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|