David Durden, who has spent the last dozen years in Berkeley crafting a powerhouse men’s swim team, will be the head coach of Team USA’s men’s swimming squad in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Durden has coached athletes at the last four Olympic competitions and was as assistant coach on Team USA’s 2016 squad in Rio. At those games, six Berkeley swimmers combined to win 11 Olympic medals, including eight gold medals. Ryan Murphy won three of the golds, including setting a world record in the backstroke, and he along with fellow Olympic medalists Nathan Adrian, Josh Prenot and Tom Shields continue to train daily alongside the current Berkeley team.
The Golden Bears have finished either first or second in the NCAA championship each of the last nine seasons under Durden, including taking home the titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He becomes the eighth Berkeley coach to head an Olympic squad for Team USA. He joins Ky Ebright (Men’s Rowing 8, 1928, 1932, 1948), Brutus Hamilton (Men’s Track & Field, 1952), Steve Heaston (Men’s Water Polo, 1988), Erv Hunt (Men’s Track & Field, 1996), Pete Newell (Men’s Basketball, 1960), (Teri McKeever (Women’s Swimming, 2012) and Mike Teti (Men’s Rowing, 2008 & Men’s Rowing 8, 2012).
Durden, who is a four-time NCAA Coach of the Year and whose swimmers have won 37 NCAA titles and 85 Pac-12 titles, has been beckoned before by USA Swimming. The group has had him serve as head coach of Team USA men’s swimmers at both the 2015 and 2017 FINA (Fédération internationale de natation) World Championships.