VIP Presenter – Dave Durden
On Sunday of the clinic (June 12th) we have another very special presenter. Dave Durden, head coach of the newly crowned NCAA Champ’s, UC Berkeley Men’s Swim Team, will join us to run a session on Advanced Techniques for Competitors. Coach Durden has a pretty amazing bio that we obtained from the Cal Bears website – read on! There was also a great interview recently of Coach Durden by Bob Schaller that appears on the USA Swimming site.
Coach Dave Durden
In David Durden’s first two seasons leading the Golden Bears his squad has broken 14 of 19 school records while twice finishing second in the Pac-10 and fourth at the NCAA championships. Yet, the beauty of Durden’s situation in Berkeley is that the young coach has California swimming and diving primed for even better fortunes in 2009-10. Eleven swimmers are back from last year’s NCAA team, including 2009 national champions Nathan Adrian (50, 100 free) and Damir Dugonjic (100 breast).
Entering the Cal scene in 2007, Durden, 33, immediately perpetuated the Bears’ strong swimming tradition that long-time head coach and current head coach emeritus Nort Thornton has established since 1975. In two years Durden has elevated Cal from an eighth place NCAA spot in 2007 to fourth place finishes in both 2008 and 2009, while mentoring 21 All-Americans, nine individual Pac-10 champions and five conference-winning relays.
In 2009, highlights for the Durden and the Bears included Adrian capturing the NCAA 100 free in an American record time of 41.08 and the 50 free in an American record 18.71. Dugonjic won the 100-yard breast in an NCAA-record 50.86, while Sean Mahoney was national runner-up in the 200 breast (1:52.34) after setting a then-NCAA record with a 1:51.96 in the morning prelims. In the 100 back, David Russell was also a national runner-up, breaking his own school record of 45.42 with a time of 45.30. Cal’s 200 medley relay team of Guy Barnea, Dugonjic, Graeme Moore and Adrian placed second with a time of 1:22.50 (topping the previous NCAA record), while the 400 medley relay of Russell, Dugonjic, Moore and Adrian swam a new school record 3:01.69, narrowly missing a national title.
At the 2009 conference meet, Cal had Pac-10 champions in the 50, 100 and 200 free (Adrian is the first Cal swimmer to win all three of those freestyle events at the Pac-10 meet), in the 200 IM (Martti Aljand), the 100 breast (Dugonjic), the 200 breast (Nolan Koon), the 400 medley relay (3:03.30; Russell, Dugonjic, Moore, Adrian) and the 200 medley relay (1:23.98; Russell, Dugonjic, Moore, Bennett Clark). The Bears won eight Pac-10 crowns in 2009 after winning six conference titles in 2008.
Beyond the collegiate ranks, Durden is also helping develop some of the best swimmers on the world stage. Under Durden’s tutelage, Adrian is quickly approaching legendary status along the lines of Cal Olympic gold medalists Matt Biondi and Anthony Ervin. Most recently at the Duel in the Pool, Dec. 2009 in Manchester, England, Durden was a member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff that witnessed Adrian winning the 50 and 100-meter free in record times of 20.71 and 45.42, respectively, and being a key component on world record-setting 400 medley (freestyle leg) and 400 free (lead-off 45.08) relays.
In all, Cal had 13 different swimmers who trained under Durden and his staff ranked in the Top 50 in the world following the 2009 World University Games and World Championships, including eight – Adrian, Dugonjic, Moore, Mahoney, Barnea, Aljand, Nick Ferrif and Martin Liivamagi – who are current members of the 2009-10 Bears.
Durden guided Maryland’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving from 2005-07 before being hired to direct the Cal program in August 2007. 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 also served as the head coach for the Panama team at the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2003 Pan American Games.
“David is a perfect fit to carry on the legacy of athletic and academic excellence that has been so prevalent in the program built by Nort Thornton over the past three-plus decades,” said Cal Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “Not only do I believe David will be a fabulous success, but I am thrilled that a person of such character and integrity will be providing leadership for the young men in our program.”
Durden is a NCAA Division I Certified Coach, a member of U.S. Swimming and a member of the American Swimming Coaches Asso-ciation. For five years, he was involved with the swim camps at Auburn, serving as the camp director in 2004 and 2005. Before coaching at Auburn, Durden served as an assistant for the highly regarded Irvine Novaquatics club team under current USC coach Dave Salo.
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 Pleasant Hill, Calif. with their son, Jack, born Jan. 28, 2009.