Cal Hires Ledecky’s Coach Yuri Suguiyama as New Men’s Assistant

  54 Braden Keith | October 03rd, 2012 | College, News

And the other shoe dropped. Putting an end to at least one train of the coaching carousel today, Cal men’s head coach Dave Durden has hired NCAP coach Yuri Suguiyama as his newest assistant.

Suguiyama’s star rocketed this summer as the coach of 15-year old Katie Ledecky, who won Olympic gold in the women’s 800 free and broke Janet Evans’ American Record. As the head coach of CUBU’s Georgetown site, he went from somewhat of a largely anonymous, albeit solid, coaching role to America’s hottest coaching name. Among many other honors, he was recently named the Potomac Valley Swimming Coach of the Year.

“We approached this opportunity looking for ways to enhance and improve our program,” Durden said of the hire. “As we moved through the month of September, it became more and more evident that Yuri is the coach to help us do just that. I have watched Yuri’s career over the last six years. His intellect, his organization, and the culture he promotes within his environment are the very aspects we value within our Cal swimming family. We happily welcome him to the pool deck, and I look forward to working side by side with such a great coach and great person.”

With so many coaching changes happening so late in the year (pushed back because of the Olympics), at some point there were going to be a few big-name club coaches making the jump to the NCAA level to wrap things up.

Suguiyama, though not to be pigeonholed into one specialty, obviously has had success with training distance swimmers: which fits right into where Cal is moving with recruiting big-name distance swimmers like Janardan Burns.

Fans of the Cal women will find this move just as interesting, as the speculation about a possible Ledecky-to-Cal commitment down the line will be an obvious leap. Of course, there’s plenty of time before Ledecky has to make a college decision.

Suguiyama will replace Greg Meehan, who took the head coaching job with the Stanford women a few weeks ago.

In a fun little twist of fate, while Durden was at Maryland, he coached Suguiyama’s sister Erica.

We’re working on finding out who Ledecky will train with at NCAP now that Suguiyama has moved on, and will bring you that report as soon as the information is available.

Garrett interviews Yuri Suguiyama, pt. 1.
Garrett interviews Yuri Suguiyama, pt. 2.
Garrett interviews Katie Ledecky.


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54 Comments on "Cal Hires Ledecky’s Coach Yuri Suguiyama as New Men’s Assistant"

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Great pick for Cal but Yuri Suguiyama deserves to be head coach of something. He has made a fantastic great incredible amazing job with Katie Ledecky. I hope it will not affect her in the future and she will continue to improve. Don’t forget I have predicted 4 gold medals for her next year in Barcelona in the 400 free, the 800 free, the 1500 free and the 4X200 free relay.

Barcelona? She’s going back to 1992? Well, it WILL be fun to watch her race Janet Evans…

World Championships are in Barcelona this summer.

hey everyone– I know Katie better than you do!! lameeee


I am only saying that I swim at Prep 3x per week and since this season started, she has been there maybe once per week, whereas before London she was there almost every day. But If you’re in her training group I defer to you. Glad to hear her training is going well, with or without Yuri.


lol @ I swim at whatever pool you’re talking about 3 times a week and I never see her!

I’m sorry, Katie has been training with Yuri at the Prep Site regularly. I too have a swimmer in her group and can absolutely tell you she’s been there training regularly. Both Katie and Yuri have been busy with speaking engagements associated with their wonderful win at the Olympics. Also, the team have new schedules to maximize practices for each age group. If you are only there 3 times a week, you only have half the picture. Katie and her group have practices available 7 days a week. (Sundays at a different location which is offered to give kids more homework time in the week.) Please do not make assumptions without knowing all the facts.

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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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