By no means Quit Understanding – College of California Golden Bears Athletics

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David Durden’s Curiosity Set Him On The Road To The Tokyo Olympics

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This function at first appeared in the 2021 Summer edition of the Cal Sporting activities Quarterly. The Cal Athletics flagship magazine characteristics extensive-sort sports journalism at its very best and offers in-depth coverage of the scholar-athlete experience in Berkeley. Printed copies are mailed 4 periods a yr to Bear Backers who give each year at the Bear Club level (presently $600 or a lot more). For additional information on how you can get a printed variation of the Cal Sporting activities Quarterly at dwelling, mail an e mail to [email protected] or simply call (510) 642-2427.

David Durden‘s path to Tokyo began in a hot tub in Irvine, California.
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Cal’s decorated head men’s swimming & diving mentor, who will serve as the head coach for the U.S. men’s swim crew at this year’s Summertime Olympics, was a university student-athlete at UC Irvine in the 1990s, profitable the Major West championship in the 200 butterfly in 1997. As his collegiate job progressed, Durden and roommates/teammates David McGlynn and Abundant Sarkisian spent innumerable evenings in a very hot tub brainstorming how to make improvements to Anteater swimming. 
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“We would have conversations about the system, wanting at means to make it much better,” Durden reported. “I had a excellent swimming knowledge in higher education, but I also considered that it could have been superior in selected spots. Of course, I was 20 years aged and not stepping back again and observing the greater photograph. As you get a very little bit older, you get a very little additional point of view. But which is the place it started.”
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Durden’s quest to increase the UC Irvine plan is rooted in the exact same curiosity that has allowed him to excel as a mentor. The thirst to find out that resulted in a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering has also been driving his progress into just one of the most revered swimming coaches on the world.
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“I think what has established him aside from a lot of people is that he is curious,” mentioned former USC head mentor Dave Salo, who mentored Durden early on as the director of NOVA Aquatics in Irvine. “Curiosity is so significant in coaching. He is under no circumstances stopped studying. He was incredibly, incredibly inquisitive and curious, and I assume that was really vital to remaining able to soak up what he could from all of his experiences. It really is positioned him genuinely perfectly to be equipped to work with athletes.”
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Durden wasn’t contemplating about getting to be an elite coach when he stopped swimming his senior year to start off doing the job at Western Electronic, an modern tech agency in Irvine. But the discussions with McGlynn and Sarkisian continued, and a calendar year after graduating Durden begun shadowing Salo at NOVA Aquatics.
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“I try to remember Dave identified as me and mentioned, ‘I don’t want to be an engineer anymore. I want to go back and coach,'” said McGlynn, now an writer and English professor at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. “There was just a little something in his voice that was sort of equivalent to an individual telling you they have satisfied the man or woman they are likely to marry. He understood what he was following, and he in no way appeared again.”
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At the suggestion of Salo, Durden despatched e-mails to five college coaches inquiring about graduate assistant coaching positions. The subsequent working day, he gained a response from then-Auburn head coach Dave Marsh. That fall, Durden was on the Tigers’ team and enrolled in Auburn’s Master’s of Exercise Science program.
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Though Durden uncovered plenty from Marsh – one more best-degree mentor who served as the head mentor of the U.S. women’s swim crew at the 2016 Summer season Olympics – it was the teachings in the workout science method that seriously manufactured the largest effect on him as a mentor.
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“I did really genuinely want to learn about what I was giving the athletes,” Durden reported. “I preferred a minimal background on how the human body moves, how to seem at points from a mechanical standpoint to generate much more drive, more power. I wished that from a science background and not just take someone’s text for it or acquire a coach’s term for it. There is the physiology at the rear of what I am doing, the mechanics driving what I am chatting about. It was education and learning that I did not always have as an electrical engineering major.”
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Durden finished up forging an impactful relationship with training science and kinesiology professor Dr. Wendi Weimar, who also is the director of Auburn’s Sports Biomechanics Lab. Durden invited Weimar to be part of the staff on the pool deck and the two engaged in regular conversations about the physiology of swimming outside of the classroom.
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“Dave was an advocate for together with us,” Weimar explained. “Since of his science history, for the reason that of his love of swimming, he could make the link among what we were performing and how to talk to the athletes and Coach Marsh. I am proud of him due to the fact he has developed into genuinely a properly-rounded mentor.”
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In a calendar year of arriving in Auburn, a full-time assistant posture opened up on the coaching staff and Durden acquired the occupation. He finished up assisting the Tigers win 6 NCAA championships in 5 decades – 3 on the men’s side and 3 for the girls.
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Durden moved on to become the head coach at Maryland in 2005 and had a extensive-array eyesight to provide the Terps to national prominence. But less than two many years later when attending the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, he was approached by Cal women’s head mentor Teri McKeever.
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“She pulled me aside and explained her athletic director was there and desired to talk to me,” Durden reported. “I went on a quite casual career interview with Sandy Barbour. All I experienced had been Maryland polos. That’s all I experienced to dress in, so I wore a Maryland polo and we met in a lodge conference place.”
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Two weeks later, Durden flew to the Bay Region for a round of interviews. By the time his airplane landed again in Maryland, Barbour had still left a information on his voicemail giving him the task.
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“I keep in mind possessing meal with (then-Cal deputy athletic director) Theresa Gould at the Paragon out on the balcony,” Durden said. “She strategically acquired the proper desk the place I sat wanting out at San Francisco. She understood just what she was accomplishing.”
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So did Barbour. Considering the fact that employing Durden in 2007, the Bears have gained 4 NCAA crew championships and he’s been named National Coach of the 12 months five occasions. Cal has received 48 individual NCAA titles (such as 16 relays). The Bears have finished possibly to start with or next at NCAAs for 11 consecutive seasons.
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“I failed to know where his long run would land, but I am not astonished at all,” Marsh reported. “And I will not even consider he is at the high-h2o mark of his coaching capacity. I see even much better enhancement out of Dave for years to occur.”

 
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