Celebrating its 100th season, the Pac-12 Conference has been naming its All-Century teams in each sport. Today, it announced the women’s swimming & diving All-Century team, led by coach Richard Quick and California star Natalie Coughlin.
Quick was a legendary coach at Stanford for two decades, winning seven NCAA titles and training 35 national champs. He as named Pac-12 women’s Coach of the Century.
Coughlin, meanwhile, was a dominant swimming force for Cal. Swimming just three full seasons in the early-2000s, Coughlin won 12 NCAA titles, including three consecutive titles in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200 back. Her American an NCAA records were so ahead of their time, they weren’t challenged until more than a decade later. Her 100 back records still stand in 2016.
She would go on to a stellar Olympic career, and is a front-runner for yet another Olympic berth this year at age 33.
Arizona diver Michele Mitchell was named Diver of the Century after becoming the most decorated diver in school history back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
USC leads with 10 of the 32 selections, though Stanford and USC are tied for the most swimmers with 7 apiece. The breakdown by team:
- USC – 10 (7 swimers, 3 divers)
- Stanford – 8 (7 swimmers, 1 diver)
- Arizona – 5 (3 swimmers, 2 divers)
- California – 4 (4 swimmers)
- UCLA – 3 (3 swimmers)
- Arizona State – 2 (2 swimmers)
The men’s All-Century team is here.
The full Pac-12 press release:
SAN FRANCISCO (February 16, 2016) – On this week’s edition of ‘Pac-12 Sports Report’, hosts Mike Yam and Ashley Adamson announced the Women’s Swimming and Diving All-Century team–a group of 26 swimmers, six divers and one coach.
This team of Olympians and national champions was selected by a panel of 25 coaches, swimmers, administrators and media members. The top four vote-getters in each of the six disciplines; two additional “wild card” swimmers qualified via a second vote of the remaining fifth, sixth and seventh place finishers. To determine the All-Century divers, the top two divers in each of the three disciplines were selected.
To ensure that the team truly encapsulated the past century of Pac-12 women’s swimming and diving, 10 Pre-Title IX nominees were included on the ballot. These standout swimmers and divers attended Pac-12 universities but did not compete collegiately due to the lack of opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics at the time.
All 26 All-Century swimmers competed in at least one Olympiad, and collectively, they have won 101 Olympic medals. Jenny Thompson and Natalie Coughlin are the most decorated with 12 Olympic medals each, which ties Dara Torres for most Olympic medals won by an American female. In addition, this group represents 110 NCAA individual titles (95 swimming, 15 diving).
During his twenty years at Stanford, coach Richard Quick led the Cardinal to seven NCAA titles and developed 35 NCAA champions. One of greatest coaches in the history of the sport, Quick won five NCAA Coach of the Year honors and three Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards, earning him the title of Pac-12 Coach of the Century. In addition to his accomplishments at the collegiate level, he led the United States Olympic team during six Olympic games.
California’s Natalie Coughlin, one of the most decorated Olympians, is the Pac-12 swimmer of the Century. The owner of 11 individual NCAA titles, Coughlin was the NCAA Swimmer of the Year for all three of her years at Cal. She was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
The Pac-12 diver of the century is Michele Mitchell, a four-time All-American from the University of Arizona. In addition to being the most decorated diver in Arizona history, Mitchell served as the diving coach at the University and is now the director of operations for the swimming and diving programs.
See below for the entire team:
Jenny Thompson, Stanford (1991-1995) – Freestyle sprints
Cynthia “Sippy” Woodhead, USC (1984-1987) – Freestyle sprints
Amy Van Dyken, Arizona (1991-1992) – Freestyle sprints
Jenna Johnson, Stanford (1985-1989) – Freestyle sprints
Janet Evans, Stanford (1989-1991) – Freestyle distance
Debbie Meyer, UCLA – Freestyle distance
Lindsay Benko-Mitenko, USC (1996-1999) – Freestyle distance
Haley Anderson, USC (2010-2013) – Freestyle distance
Natalie Coughlin, California (2001-2003) – Backstroke, Freestyle sprints
Missy Franklin, California (2013-2015) – Backstroke, Freestyle sprints
Lea Loveless-Maurer, Stanford (1991-1994) – Backstroke
Melissa Belote, Arizona State (1976-1979) – Backstroke
Rebecca Soni, USC (2006-2009) – Breaststroke
Amanda Beard, Arizona (1999-2000) – Breaststroke
Tara Kirk, Stanford (2000-2004) – Breaststroke
Agnes Kovacs, Arizona State (2001-2004) – Breaststroke
Mary T. Meagher, California (1984-1987) – Butterfly
Dana Vollmer, California (2007-2009) – Butterfly
Misty Hyman, Stanford (1997-2001) – Butterfly
Karen Moe, UCLA (1973-1975) – Butterfly
Crissy Ahmann, Arizona (1988-1991) – Butterfly
Summer Sanders, Stanford (1990-1992) – Individual medley, Butterfly
Katinka Hosszu, USC (2009-2012) – Individual medley
Kristine Quance-Julian, USC (1994-1997) – Individual medley, Breaststroke
Donna de Varona, UCLA – Individual medley
Kaitlin Sandeno, USC (2002-2004) – Individual medley
Samantha Pickens, Arizona (2011-2015) – IM Diving
Victoria Ishimatsu, USC (2009-2012) – IM Diving
Blythe Hartley, USC (2002-2006) – 3M, IM Diving
Eileen Richetelli, Stanford (1990-1995) – 3M Diving
Haley Ishimatsu, USC (2013-2015) – Platform Diving
Michele Mitchell, Arizona (1979-1982) – Platform Diving
Coach of the Century
Richard Quick, Stanford (1988-2005)
Swimmer of the Century
Natalie Coughlin, California (2001-2003)
Diver of the Century
Michele Mitchell, Arizona (1979-1982)