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Cal fires women’s swim head coach Teri McKeever

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FEBRUARY 01, 2023

Content warning: mentions of abuse, suicide

Cal Athletics has fired women’s swim and dive head coach Teri Mckeever, following a months-long investigation into accusations against her of bullying and verbal abuse toward Cal swimmers.

The university launched its investigation and placed McKeever on paid leave in May 2022 after more than two dozen individuals close to the program came forward alleging years of severe bullying, citing instances of homophobia and racism. Several swimmers described contemplating suicide due to the hostile environment McKeever created. In total, more than 40 individuals gave accounts of McKeever’s misconduct.

Complaints to campus and athletic department officials began in 2014, but no demonstrable action was taken by campus until 2022.

Tuesday afternoon, athletic director Jim Knowlton addressed the team and announced that the university would be parting ways with McKeever.

“After carefully reviewing an extensive investigative report that was recently completed by an independent law firm, I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student athletes, our swimming program, and Cal Athletics as a whole,” wrote Knowlton in an email to swimmers and athletic staff. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin, and disability discrimination. The report also details verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

McKeever’s time at Cal ends unceremoniously, tarnishing a coaching career at UC Berkeley filled with accolades: McKeever won four national championships and oversaw the development of 25 U.S. Olympic swimmers in her 29 years at Cal.

Contact Colin Mequet at 


FEBRUARY 01, 2023