We are now into the top 10 Cal coaches in history, and any of these coaches would stack up well when compared to anyone in the nation in their respective sports.
David Durden, the 2021 U.S. Olympic swimming coach, provides the video in this installment.
10. DAVID DURDEN, men's swimming
David Durden earned a degree in electrical engineering from UC Irvine, and I'm not going to try to piece together the chain of events that led from that academic focus to coaching swimming.
Six Cal swimmers qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games for Team USA. The group brought home 11 medals, eight of which were gold.
David Durden video:
The Durden file:
Sport: Men’s swimming and diving
Cal tenure: 2007-08 through present
Record: 75-11 in 13 seasons
Championships: 4 NCAA team titles (2011, 2012, 2014, 2019)
Other achievements: 2020 U.S. Olympics head coach; 2019 Team USA world championships head coach; Coach of the Meet at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials; 29 individual NCAA champions and 14 NCAA relay champions; Cal men have finished first or second at the NCAA championships 10 years in a row (2020 NCAA championships canceled); 51-2 dual-meet record since start of 2012-13 season.
Honors: 5-time NCAA Coach of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019); 8-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019); 2016 American Swim Coaches Association Coach of the Year..
Video bits of David Durden being mic'd up during a practice from USA Swimming:
9. DIANE NINEMIRE, softball
Ninemire ranks fifth alltime in career wins among college softball coaches, and she has by far the most wins of any coach in any sport in Cal history. Her 1,355 wins are nearly twice as many as second-place Bob Milano, a baseball coach who finished with 688. Her teams made 26 straight appearances in NCAA tournament.
Comments by longtime UCLA coach Sue Enquist, in a 2011 story in the Mercury-News:
“I personally think that Diane Ninemire is the most underrated colleague in our sport. When I think of Diane Ninemire, I think of sustainability. Cal is in the mix every year. There is one constant in that program, and it’s been Diane Ninemire.”
Ninemire’s accomplishments are magnified because Cal’s facilities have not been on the same level as most of the top programs around the country. Upgrades are in the works.
The Ninemire file:
Cal tenure: 1987-88 to 2019-20 (resigned March 3 for health reasons)
Record: 1,355-678-1 in 32-plus seasons
Championships: 2002 NCAA title; 2-time conference champion (2005, 2012)
Other achievements: 11 College World Series appearances, including 7 straight (1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012), 4 top-3 College World Series finishes; 30 NCAA tournament appearances
Honors: 2002 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Coaching Staff of the Year; 2-time conference coach of the year (1991, 2012); National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame
8. CLINT EVANS, baseball
Clint Evans proposed the idea of a national baseball tournament in 1946, and Cal won the first College World Series ever played in 1947.
That season Cal had to beat Stanford in a makeup game to tie for the conference title, then beat USC in a one-game playoff to earn a spot in the national tournament. Cal won two single-elimination games to get to the final, beating Denver in Denver 3-1 and ousting Texas 8-7 by scoring in the bottom of the ninth. The game against Texas was delayed two days by rain, and to make the field playable gasoline was spread on the field and burned and new topsoil was spread on top.
Cal then swept Yale 17-4 and 8-7 in Kalamazoo, Mich., in the best-of-three finals. Waiting in the on-deck circle for Yale when Cal recorded the final out of the series was George H.W. Bush, who was the Bulldogs team captain but went 0-for-7 in the series. He would later become the 41st President of the United States.
The Evans file:
Cal tenure: 1929-30 through 1953-54
Record: 547-256 in 25 seasons
Championships: 1947 national title; 9 California Intercollegiate Baseball Association titles (1933, 1934, 1935-tied, 1937, 1938, 1941-tied, 1943, 1945, 1947-tied). By 1947, the CIBA consisted of Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara.
Other achievements: Just 1 losing season in 25 years; finished in the top 3 in conference standings in 21 of 25 years; coached future pro standouts Jackie Jensen and Sam Chapman
Honors: Cal’s current baseball field is named Evans Diamond; Cal Athletics Hall of Fame
7. PAPPY WALDORF, football
Lynn Osbert “Pappy” Waldorf was Cal’s fourth head coach in four years when he was hired in 1948, and the Bears had gone eight straight seasons without a winning record, including 2-7 in 1947. In his first season, Waldorf led the Bears to a 9-1 record and No. 15 final AP ranking.
Of the 57 players on the 1948 team, all but nine had seen military service. Twenty-six were 23 or older, only four were teenagers.
After every home game, Waldorf addressed the crowd from the balcony over the northwest gate of Memorial Stadium. Waldorf was beloved by his players, causing his former players to form Pappy’s Boys, who congregated annually for years after his death to honor him.
The Waldorf file:
Cal tenure: 1947-48 through 1955-56
Record: 67-32-4 in 10 seasons
Championships: 3 conference titles (1948, 1949, 1950)
Other achievements: 3 straight Rose Bowl berths (1949, 1950, 1951, lost all three); ranked in final AP top 5 in 3 straight seasons (4th-1948, 3rd-1949, 5th-1950, final ranking posted before bowls); undefeated regular season in 1948, 1949, 1950; 38-game regular season unbeaten streak; 7-1-2 record vs. Stanford.
Honors: College Football Hall of Fame; 1935 national coach of the year (while at Northwestern); 1970 Amos Alonzo Staff Award.
6. PETE CUTINO, men's water polo
Pete Cutino’s fiery demeanor at pool side during a match made him as much of an attraction as the contest.
Current Cal men's water polo coach Kirk Everist, who played for Cutino, had these recollections of Cutino":
He taught us that anything worth accomplishing would not come without discomfort, and he was always there to administer discomfort.
Pete collected knives. He always had a switchblade in his pocket. The morning of the 1985 Big Splash our team was circled up sitting on the grass next to the pool at Stanford. Pete was giving his last-minute instructions. The crowd started coming in. It was my first Big Splash and I was very excited and started focusing on the mass rolling into the pool to watch us. I was snapped back to reality when I felt something land in the grass right next to the arch of my foot.
I looked down and saw Pete's knife lodged deep into the grass about a quarter-inch from my foot. Pete had not stopped talking and the team nervously looked at him. When he ended the meeting, we all got up looking at each other. "Did you see that?" one of my teammates asked. "Obviously not," I responded.
The Peter J. Cutino Award was created in 1999 and is given to the nation’s top male and female water polo player each year.
The Cutino file:
Sport: Men’s water polo
Cal tenure: 1963-64 through 1988-89
Record: 519-172-10 in 26 seasons
Championships: 8 NCAA titles (1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988)
Other achievements: 15 NCAA tournament appearances; 12 berths in national title game; 7 Cutino players at Cal were named national player of the year
Honors: 4-time NCAA coach of the year (1974, 1975, 1983, 1988); U.S. National Team coach (1972-76); 1976 U.S. Olympic coach; USA Water Polo Hall of Fame; College Swim Coaches Association Master Coach Award.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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