Cal has announced the addition of Kim Williams to its coaching staff. A three-time NCAA Champion and six-time All-American swimmer at Stanford, Williams most recently served as a volunteer assistant at Northwestern. She had been working in Chicago full-time as a Manager of Content Growth Operations for Tegus in Chicago, but left that position in the fall to focus on her work with the Wildcats.
The job will be Williams’ first full-time gig in college swimming, though from September 2019 through August 2020 she served as a full-time swim coach at Ladera Oaks Swim & Tennis Club in California.
Williams was on Stanford NCAA Championship teams in 2017, 2018, and 2019, including as a captain in 2018-2019. In that time, she won NCAA event titles as part of Stanford’s 200 medley relay in 2018 and 400 medley relays in 2017 and 2018. She was also a two-time US Olympic Trials qualifier,
She also earned a pair of individual Honorable Mention All-America titles, finishing 14th in the 100 breast in 2018 and 13th in the 200 breast in 2017.
While the Cal men were deep in breaststroke events en route to their NCAA title last year, the Cal women had a weakness there – though the program as a whole was very much in rebuilding mode after the departure of Teri McKeever.
That included the combining of programs under Dave Durden, who signed a one year contract to lead both programs. Durden, who is still being referred to as the “acting” director of men’s and women’s swimming & diving, lauded Williams’ experience athletically, especially in a academically high-achieving arena.
“Anytime you have somebody that has high-level swimming experience combined with high-level academic experience and you take that into the coaching profession – we know that we’re going to have a well-organized individual that is passionate about coaching and that has a level of intellect that our swimmers will benefit from each and every day,” Durden said. “I’m excited for both our men and women to benefit from Kim’s expertise.”
Durden’s former assistant and Tokyo 2020 Olympic head coach counterpart Greg Meehan was Williams’ coach at Stanford. Meehan and Durden have remained close, personally, even though they now coach at rival schools.
“I want to thank Dave Durden for the incredible opportunity to join the Cal swimming & diving staff,” Williams said. “I am honored to join such a storied program and work alongside world-renowned coaches and exceptional student-athletes. It is a great privilege to play a part in continuing the legacy of success at Cal and I could not be more excited to get started.”
Last season, as the program transitioned, the Golden Bears staff was one short of the maximum allowed paid coaches for a combined-gender program, so Williams is filling that position. That seems to imply that the program is intending to move forward as a combined enterprise, though a Cal spokesperson did not confirm that. New rules surrounding volunteer assistants mean that the Golden Bears could expand their staff even if they split back into separated men’s and women’s programs.
Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in political science from Stanford in 2019.