Meet the Coaches

An introduction to the five Cal coaches who will be taking part in the 2012 Olympics

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Laurel Korholz: Women’s rowing assistant coach (USA)

Not many people can say they’ve been to the Olympics five times. Korholz is one of them. The 1993 Cal alum has taken part in every Summer Olympics since graduation, starting with Sydney in 1996. But it took until 2004 in Athens for Korholz to nab her first Olympic medal, a silver as a member of the women’s eight. Now the La Jolla, Calif. native has turned her focus to coaching, and she will be an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s crew team for the second time.

Korholz helped coach the women’s eight to a gold medal in Beijing, a squad which included Cal’s Erin Cafaro, who will be competing in the same event this year. The American women won two medals, one of seven countries to win multiple medals in women’s rowing. As Korholz preserves Cal’s tradition of Olympic success, it will be interesting to see how many medals her squad can rack up.

Teri McKeever: Women’s swimming head coach (USA)

When it comes to coaching swimmers, it’s hard to find anyone better than Teri McKeever. The 20th-year head coach for the Cal women’s swim team has taken the Bears to the top of the mountain three times in the last four years, as her squads have won NCAA team titles three of the last four years. Now she’s taking her talents to the U.S. women’s swim team, where she will be the first female head coach in team history.

McKeever has transformed Cal into the No. 1 destination for college swimming in the country as she’s tutored some of the best swimmers from the USA and the rest of the world, from Natalie Coughlin and Emily Silver to Dana Vollmer and Caitlin Leverenz. Four of the women swimming for Team USA are McKeever’s. She’s tutored four Olympian women in the other lanes as well, and Anthony Ervin credits her for resurrecting his career.

Greg Meehan: Men’s swimming assistant coach (Estonia)

Just 35, Meehan has already established himself as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Now an associate head coach on the Cal men’s swim team, Meehan has helped his squads improve in each of his four years with the program, rising from a fourth place finish at NCAAs in 2009 to back-to-back NCAA titles, and the 2012 assistant coach of the year is a big reason for that.

Meehan will coach Estonia, but he’s not the first American to coach a foreign country in the Olympics. Men’s swim head coach David Durden took the reigns of Panama’s squad in 2004 before taking over at Cal. Given the wild success of Durden after becoming Cal’s head coach, Bears fans must be hoping Meehan doesn’t follow a similar path and jump ship. Meehan will coach Martin Liivamagi, a long shot for a medal. But if you’ve learned anything about Cal’s swimmers, it’s that you can never count them out.

Dave O’Neill: Women’s rowing assistant coach (USA)

Almost every Cal coach associated with the Olympics has a long resume, and O’Neill is no exception. The Cal women’s crew head coach will coach lightweight double sculls in London after 14 years with the Bears. Those years have been as successful as about any coach in the world of women’s rowing. Not only has he led Cal to NCAA titles in 2005 and 2006, but his ‘05 men’s eight set an NCAA record after completing a perfect season.

Although this is O’Neill’s first time coaching at the Olympics, he’s been involved in international competitions for much of his coaching career. His under-23 teams have won various gold medals in those events, including gold medals in the quad sculls in 2007 and the women’s eight a year before.

O’Neill has proven himself at Cal and on the international stage. Now he gets his chance on the biggest stage of them all.

Mike Teti: Men’s rowing assistant coach (USA)

Rowing has taken Mike Teti a long way — from the streets of West Philadelphia to Cal, and around the world many times over in between. So as Teti prepares to coach the American coxed eight in London yet again, you have to like his chances of winning yet another medal this year.

Teti’s resume is a reflection of his commitment to the sport of rowing, a commitment that has manifested itself with various medals in the Olympics. His first taste of success came in Seoul in 1988, his bronze medal rowing the men’s eight just a harbinger of his future success as a coach. In addition to his array of international honors, Teti led the men’s eight to a gold in Athens, followed by coaching the same squad to a bronze medal four years later in Beijing.

The 55-year-old will be coaching Zach Vlahos, one of his assistants in London in the men’s eight.