Greg Meehan Shares Perspective on Regan Smith’s Departure from Stanford

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with Stanford head coach Greg Meehan to discuss the departure of Regan Smith from Stanford after 1 year to turn pro and go train with Bob Bowman at Arizona State. Meehan is candid as he shares his disappointment and sadness to see Smith leave the Cardinal, not only as an athlete but as a teammate and friend to the rest of the women under his mentorship. But he also shares that even though he doesn’t necessarily agree that leaving is the best thing for Smith to do, he understands that she thinks it is the best thing for her career, and Meehan respects and honors that.

We also talk to Meehan about how he’s dealt with pros turning a new leaf and leaving the Stanford program in the past, why he decided to train Torri Huske for the 400 IM, and what his life is like now that he isn’t preparing to be the head Olympic coach.

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Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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IMO
1 month ago

People may want to go read the interview with Regan herself on the other swimming news website. She basically says Greg’s workouts weren’t enough to swim a 200 and she felt unprepared standing behind the blocks. She’s leaving so she can get better training.

Spectatorn
1 month ago

Even though it is a surprise to read the news… it is kind of not surprising… Regan had showed she wants control /flexibility of her pool training time in the past. And I assume, unless her high school does not have a swim team, that was the reason she did not swim at high school meets to avoid the training restrictions.

Besides, both Regan and his father has been vocal about the downside (at the time) of college swimming. Even with NIL, assuming they are still not able to fully capitalize on prize money and all sponsorship opportunity.

Now that she has one year of NCAA experience which unfortunately was very skewed by the pandemic, it is not… Read more »

Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

Swimswam, are you not interested to know what’s happening to the most successful make swimmer of the last 5 years?

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

How does Dressel relate to Stanford University and head coach Greg Meehan?

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

You’d have better success with leaks from the Kremlin.

Luis Vargas
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

make = male but I agree. It should be discussed instead of everyone ignoring it and being afraid to say anything. The first person that should say something should be the most successful male swimmer of the last five years. He will highly likely be helping himself and others as well. The truth gives you freedom.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Luis Vargas
1 month ago

To quote Braden in this thread:

“I think it’s smart by Greg. Tell your own story, or you’ll let other people tell it for you.”

Right now, the longer Caeleb stay silent, the more people speculate about what happened.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

Can you please stop repeating this? It is becoming annoying, and at this point, your incessant comments are making me not want to know what happened.

Yozhik
1 month ago

College swimming head coach is hired and paid making the team to achieve. That is the major his/her professional concern. The progress of individual swimmers is secondary as soon it is more than necessary for the team success. During last decade Greg Meehan got lucky to have outstanding group of swimmers. Together with the coach they made the Stanford team and consequently the coach famous. How much has he contributed to their attempts to compete at world (not college) level? That isn’t part of his/her job description.
They would not looking for good from good.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

Stanford University recruits itself. In addition, the Avery Aquatic Center is to die for (metaphorically speaking).

Coachmommy
1 month ago

Regan looked so stressed out at Olympic trials. At the end of the day, collegiate student or pro, this is still just a sport. Academics at Stamford must be so intense, and Regan very well could have felt there was no feasible way for her to give her best effort to both things. Pro swimming is still such a new option, and being in a college setting with training restrictions and academic pressure but still being expected to compete against athletes who aren’t in school seems like a big ask. For some swimmers maybe the academics gives them a mental break from focusing too much on athletic performance alone, and for others it may prove to be too much to… Read more »

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

Maya DiRado graduated from Stanford University in the summer of 2014 or 2015. Maya DiRado was a professional swimmer when competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Coachmommy
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

You seem oddly hostile in your comments. In any case I was referencing Maya only in light of the fact that at the time she won Olympic gold she had already decided where her competitive finish line was located and had a vision of what her life would look like after wrapping up her swimming career. I don’t think anyone watching Missy Franklin competing in 2012 was predicting by 2016 she would be a swimmer in the stands instead of the pool – watching Maya grab an upset win in the 200 back. The amount of coverage and pressure elite swimmers are contending with keeps escalating. Maya wasn’t worried about what came after her Olympic performance, but Regan is.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

Missy Franklin was diagnosed with bursitis and underwent surgery on both shoulders.

https://swimswam.com/missy-franklin-wont-swim-us-nationals-double-shoulder-surgery/

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

Please explain the mass exodus from the women’s swimming program at Stanford University:

Drabot
Eastin
Forde
Ledecky
Manuel
Neal

DMSWIM
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Drabot and Forde retired to pursue other careers. Eastin got sick. As stated in the video, Ledecky’s departure was part of a planned transition.

Jules
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

All of those women (and many others with guidance of Meehan, staff and Stanford resources) have received a great education and their degrees from Stanford, and all have been vastly successful both in and out of the pool and are set up for great futures–something one would hope is not lost on parents looking to guide their children about Stanford and other college swim programs.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

Regan Smith may have noted the results at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships by Katie Ledecky with the change of coaches from Meehan to Nesty.

For the record, Katie Ledecky posted a faster time in the final of the W 400 FR, W 800 FR, W 1500 FR at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships than the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships. In addition, Katie Ledecky posted a faster relay split in the final of the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships than the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

To further clarify, Maya DiRado was a senior at Stanford University during the 2013-2014 time frame.

https://gostanford.com/sports/womens-swimming-and-diving/roster/maya-dirado/6476

https://gostanford.com/sports/womens-swimming-and-diving/roster/2013-14

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Coachmommy
1 month ago

As was the case with Katie Ledecky, Regan Smith deferred a year’s entry at Stanford University. Regan Smith was not a student athlete at Stanford University during the 2021 USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

No one asked why Lillie Nordman and Isabel Gormley have regressed at Stanford University? Reference the results from the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships for further details.

SCCOACH
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Coleman! Why didn’t you ask him to assess every swimmer on his team in an interview about Regan Smith?

Last edited 1 month ago by SCCOACH
Old Swimmer
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Stop picking on Isabel! People were making nasty comments about her before NCAAs. Does anyone really know what her circumstances are? Not everyone is going to be a Regan Smith or a Katie Ledecky

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Old Swimmer
1 month ago

How about Zoe Bartel?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

This is weird, man. Just picking out random swimmers and saying they “regressed” is kinda gross.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

A list of female swimmers who actually medaled at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships?

Check out the results from the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships for further details.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

And that’s exactly my point – if swimmers are already that good, are they more likely to continue improving or “regress” a bit?

The other half of my point is you only keep track of these top-tier swimmers – but what about other athletes that enter college and never improve, but because they don’t make it out of heats at their conference meet, they don’t get some weirdo in the comments bashing them for “regressing.”

It’s not a representative sample, and just because those swimmers were much better than their peers AND went to a highly visible school, you’re more willing to call them out.

Old Swimmer’s previous point: “Does anyone really know what her circumstances are?”… Read more »

Mr Mackey
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Meehan is overrated. Mixed medley at Olympics showed this.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Lillie Nordmann swam best times in the 50M free, 100M free, 200 yard free, 400M free, 500 yard free, and 200 yard fly in 2022. I wouldn’t call that a regression.
Gormley went best times in the 500, 1000, and 1650 last year at Stanford. This past season was a bit rough for her, indicating something else beyond coaching issues may be a problem.

Justfacts
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

These were the issues (read between the lines) https://www.usada.org/sanction/isabel-gormley-accepts-sanction/

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Janet Evans left Stanford University because she was not allotted enough training time in the pool.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

How much training was Regan Smith receiving in the 50 meter pool at the Avery Aquatic Center?

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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