2017 NCAA WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: GREG MEEHAN
Stanford women’s head coach Greg Meehan and his staff have built a fortress of elite swimmers in Palo Alto, with each recruiting class these last few years seeming to top the last. This year, he finalized the incoming class of 2022, which features the #2, #3, #4, #9, #15, and #16 recruits in the class, highlighted by Canadian record holder Taylor Ruck.
The Cardinal lost to the Georgia Bulldogs in the title race at the 2016 NCAA Championships, felled by a 200 free relay DQ, but came back in 2017 stronger than ever. After finishing 2nd in 2016 by just 19 points, they won the 2017 NCAA title with a whopping 526.5 points, roughly 160 points ahead of 2nd place Cal. Led by the trifecta of Ella Eastin, Simone Manuel, and Katie Ledecky, the Stanford women collected 47 All-American honors, seven individual NCAA titles, and three relay championship titles. The Cardinal won its first NCAA Championship since 1998, and it doesn’t look like they’re done yet, with another roster packed with talent this year, and the year after that.
- Carol Capitani, Texas: The Texas Longhorns made a huge jump from 2016 to 2017, climbing from 15th to 5th, just half of a point back of Georgia. 5th is the highest the Longhorns have placed under Capitani’s six season tenure (was 7th, previously), and the Texas women look very strong this season already. The Longhorns were led by Madisyn Cox‘s three A final appearances, while their 400 medley relay touched 3rd overall. Capitani’s Longhorns have a positive trend going, and things keep looking up as she aims to coach them to a perennial powerhouse position.