USA Swimming Names Dave Durden, Greg Meehan as 2020 Olympic Coaches

USA Swimming has announced its head coaches for the 2020 U.S. Olympic swimming team: Cal’s Dave Durden for the men and Stanford’s Greg Meehan for the women.

The national governing body announced the names in a conference call Monday.

Durden was an assistant with the men’s Olympic team in 2016, but this will be his first time as head coach. Heading up the men’s program at the University of California, Durden has guided some of Team USA’s top swimmers, both in the collegiate ranks and as pros. His team had an especially outstanding summer of 2018. Ryan Murphy was one of the few American men to overperform at both U.S. Nationals and Pan Pacs, and is among the best backstrokers in the world. Veteran sprinter Nathan Adrian continues to be among the nation’s best, and Durden’s Cal men had 11 other swimmers qualify for 2019 summer international travel teams.

Meehan has coached several of the top American female swimmers for the past few years, to great success. He’s the coach of Katie Ledecky, who still remains the best distance swimmer on the planet by a country mile, and arguably the top female swimmer overall, regardless of event. Meehan has also coached world and Olympic champion sprinter Simone Manuel and veteran Olympian Lia Neal. Maybe Meehan’s most impressive feat of coaching was helping Ella Eastin make Pan Pacs and World University Games despite having mono, a goal achieved through a gutsy decision to scratch a number of top events to rest up for one final qualifying shot in the 200 IM.

Meehan was also an assistant on the 2016 Olympic coaching staff, and this will be his first bid as head coach. Durden and Meehan previously coached together at Cal before Meehan took the Stanford job.

The two represent the youngest Olympic head coaching staff in recent memory. Both are currently 42 and will be 44 when the 2020 Olympics take place. No other Olympic head swim coaches since 2000 have been under 50 years old. Here’s a look at previous Olympic head coaches and their age as of those Olympic Games:

Men’s Coach Age Olympics Age Women’s Coach
Dave Durden 44 2020 44 Greg Meehan
Bob Bowman 51 2016 58 David Marsh
Gregg Troy 62 2012 50 Teri McKeever
Eddie Reese 67 2008 56 Jack Bauerle
Eddie Reese 63 2004 54 Mark Schubert
Mark Schubert 50 2000 57 Richard Quick

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Captain Ahab
2 years ago

Excellent decision by USA swimming!!

joe
2 years ago

Can’t argue with these choices.

2Fat4Speed
2 years ago

Really can’t go wrong with these two. Great coaches, solid experience, charismatic leaders.

William Roberts
2 years ago

Congratulations to both Greg & Dave!! They have both earned it!!

Barney
2 years ago

Troy would have been a better choice. More experience. Better track record. Way more respect. from other coaches (WAY more) More available time to prepare over next 18 months.

Barney
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

And way less ego.

ChompChomp
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

Oh ok, now that I read your 2nd comment, I get it: it’s personal. NVM.

Pvdh
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

Dave has the most US olympians in recent memory. hes the easiest choice unless Eddie Reese wants to get involved which I doubt.

ChompChomp
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

You must be real old salt…anybody who has “way more respect” for Gregg Troy than Meehan or Durden in 2018 has their blinders on and thinks it’s still 2010. Just because Meehan and Durden aren’t old doesn’t mean that they haven’t proven themselves just as much as Gregg Troy.

I’m sure different coaches all have their own personal relationships that dictate who they like more…but those 3 all have resumes worthy of similar levels of respect as coaches. Only difference is that Greg and Dave have put their teams consistently in the top 2 at NCAAs, while Troy’s women didn’t score 2 years ago.

Gghggg
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

Saying that is foolish. Why, just because he happened to coach Ryan and Caeleb? I mean that’s great and all and he’s a fantastic coach for doing so, however, it’s kknda like the deal with Bob Bowman, his training isn’t for everyone. It’s lots of grinding. If I was a swimmer of that level and someone went up to me and said you have the chance to coach with the man that made a few of the greatest swimmers ever or a coach that consistently makes everyone good then I’m taking the conostsntly because I know that while Troy is good, you got crazy talent from Caeleb and Ryan. Same with Bob. His coaching is great but Michael Phelps is… Read more »

Barney
Reply to  Gghggg
2 years ago

Being the HEAD coach isn’t about developing the athletes. It’s about working with ALL of the swimmers and ALL of the coaches and making decisions that are good for EVERYBODY (not just YOUR athletes. How about we ask the athletes and coaches that have been on international rosters with these two head coaches) And if you think Troy’s resume ends with Lochte and Dressel then we can’t even agree on where to start.

Jambo Sana
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

He royally screwed up in 2012, especially with the relays. He tried to make it all about his swimmer Lochte and messed with his head. He thought it was a good idea to have Lochte anchor the sprint relay.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Jambo Sana
2 years ago

Lochte’s solid split ( 47.4 i think ) was out split by an incredible swimmer with a 46.6 – one of which has never replicated that time ever again . Give Troy some slack please ….who would have u put instead of Lochte ? Matt Grevers ? why not ….who else ?

gator
Reply to  Barney
2 years ago

No, he needs to focus on whipping Lochte into shape!

Ariel
2 years ago

LET’S GO BEARS!

Ferb
2 years ago

Great choices, just as they would have (and should have) been in 2016.

Pvdh
2 years ago

Simply a formality. Best two choices

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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