The coaching staff for the United States’ pool swimming team at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships has been named. Joining head coaches Greg Meehan (women) and Dave Durden (men), who were announced to their posts in January, will be joined by an all-male coaching staff that looks rather similar to the one named to last year’s Olympic staff.
- Greg Meehan, Stanford (Head Coach)
- Arthur Albiero, Louisville
- Cory Chitwood, Virginia
- Ray Looze, Indiana
All 8 of the coaches on this year’s staff are collegiate coaches, which mirrors a very college-heavy World Championships team. Each of the ‘Power 5’ conferences are represented by at least one coach, and no programs from outside of those conferences is represented on the staff.
There is one anomaly on this year’s staff – Cory Chitwood will represent Virginia on this year’s staff. Virginia is the training ground of Leah Smith, who qualified for the team in 5 individual events (200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 400 IM), which is more than any other swimmer on the American team.
Typically, while assistant coaches might serve on more minor teams like at the World University Games, World Championship rosters are reserved for head coaches. The head coach of Virginia, Augie Busch, is the son of outgoing USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch, who has announced his upcoming retirement after Worlds. Augie’s absence will fuel rumors that he’s the front-runner to take over the team at Arizona, where his dad was formerly the head coach, and who are currently looking for a new leader themselves.
Among the coaches missing from the list in spite of putting multiple swimmers on the team are Texas A&M head coach Steve Bultman (Bethany Galat, Sarah Gibson), Ted Knapp (Abrahm Devine, True Sweetser), and Cal head coach Teri McKeever (Kathleen Baker, Abbey Weitzeil).
The staff is among the most-accomplished that USA Swimming has ever assembled. The entire men’s staff is made up of coaches who have been head coaches of U.S. Olympic Teams. The women’s team has thinner resumes (they’re generally a much younger staff), but includes Arthur Albiero – who has served on 3 World Championship staffs (for Portugal), plus an Olympic staffs (2012 for Portugal) and as the head coach for the 2016 SC World Championships.
A rundown of the coaches on staff and which athletes are currently members of their teams:
Greg Meehan (Women’s Head Coach)
- Katie Ledecky (200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 4×100 free relay)
- Simone Manuel (50 free, 100 free, 4×200 free relay)
- Lia Neal (4×100 free relay)
Arthur Albiero (Women’s Assistant)
Cory Chitwood (Women’s Assistant)
- Leah Smith (200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 400 IM)
Ray Looze (Women’s Assistant)
- Lilly King (50 breast, 100 breast, 200 breast)
- Cody Miller (50 breast, 100 breast)
- Blake Pieroni (200 free, 4×100 free relay)
- Zane Grothe – Indiana post-grad group (400 free, 800 free, 4×200 free relay)
Dave Durden (Men’s Head Coach)
Jack Bauerle (Men’s Assistant)
- Pace Clark (200 fly)
- Nic Fink (200 breast)
- Chase Kalisz (200 IM, 400 IM)
- Jay Lithelrand (400 IM)
- Hali Flickinger (200 fly)
- Melanie Margalis (4×200 free relay, 200 IM)
- Olivia Smoliga (100 back, 4×100 free relay)
Eddie Reese (Men’s Assistant)
- Jack Conger (200 fly)
- Townley Haas (200 free, 4×100 free relay)
- Clark Smith (400 free, 800 free, 4×200 free relay)
Gregg Troy (Men’s Assistant)
Editor’s note: Swimmers who qualify for relays as a result of swimming the relevant event individually (such as Simone Manuel in the 100 free) are not listed separately in their relays, following USA Swimming’s official event announcement.