Head coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic team during the 2012 Games in London, McKeever has guided Golden Bears to the top of the medal stand at virtually every level of the sport, from the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships to the Olympics and World Championships.
This past year, McKeever’s squad captured its third Pac-12 crown and placed third at the NCAA meet. Freshman Missy Franklin won the 200-yard freestyle in American-record time and the 800 free relay staged a stirring come-from-behind victory to add to Cal’s long list of national champions.
In addition, McKeever served as head coach for the U.S. Pan Pacific Championships team that featured five Golden Bears on its roster for the international competition held over the summer in Australia.
Over the course of her career, McKeever has led Cal to three NCAA titles (2009, 2011, 2012) and three Pac-12 crowns (2009, 2012, 2014). Her charges have captured 31 NCAA individual championships and won 13 NCAA relay events. The five-time conference Coach of the Year has tutored the NCAA Swimmer of the Year eight times and the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year on six occasions.
McKeever, the 2009 NCAA Coach of the Year, is often regarded in the coaching circle as the sport's influential innovator because of her unique training methods. As head coach of the U.S. women's team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she was the first woman to earn the honor. McKeever was also an assistant coach at the Olympic Games.
The Cal coach is also widely renowned for her impact on the international scene. She was the first woman named to a U.S. Olympic swimming coaching staff and the first woman to be named head coach of the national team at a major international meet (the 2006 Pan Pacific meet in British Columbia). She served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team during World Championship competition in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2013. Other international coaching duties included head coach of the U.S. women at the FINA Short-Course World Championships in 2012 and assistant roles with the 2001 Goodwill Games and the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships.
In addition to those historical milestones, McKeever is above all proud to have trained some of the most accomplished swimmers in U.S. history. Among the more than 20 Olympians she has tutored are Natalie Coughlin, who has collected a total of 12 medals – matching the highest number ever for an American woman, Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer, Caitlin Leverenz, Rachel Bootsma and Staciana Stitts.
At the 2012 Olympics, swimmers who have trained under McKeever won a combined 13 medals, a number that rises to 28 since the 2000 Games in Sydney.
Prior to making her mark on Cal women's swimming, McKeever had strong ties to the Pac-10 Conference, both as a student-athlete and as a coach. A former All-American herself, she competed in the NCAA Championships meet all four years while at USC and helped the Trojans to four consecutive NCAA top-10 finishes. She earned All-America honors in both 1980 and 1981. As a senior in 1983, McKeever was named USC's Outstanding Student-Athlete. She worked as an assistant coach at USC from 1984-87, helping develop several All-Americans.
The Southern California product graduated from USC in 1983 with a B.S. in education with two teaching credentials (multiple subject, secondary life science) and also earned a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1987. McKeever's father, Mike, was an All-American lineman for the Trojans' football team in 1959. McKeever comes from a family of 10 children (she is the oldest), all with varied athletic backgrounds. Sisters Kristi and Kelli Gannon were members of the U.S. national field hockey team.
In 2014, McKeever was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame at the 68th annual San Diego Hall of Champions ceremony, as well as into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.