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  • Head Olympic Coach

  • University of California Head Coach

  • USA Paris Olympic Team... includes 6 from Cal Aquatics

  • 6x NCAA Team Championships 

At the recent Olympic Trials, Cal Aquatics placed 6 swimmers on the USA Olympic Team heading to Paris 2024. 

Durden speaks often about building relationships with his swimmers and growing those relationships in the course of their college careers and beyond as they transition into adult life or remain at Cal as professional athletes. Durden coaches each individual a bit differently, based on the relationship with a particular athlete and their shared experiences as a coach-swimmer duo. Maybe it’s working to build their confidence or maybe it’s honing in on a particular skill. Whatever the method, the results speak for themselves.                   


California men’s swimming & diving under his guidance has established the Golden Bears as one of the premier collegiate and post-graduate programs in the country throughout the past 17 years. They have placed among the top two teams at the NCAA Championships each of the past 14 meets…winning 6 time.  Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Year six times during this span.


For his efforts, Durden was charged with leading Team USA as the Head Men’s Coach for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The American men totaled 12 medals (8 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze), including medals won by Cal greats Ryan Murphy and Tom Shields. In all, eight Cal swimmers reached the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while representing four different countries. Other Olympic medalists that Durden has coached prior to Tokyo are Anthony Ervin, Nathan Adrian, and Josh Prenot.  At the recent Olympic Trials, Cal Aquatics had 6 swimmers make the USA team.


Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Dave served as an assistant coach at Auburn University and later as the head coach at the University of Maryland.  A 1998 graduate of UC Irvine, Durden earned a degree in electrical engineering and was the Big West Conference champion in the 200 butterfly. He and his wife, Cathy, reside in Moraga with their two children. 

Dave Durden

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