2019 WOMEN’S NCAA COACH OF THE YEAR: Teri McKeever, Cal
Teri McKeever‘s Cal women’s program did not win the NCAA National Championship in 2019, but some big individual performances then helped them make the battle with their arch-rivals Stanford closer than anyone expected. Their success has continued into the 2019-2020 season, where mid-year at the Minnesota Invite, Abbey Weitzeil swam the fastest 50 yard freestyle in history.
McKeever led the Golden Bears to a strong showing at the 2019 NCAA meet, and even led Stanford by 28.5 points heading into the final day. Despite taking second place by only 37.5 points, McKeever and the Cal women were able to prevent Stanford from dominating the meet like they did in 2018. At the meet, Cal achieved top 2 finishes in all 5 relays, including winning both free relays alongside the 400 medley relay.
These efforts earned McKeever the 2019 CSCAA Women’s Division I Swimming Coach of the Year for the 5th time in her coaching career.
Here’s a look at Cal’s top-3 finishes at the 2019 NCAA meet:
- 800 free relay: 2nd – Robin Neumann, Izzy Ivey, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist (6:50.12)
- 200 free relay: 1st – Maddie Murphy, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist, Abbey Weitzeil (1:24.55 – NCAA/American/US Open records)
- 50 free: 1st – Abbey Weitzeil (21.02 – NCAA/American/US Open records*)
- 400 medley relay: 1st – Amy Bilquist, Ema Rajic, Katie McLaughlin, Abbey Weitzeil (3:25.24 – Lee & Joe Jamail Center Pool record)
- 100 fly: 3rd – Katie McLaughlin (49.97)
- 100 back: 2nd – Amy Bilquist (50.05)
- 200 medley relay: 2nd – Izzy Ivey, Ema Rajic, Maddie Murphy, Abbey Weitzeil (1:34.43)
- 400 free relay: 1st – Izzy Ivey, Katie McLaughlin, Amy Bilquist, Abbey Weitzeil (3:06.96 – NCAAR record**)
*at the time of the swim, **did not count as American/US Open records
Halfway through the Bears’ 2019-20 season campaign, the team remains undefeated, including winning the coveted Minnesota Invitational. At the meet, senior Abbey Weitzeil became the first woman to break 21 seconds in the SCY 50 free. Weitzeil also produced nation-leading top times in the 100 and 200 free.
Using the Finis Swimulator, current season-best times would have the Cal women win a projected national championship meet this year, including 40 swims at the Minnesota Invite that ranked in the top 10 in the nation. There’s a long way to go this year, but after the meet they had at NCAAs last year, we can’t count out McKeever’s Cal Bears even against the powerful Stanford squad.
In no particular order
Greg Meehan, Stanford: Meehan led the Stanford Cardinal to another successful NCAA championship meet, earning their 3rd-straight team title. At the 2019 meet, Stanford saw 11 top-3 appearances, three of which were title wins (800 free relay, Forde – 500 free, Eastin – 400 IM). At the beginning of their 2019-20 season (10/12), the Cardinal won their 30th-consecutive dual meet in program history and have since extended the streak (including winning the Art Adamson Invitational).
Mike Bottom, Michigan: Bottom guided the Michigan women to a historic 3rd-place finish at the 2019 NCAA meet, making it his highest finish with the team and the program’s highest placement since 1996. The Wolverines saw five top-3 finishes, including two runner-up finishes in the 400 free relay and 100 fly (courtesy of MacNeil). This season, the Michigan women put up 24 top-10 times in the nation post-Minnesota Invite, including World champion Maggie MacNeil‘s fastest 100 fly time in history (49.26).