In just seven seasons, head coach David Durden has transformed the Cal men’s swimming and diving program from a perennial Top 10 finisher to the premier collegiate program in the country. During Durden’s tenure, the Golden Bears have finished no lower than fourth at the NCAA championships, and they have brought the NCAA team title back to Berkeley three of the last four years with national crowns in 2011, 2012 and 2014. For his efforts, Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Year four of the last five seasons (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014).
In addition, Durden’s squad has captured back-to-back Pac-12 championships, ending Stanford’s 31-year streak in 2013. He has produced the two most recent Pac-12 Newcomers of the Year – Josh Prenot in 2013 and Ryan Murphy in 2014 – and has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for five consecutive years (2010-2014).
Since taking over the Cal program in the fall of 2007, Durden has now produced 18 individual NCAA champions and has seen 12 relays win national crowns. He has also guided Cal swimmers to 32 Pac-12 titles and 17 conference relay titles. This past 2013-14 campaign, freshman Murphy was the national champion in the 100 and 200 backstroke, establishing a new NCAA record in the 200 back. The Bears’ 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays won NCAA titles, and the 200 medley relay of Murphy, Chuck Katis, Tony Cox and Tyler Messerschmidt established a new American record on their way to a national title. At the conclusion of the meet, Cal had produced 22 All-American swims en route to scoring 468.5 points over second place Texas in its home pool.
Beyond the collegiate ranks, Cal has assembled one of the most decorated professional groups in the sport. All of the post-grads in Durden’s program swam for the Bears during their college years, which provides a unique connection and mentorship to the undergrad swimmers. Headlining this group are swimming legends-in-the-making Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin and Natalie Coughlin who account for 18 Olympic medals thus far in their careers.
Snapshot of Durden’s coaching accomplishments while at Cal (2007-present):
- 3 NCAA team championships (2011, 2012, 2014)
- 2 NCAA runner up finishes (2010, 2013)
- 4-time NCAA Coach of the Year (2010. 2011. 2012. 2014)
- 5-time Pac-12 coach of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- 30 NCAA titles (18 individual, 12 relay)
- 49 Pac-12 titles (32 Individual, 17 relay)
- Produced 160 All-American swims (129 individual, 31 relay)
- Mentored swimmers to three Olympic medals in 2012, including Nathan Adrian’s individual Olympic gold in the 100-meter freestyle in London
- United States assistant coach for 2009 Duel in the Pool, 2010 Pan Pacific Games, 2011 World Championships, 2014 Pan Pacific Championships
- Personal coach for the 2012 Olympic Games
Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Durden guided Maryland's men's and women's swimming and diving from 2005-07. A former assistant at powerhouse Auburn from 2002-05, Durden helped the Tiger men's and women's teams capture a total of six NCAA team championships - the men winning in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and the women winning in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
At Auburn, Durden was the primary coach for a number of world-class/postgraduate swimmers who were preparing for the World Championships and the World University Games. He mentored multiple world and NCAA record holders, and in 2004 coached multiple athletes who competed at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Durden served as the head coach for the Panama team at the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2003 Pan American Games.
A 1998 graduate of UC Irvine, Durden earned a degree in electrical engineering. He competed on the Anteaters' swim team from 1994-97 and was the 1997 Big West Conference champion in the 200 butterfly. He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Concord with their son, Jack (born January 2009) and daughter, Mia (born March 2010).