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Lea Maurer Named Head Coach For USC Men’s And Women’s Swimming

Apr 1, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Olympic medalist Lea Maurer, who was USC's interim head coach this past season, has been named head coach of the men's and women's swimming program, USC athletic director Mike Bohn announced today (April 1). 

"We are very fortunate and proud to name Lea Maurer the permanent head coach of our men's and women's swimming program," Bohn said. "Lea demonstrated her tremendous leadership and relationship-building abilities over the past few months leading our teams. Her values align with our vision to be the most student-athlete centered program in the country. Lea is highly regarded nationally for her character and coaching prowess, and she possesses the Olympic and championship pedigrees to which our student-athletes aspire. We are committed to partnering with Lea as she leads our swimming program's continued ascension back to national prominence."

Maurer becomes the first female at the helm of a USC aquatics team since Pokey Richardson led the USC women (1977-79). She is the fourth coach and first female to lead a combined men's and women's swimming program at USC.

Maurer first arrived at USC in July 2020 as associate head coach of the swimming program. She had previously served as the women's swimming head coach at Stanford — her alma mater — from 2006-12.

As interim head coach this past season, Maurer led the USC men and women to improved NCAA finishes. The women finished 16th overall and the men placed 26th at the 2022 NCAA Championships after finishing  22nd and 27th, respectively, in 2021. Maurer guided the Women of Troy to a 5-2 record and third-place finish at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships, along with four individual Pac-12 titles. USC women broke three records and also boasted the NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke (Kaitlyn Dobler). On the men's side, the 2021-22 Trojans also went 5-2 overall with three new school records set.

"I am so excited for the opportunity to continue building on the amazing tradition at USC," Maurer said. "I want to say thank you to Mike Bohn, Carol Folt, Fred Uytengsu and Lindsay Jaffe for all of their support over the past year and for the trust they have placed in me as we move forward together. So many great Trojan swimmers — including Kristine Quance Jullian, John Naber and so many others — subscribed to the notion that they were a part of something bigger than themselves, and that belief resulted in NCAA team titles. Character counted for those teams, and I believe that these ideals still resonate at USC. I can't wait to spread the word to recruits that these powerful tenants of the Trojan Family were the foundation for our past successes and they will be the building blocks for USC's return to the top. Troy is such a special place, and it is with you for a lifetime. Fight on!"

A 1992 Olympic gold and bronze medalist and a 1998 World Championships gold medalist, Maurer guided the Cardinal women to seven straight NCAA top-5 finishes during her tenure, as well as back-to-back Pac-10 titles in 2010 and 2011. Maurer also has coached numerous swimmers who competed at the Olympics, World Championships, Pan Pacific Games and World University Games. 
 
Her Cardinal swim teams, which peaked with an NCAA runner-up finish in 2010, secured 13 NCAA individual and relay titles, 37 conference championships and 163 All-American honors while going 66-5 in dual meets. In December 2021, she was named one of the CSCAA's 100 Greatest Coaches for her tenure at Stanford. 
Maurer began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Northwestern in 1994-95 before embarking on a highly successful 10-year run as the head boys' and girls' coach at Lake Forest (Ill.) High. Among her star swimmers was eventual Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers.
 
Maurer swam on three Stanford national championship teams (1992-93-94) and won NCAA titles in the 100-yard backstroke each year while winning the 200-yard backstroke in 1993. She also was a member of six NCAA title-winning relays with the Cardinal. She won 15 Pac-10 titles (seven individual, eight relays) and earned 21 All-American honors (19 at Stanford). Maurer, who competed one season at Florida as a freshman, was inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame in November of 2006.
 
She graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in American studies (1993) and a master's in education (1994).

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT MAURER:

"I cannot imagine a better swim coach than Lea Maurer. I give her credit for my success in the pool and beyond. She inspired me to set lofty goals and gave me the tools to achieve them. She has a way of explaining technique like no other coach I've worked with, and the adjustments she made to my stroke were a primary reason I was able to make the 2008 Olympic Team. I went into every championship season feeling perfectly prepared and motivated to deliver my best results. Workouts with Lea were varied and challenging, but my strongest memories from training with her were the big laughs and lifelong friendships. I give her my highest possible endorsement!"
— Elaine Breeden Penrose
Olympic medalist | NCAA champion 

"I could not be more excited for the future of the USC swimming and diving programs. Lea has done an incredible job in the toughest of positions and now will have an opportunity to improve on the culture and bring USC back to where it belongs in collegiate swimming."
— Kristine Quance 
Former USC swimmer | Olympic gold medalist

"Lea is constantly thinking of ways to improve her athletes' competitive experiences with her positive, fun-loving energy. Her playful passion for the sport not only kept me from quitting, but helped me find joy in the water. I know Lea will continue to shape champion swimmers and people with her caring charisma."
— Matt Grevers 
Six-time Olympic medalist 

"I've admired Lea since her days leading the Stanford women's team and I'm proud to have her take the helm at SC. I've watched her develop champions in and out of the water and as confident as I am that SC will thrive as a swim team, I'm even more convinced that the athletes who graduate from her program will reflect positively on the Trojan family as they contribute to their communities."
— Trent Staley 
Former USC All-American and men's team captain