The 2011-12 season featured arguably the best year in the program's history and ended with Cal's third NCAA team championship in four years. In March of 2012, her Golden Bears won their second consecutive NCAA team title one month after they won the inaugural Pac-12 team championship. McKeever, who led Cal to NCAA titles in 2009 and 2011, claimed the Coach of the Meet award for the third time after emerging triumphant at this year's national meet, in which Cal won a school-record seven individual/relay crowns. In April, the conference named her its Pac-12 Coach of the Year, which marked McKeever's fifth conference award (including awards in 1999, 2002, 2009 and 2011). She led her Bears to nine individual/relay titles en route to the overall Pac-12 championship.
One of the top coaches of women's swimming in the United States, McKeever was named the head coach of the U.S. women's team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in December of 2010. She also served as the head coach of the U.S. women at the FINA Short-Course World Championships later that month.
McKeever and the Bears capped off the 2010-11 season by winning their second team title in three years at the NCAA Championships, as Cal captured five NCAA crowns - Amanda Sims in the 100-yard butterfly, Cindy Tran in the 100 backstroke, the 200- and 400-medley relays and the 200-freestyle relay. McKeever also claimed the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Coach of the Championships award at the national meet and, that April, collected the Pac-10 Coach of the Year award.
The Bears took second place in the 2011 conference meet in February. In addition, they finished with a 7-1 dual-meet record (5-0 in the Pac-10), capping off the regular season with a rousing victory over rival and then-No. 1 Stanford in the Big Meet at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
She ended her 18th season by leading the 2009-10 Bears to third place in the NCAA Championships and second place in the Pac-10 Championships. Also in 2010, McKeever coached Liv Jensen to an NCAA title in the 50-yard freestyle.
The 2008-09 season ended with McKeever being named as the 2009 NCAA Coach of the Year after leading the Bears' to their first NCAA team championship and with her becoming the first woman coach to be credited with an NCAA swimming and diving team title. She also claimed the 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year award after leading Cal to its first Pac-10 team championship.
McKeever has taken the Cal program to new heights and is often regarded in the coaching circle as the sport's influential innovator because of her unique training methods. Under McKeever's tutelage, the Golden Bears have produced five Pac-10 Swimmers of the Year, including three-time winner Natalie Coughlin and 15 consecutive top-10 NCAA finishes. She has amassed an impressive 153-52 dual meet record in her tenure with Cal.
Prior to 2010-11, the 2008-09 season was the program's best ever. McKeever coached Dana Vollmer to a spectacular end to her college career, as Vollmer was named the 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and won the Honda Sports Award for Swimming. Cal produced three individual NCAA titles (Vollmer in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and Amanda Sims in the 100 butterfly), two NCAA relay champions (400- and 800-free relays) and two American records (400- and 800-free relays) and scored its most points (411.5) at the NCAA meet in school history. Nine Bears emerged as All-Americans and two earned honorable mention All-America honors after NCAAs. The Bears also won five Pac-10 titles (Vollmer in the 100- and 200- frees; Lauren Boyle in the 1650 free; and the 400- and 800-free relays). Another McKeever pupil, freshman Liv Jensen, earned the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year accolade.
In 2007, Cal claimed five national titles, set three then-American Records at the NCAA Championships and boasted 10 All-Americans. The Bears also set school and Pac-10 records in the 200, 400 and 800-yard freestyle relays along the way. Under the guidance of McKeever, Vollmer set Cal dual meet records in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events, while Boyle set a school record in the 1000 and 1650-yard freestyles. Additionally, Madison Kennedy, a newcomer to the program, flourished under McKeever and broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle.
McKeever also enjoyed a second stint as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Six of McKeever's pupils competed at the Summer Games and three came away with a total of eight medals, including the greatest women's swimmer in Cal history - Natalie Coughlin - with six, and Emily Silver and incoming freshman Sara Isakovic of Slovenia each with one.
The Cal coach is also widely renowned for her impact on the international scene. She was the first woman coach on the U.S. Olympic Swimming team 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 also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team during World Championship competition in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Other international coaching duties included 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 the best of the best on the international scene. McKeever has helped guide Coughlin to 11 Olympic medals, including three gold, alumna Haley Cope to a silver medal and the entire U.S. swimming team to 28 medals, including 12 gold. McKeever also coached Staciana Stitts, who became the first Cal woman swimmer to earn an Olympic gold medal since Mary T. Meagher in 1984, when Stitts was a member of the United States' gold medal-winning 400-meter medley relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Prior to making her mark on Cal women's swimming, McKeever had strong ties to the Pac-10 Conference, both as an athlete and as a coach. A former USC 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 masters 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.
McKeever found greater happiness away from the pool when she married Jerry Romani in the spring of 2007.