University of Minnesota associate head coach and Minneapolis native Terry Ganley has retired following the conclusion of the 2020-21 NCAA season. Ganley coached swimmers with the Minnesota Gophers for over four decades, this past season marking her 44th, and leaves behind an inspiring legacy as both a coach and an athlete.
During her tenure at Minnesota, more than 100 women’s student-athletes have earned All-America recognition, totaling 450. The Minnesota women were also a force in the late 2000s to mid 2010s, clinching Big Ten titles in 2008 and then from 2012 to 2015. That stretch made the Gopher women the first Minnesota team to win four-straight conference crowns. In 2006, Ganley and head coach Kelly Kremer were named Big Ten Coaches of the Year.
Ganley was a Minnesota coach for the Gophers’ first Big Ten crown on the women’s side, in 1999, while she coached Gretchen Hegener to the 1997 national title in the 100 breast, the school’s first. She also helped the women reach their highest NCAA finish in program history, ninth, in 2011.
Minnesota’s women have won all seven of their Big Ten titles with Ganley on staff, and she has coached the women to 17 top-15 finishes.
Ganley’s final meet with the Gophers was last week’s NCAA Men’s Championships, where junior Max McHugh won NCAA titles in both breaststroke events, becoming the first Minnesota men’s national champion in almost 60 years.
“Today I had the privilege to do something that not many people get to do,” Ganley said.
“I was able to announce my retirement from the place where I spent four years as a student-athlete and then coached for 44 years. Maroon and Gold is and always will be home for me. It was an honor to teach, coach and mentor the young women and men of this great program. I am truly blessed to have spent my career as a Gopher.”
Ganley was named associate head coach for the men’s and women’s teams since the 2014-15 season. She co-led the team with Kremer for several years following the retirement of legendary head coach Jean Freeman, while she served as an assistant for 27 years under Freeman prior.
Ganley was an incredible swimmer herself, swimming for Minnesota in the 1970s. She was the first woman in history to earn All-America honors at Minnesota in any sport, her collegiate career including two Big Ten titles and four total All-America accolades. Ganley was inducted into the Minnesota Aquatics Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Minnesota Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994.
“There aren’t enough words, or words big enough, for an occasion like this,” said Kremer.
“Terry is the standard for how to love and care for this University and program, and she will be greatly missed. Personally, she is a close friend, colleague and mentor, and I know she will continue to support us as she takes this next step in her life. I would like to thank her and congratulate her! What an amazing legacy!”