April 3, 2008
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Greg Meehan, former head coach for both the men's and women's swimming programs at the University of the Pacific, has been hired as assistant men's swimming coach at the University of California, head coach David Durden announced Thursday.
"Greg has a great reputation in the coaching community," said Durden. "He has tremendous strengths as a coach that will be immediately valued in our program. I couldn't be happier, not only with the type of coach we are getting, but with the quality of the individual. Greg exudes a level of professionalism to our sport that to me is very, very important. He is such a positive role model for our student-athletes."
Meehan, 32, coached at Pacific from 2005-08, leading his women's team to a second-place finish in the Big West Conference in 2006-07 and two fourth-place finishes. On the men's side, Meehan led the Tigers to three fourth-place league finishes. Krzysztof Zoldak earned Big West Swimmer of the Year in 2005, while Ja-Neil Bragg advanced to the NCAA championships in each of Meehan's three seasons. Zoldak and Wojciech Bettej both advanced to the NCAA championships in 2006-07. In all, his men's and women's teams broke 13 school records and three conference records, and seven of his student-athletes qualified for the NCAAs.
Prior to coaching at Pacific, Meehan was the assistant women's coach under Cyndi Gallagher at UCLA from 2001-05, helping the Bruins to a 2003 Pac-10 title, a seventh-place NCAA finish in 2004 and a total of 33 All-Americans and 32 school records broken. He also was assistant women's swimming coach at Princeton from 1999-2001, helping the Tigers to a 17-0 dual meet record and the 2000 and 2001 Ivy League titles. Meehan was the first assistant and later interim head coach at William & Mary in 1998-99 as well.
In the summer of 2003, Meehan served as assistant coach for the USA Swimming National Distance Camp at the USOC Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., mentoring the top young male and female distance swimmers from around the country.
A graduate of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., Meehan earned a degree in mathematics and secondary education. While at Rider, he competed in the 200 backstroke, was a member of several MAAC conference champion relays, and was a four-time All-Academic Award recipient.
"I am incredibly excited about joining the Cal program," said Meehan. "It is a great situation for me as Cal is one of the premier men's swimming programs in the nation. It is a great opportunity, both from a University standpoint and an athletic standpoint. I am really looking forward to working with David. I was so impressed with him during my interview. He is passionate about what he is doing and is an inspiration to be around."
The Cal men's swimming and diving team is fresh off an impressive 2007-08 campaign under first-year coach Durden and head coach emeritus Nort Thornton. The Golden Bears came into the 2008 NCAA championships ranked 11th, but proceeded to finish fourth nationally after six top-five finishes and new school records in the 200 (1:24.50, junior David Russell, freshman Damir Dugonjic, senior Jernej Godec, senior Joe Whittington) and 400 medley relays (3:05.38, Russell, Dugonjic, Godec, senior William Copeland), as well as school records in the 100 back (Russell) and 100 breast (Dugonjic). Cal garnered 332.5 points and trailed only Arizona (500.5), Texas (406) and Stanford (344). The Bears also placed second at the 2008 Pac-10 championships.