Durden, Thornton Honored By CSCAA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Current and former California head coaches David Durden and the late Nort Thornton were named among the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association's (CSCAA) 100 Greatest Swimming & Diving Coaches of the past 100 years on Tuesday.
A blue-ribbon committee of fifty-eight voters selected from 263 finalists and 500 nominees, each focusing on a particular sport (swimming or diving) and division. A steering committee consisting of Anne Goodman James, Peter Hovland, Bob Groseth, and Jon Lederhouse then vetted and finalized the selections. The selections were made as part of the CSCAA's 100th year celebration.
A full list of the CSCAA's 100 greatest swimming & diving coaches can be viewed on cscaa.org.
Under Durden and Thornton's leadership, Cal has established itself as one of the premier collegiate and post-graduate programs in the country.
Thornton, who passed away this past April at the age of 87, is considered one of the deans of college coaching in the United States. Cal's longest-tenured coach before retiring after 33 years at the helm of the men's swimming & diving program in 2007, Thornton guided the Bears to the 1979 and 1980 NCAA team championships and built the program into a consistent national contender. Thornton's teams finished ranked inside the top 10 in the national polls in 28 of the 33 years he was head coach. His Cal squads won 48 NCAA individual and relay championships and 108 Pac-10 individual, relay and diving titles, while owning a dual-meet record of 231-85 (.731) during his tenure. His 1979-80 and 1980-81 teams captured Pac-10 team championships.
Durden is in his 15th season at Cal's helm after taking over the program in the fall of 2007. The Bears won four NCAA team championships in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019 and finished inside the top-two at NCAAs for 11 consecutive championship meets dating back to 2010. Cal has produced 32 NCAA individual champions and 16 NCAA relay crowns under Durden, along with 85 Pac-12 individual titles and 44 conference relay titles.
Durden has been named NCAA Coach of the Year five times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2019) & earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors 10 times, including four consecutive years dating back to 2018. Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Durden guided Maryland's men's and women's swimming & 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.
Founded in 1922, the CSCAA is the nation's first organization of college coaches. The mission of the CSCAA is to advance the sport of swimming and diving with coaches at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy, and professional development.
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