Dave Durden Wins 3rd-Straight Pac-12 Coach of the Year Honors, 9th Career Award

by Spencer Penland 1

March 27th, 2020 College, News, Pac-12

The Cal Bears and Arizona State Sun Devils each took home two of the Pac-12 Swimming & Diving season awards this year, while Arizona and USC were also represented with season honors. Cal, unsurprisingly, took two of the three swimming awards, with Dave Durden winning Swimming Coach of the Year, and Ryan Hoffer, taking Swimmer of the Year.

This marks Dave Durden‘s 3rd consecutive Swimming Coach of the Year award, and his 9th time winning the award in his Cal career. His 3-year streak comes in as his second-longest in his career, with his longest being a 5-year streak from 2010-2014. Ryan Hoffer won Swimmer of the Year on the back of his excellent Pac-12 Champs performance. Hoffer won the 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 free at Pac-12s, earning Swimmer of the Meet honors. Since the NCAA swimming season ended with the conference meets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoffer’s 18.87 50 free from Pac-12s marked the fastest time in the NCAA for the 2019-2020 season.

ASU freshman Jack Dolan took Freshman Swimmer of the Year honors, after great races across the board at his first Pac-12s. Dolan was pivotal in the Sun Devil relays, and had the highest individual finish of the meet for a freshman – 2nd in the 200 free.

Individual Resumes, courtesy Pac-12 Conference:

SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Ryan Hoffer, Jr., California (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

Ryan Hoffer was named 2020 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year after capturing six titles and setting two Championships records to help California defend its Conference title. The junior took first in the 100-yard freestyle (41.45), 100-yard butterfly (44.85), and the 50-yard freestyle (18:87) with the fastest time in the country this season. He tacked on wins in the 200-yard medley relay (1:22.16) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (2:46.92) setting new Championship marks, while tying the Championships record in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:15.54) set in 2009. The 13-time All-American was selected as this year’s Pac-12 Championships Swimmer of the Meet and is the 12th Golden Bear to earn the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honor.

FRESHMAN SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Jack Dolan, Arizona State (St. Louis, Mo.)

Arizona State’s Jack Dolan was tabbed Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after taking the podium four times at this year’s Pac-12 Championships, the most of any freshman. He swam the first leg in the 800-yard freestyle relay (6:12.17) and the anchor in the 400-yard freestyle relay (2:47.24) to help the Sun Devils break two program records and earn second-place finishes. Dolan also helped his team take third in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:16.79) while taking second in the 200-yard freestyle on his own (1:33.29). The St. Louis native is the second Sun Devil to win Pac-12 Freshman Swimmer of the Year honor.

SWIMMING COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Durden, California

Head Coach David Durden was voted Pac-12 Swimming Coach the Year for the third-straight year, marking his ninth award all time (2010-14, 2016, 2018-20). Durden capped a perfect 6-0 season by leading California to its third-straight and seventh all-time Pac-12 Championships victory. The Golden Bears collected 10 individual and 4 relay titles to earn 856 points, while also notching 13 ‘A’ and ‘B’ cut times. In 2019, Durden helped the Bears capture their first National Championship since 2014 as Cal has finished first or second at the NCAA Championships for an unprecedented 10 years in a row. He also served as the Head Coach for Team USA at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea after being named head coach for the U.S. Olympic squad in 2018.

DIVER OF THE YEAR: Youssef Selim, Sr., Arizona State (Cairo, Egypt)

Arizona State’s Youssef Selim was voted Pac-12 Diver of the Year after taking the podium twice at this year’s Conference Championships. The junior took second in the 1-meter springboard (380.25) and placed fourth in the 3-meter (387.85) and platform (347.15) to tie for the most individual points (47). Selim was named Pac-12 Diver of the Month in November and Pac-12 Diver of the Week on Jan. 8 and Jan. 29. He is the ninth Sun Devil to be named the league’s Diver of the Year and the first since 2011.

FRESHMAN DIVER OF THE YEAR: Bjorn Markentin, Arizona (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Arizona’s Bjorn Markentin made a strong impact at his first Pac-12 Championships as his two podium finishes helped give the Wildcats an early lead heading into swimming competition. The freshman took first on the platform with a score of 384.70, claimed third in the 3-meter springboard (384.70) and finished eighth in the 1-meter (341.15). Markentin was just one of two freshmen to finish in the top eight in all three events.

DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR: Hongping Li, USC

USC’s Hongping Li was voted Pac-12 Diving Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career (2009, 2016-18, 2020). He led the Trojans to six topeight finishes for a total of 95 points and a tie for first in the diving portion of the 2020 Conference Championships. The two-time NCAA Coach of the Year (2002, 2006) has directed nine men’s and women’s divers to a combined 42 All-America honors, eight NCAA titles and 36 conference titles. Li’s USC divers have earned a combined 13 Pac-12 Diver of the Year honors.

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Ol' Longhorn

And his butt’s not nearly as sore as last year.