USA Swimming has named Dave Durden and Greg Meehan as the American head coaches for the 2017 World Championships. Durden’s primary job is as the head coach of the Cal men’s team, and he will be lead the men’s team to Budapest. Meehan, meanwhile, serves as the head coach of the Stanford women’s team, and will lead the American women as well.
The appointments bring full-circle a pair who have been linked for years. Meehan was Durden’s assistant at Cal for 4 seasons, which included 2-straight NCAA Championships. Then, Meehan jumped across the bay to the other side of the heated Pac-12 rivalry to take over a fading Stanford women’s team, which he has revived into the heavy favorites to win the 2017 NCAA title.
Since parting ways, both coaches have continued the same level of success they previously saw. Durden was the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team coach in Rio last summer, has led his team to 7-straight top 2 finishes at the NCAA Championships, and along with new assistant Yuri Suguiyama sent 5 swimmers to the Olympics (6 if one counts Anthony Ervin, who trained at Cal for 5 years before making a switch in the months leading up to the Olympics). Those 6 swimmers won 8 Olympic gold medals of 11 total.
Meehan, meanwhile, put 3 on the U.S. women’s Olympic Team – Lia Neal, Maya DiRado, and Simone Manuel, who combined for 9 Olympic medals. He also coached freshman Ella Eastin to 2 NCAA titles as a freshman last year – including a national record in the 200 IM – and 57 individual points, and has since had his squad joined by Katie Ledecky – the best female swimmer on earth at any level.
“Any time you’re asked to be the head coach of a World Championships for USA Swimming it’s a tremendous honor and responsibility,” Durden said. “I’m really excited to reconnect and work again with Greg Meehan on the women’s side, and hopefully between Greg and myself and the staff, we’ll put together a good showing out in Hungary. I think we will have a mixture of veterans and newcomers to the team that will make USA Swimming proud.”
“I am humbled and honored to receive the appointment of Team USA’s women’s head coach for the World Championship team. I appreciate the trust shown in me by National Team Director Frank Busch and the leadership within USA Swimming,” Meehan said. “The post-Olympic year Worlds team is a wonderful blend of Olympic veterans and athletes making their first appearance on the world stage. I’m looking forward to working with these great athletes this summer as we lay the groundwork for Tokyo 2020.”
The 2017 World Championships are scheduled for July 23rd-30th (pool swimming portion) in Budapest, Hungary. The qualification meet is June 27-July 1 in Indianapolis. The United States has finished atop the medals table at 11 consecutive FINA World Championships (LCM).
The appointment of Meehan to this position now makes him eligible to be the women’s head coach at the 2020 Olympic Games: a position for which he immediately becomes the favorite.