 2012? This isn’t an article on what is to be, but how well the team did last year. Geez. Ray of sunshine, you are not.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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