Kristen Cunnane, Cal Women’s Associate Head Coach, Resigns

Cal women’s associate head coach Kristen Cunnane has resigned her post and will step away from coaching, she told SwimSwam on Saturday.

“After 10 incredible years at CAL, I have decided to step down from my role,” Cunnane said. “Coaching at this level and being able to give the CAL program and girls what they deserve, along with being able to give my family and children what they need, proved to be too difficult for me.”

“I am deeply sad about my decision, but know it is the right one for me. There are a million things I will miss about my job- most of which the awesome girls and staff at CAL. Coaching is my passion and I hope to coach in some capacity in the future. I am endlessly grateful for my time at CAL and the many people who have profoundly touched my life.”

Cunnane was a full-time assistant coach for Cal for 8 seasons, and was promoted to associate head coach in December of 2011.

Among her efforts was acting as Cal’s recruiting coordinator throughout Cal’s run to the top of collegiate swimming. She was with the program for all four of the program’s NCAA team titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) and coordinated the recruiting of some of the greatest recruiting class that the NCAA has ever seen.

In the three years that SwimSwam has ranked recruiting classes, Cal ranked 1st in 2013 and 2015, and 4th in 2014.

The combination of being the owners of the NCAA Championship next season, along with the promise of working under the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Teri McKeever, will make this the most prized assistant job available this summer.

As an athlete, Cunnane (then Kristen Lewis) was a UCLA All-American, after which she moved to Cal to earn a master’s degree. She served one year as a graduate assistant at Cal, and two years as an administrative assistant. She has also served as the director of the Cal swim camp.

Cunnane gave birth to her second child, a son, on May 12th of this year. She also has a two-year old daughter.

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5 years ago

Uber elite program, fully stocked, new facility… some lucky assistant just got the golden ticket.

5 years ago

Is a coaching retirement in Westwood the next shoe to drop in the Pac12?

5 years ago

Kristen did a quiet but outstanding job! I think they already have the assistant coach in waiting!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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