Coach Profile

Head Coach
David Durden Cal Mens Swmming

David Durden

The summer of 2016 was a historic one for the Bears with six individuals qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games for Team USA. The group brought home an incredible eleven medals, eight of which were gold:

  • Ryan Murphy- 100 backstroke (GOLD and a new world record), 200 backstroke (GOLD), 4X100 medley relay (GOLD)
  • Anthony Ervin- 50 freestyle (GOLD), 4x100 free relay (GOLD)
  • Nathan Adrian- 4x100 free relay (GOLD), 4x100 medley relay (GOLD), 100 freestyle (BRONZE), 50 freestyle (BRONZE)
  • Josh Prenot- 200 breaststroke (SILVER)
  • Tom Shields- 4x100 medley relay (GOLD)
  • Jacob Pebley- 200 backstroke (5th)

For their efforts, Durden and Cal associate head coach Yuri Suguiyama were both named assistant coaches for the US Olympic team and Durden was awarded the 2016 Coach of the Year award from the American Swim Coaches Association.
In the collegiate ranks under Durden’s tenure, the Golden Bears have finished first or second at the NCAA championships in each of the last eight seasons bringing the NCAA team title back to Berkeley in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Year four times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014).

The Bears also captured back-to-back Pac-12 championships in 2013 and 2014, ending Stanford’s 31-year streak in 2013. He produced three Pac-12 Newcomers of the Year in four years – Josh Prenot in 2013, Ryan Murphy in 2014 and Andrew Seliskar in 2016 – and earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year for five consecutive years (2010-2014) before winning the award again in 2016. Murphy took those accolades a step further in 2015, earning both Pac-12 and NCAA Swimmer of the Year honors, repeated as CSCAA National Swimmer of the Year and Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year in 2016 and earned the conference's top honor again as a senior in 2017.
Since taking over the Cal program in the fall of 2007, Durden has produced 24 individual NCAA champions and has seen 13 relays win national crowns. He has also guided Cal swimmers to 48 Pac-12 titles and 26 conference relay titles. In 2016-17, Murphy won both backstroke events for the fourth year in a row, becoming only the fourth male swimmer ever (John Naber, Pablo Morales, Brendan Hansen) to earn a career sweep in both distances of one stroke. Cal placed second as a team at the 2017 NCAA Championships, extending a run of finishing either first or second that dates back to 2010.
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):
Collegiate Team:

  • 3 NCAA team championships (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • 5 NCAA runner up finishes (2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • 2016 ASCA Coach of the Year
  • 4-time NCAA Coach of the Year (2010. 2011. 2012. 2014)
  • 6-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)
  • 37 NCAA titles (24 individual, 13 relay)
  • 74 Pac-12 titles (48 Individual, 26 relay)
  • Produced 218 All-American swims (176 individual, 42 relay)


  • Coached six Cal swimmers to 11 Olympic medals in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, including 8 golds and an individual world record by Ryan Murphy in the 100 meter backstroke
  • Mentored swimmers to three Olympic medals in 2012, including Nathan Adrian’s individual Olympic gold in the 100-meter freestyle in London
  • Team USA coaching appointments: Assistant Men’s coach 2016 Olympic Games, Head Men’s coach 2015 World Championships, Assistant Men’s coach 2011 World Championships, Assistant Men’s coach 2010 Pan Pacs, Assistant Men’s coach 2009 Duel in the Pool

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.

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