|Position:||Head Swimming Coach|
|Alma Mater:||UCLA, 1983|
Cyndi Gallagher, one of the top college coaches in America, enters her 28th season as head coach of the UCLA Bruins in 2015-2016, having compiled an impressive won-loss record of 172-91-1. An intrinsic part of the UCLA Athletic Department for the past 32 years as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach, her dedication to UCLA swimming and diving and to her former and current athletes is unparalleled.
A 1983 graduate of UCLA, Gallagher had an illustrious career both as a school record holder for the Bruins and as a USA National Team member. Representing the U.S.A. National Team in Europe, Japan and Australia, she competed at the Olympic Trials in 1976 and 1980 and was a bronze medalist in the 800-meter Freestyle at the 1979 World University Games in Mexico City.
For the Record
Gallagher is one of the few coaches in the nation who coaches at her alma mater. A highly successful student-athlete for UCLA, she garnered All-American honors, set several school records and earned recognition as the university's "Most Valuable Athlete." As a coach, she has attained an even higher level, coaching Olympians, Olympic medalists, NCAA and USA national champions and national team members. She was recognized again by Team USA when she was named to the 2014-2015 U.S. National Team coaching staff.
Over the years, Gallagher has compiled an enviable record of success. In nine of her 27 years at the helm of UCLA women's swimming, her Bruins have finished among the nation's Top 10 teams. They've been among the Top 15 teams in 15 of her years.
Gallagher and her first-rate coaching staff have high expectations of their athletes, both in and out of the pool. These expectations, in turn, attract elite, intelligent, dedicated, goal-oriented and well-rounded student-athletes.
Known for her strong work ethic and positive attitude, Gallagher leads by example. She inspires her athletes to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams, teaching them to be attentive to detail and to find a way to improve their swimming at every practice session. Gallagher also understands the importance of enjoying swimming and competing, and to embrace the process of becoming a great athlete. Part of being a successful collegiate athlete is learning how to balance all the requirements of being a student-athlete. Part of being a successful person once outside of the swimming world, is learning to do the same. Gallagher believes you can achieve anything you set your mind to, as long as you have the preparation and perspective, and have confidence in your abilities.
She also believes that teamwork and team unity are essential elements for success, citing them as key ingredients in the team's Pac-10 Championship seasons of 2001 and 2003.
Reaching Their Potential...
Producing Olympians is always among Gallagher's highest priorities. In 1996, she became one of the first female coaches to place an athlete on the U.S. Olympic team when Annette Salmeen qualified for the Atlanta Games in two events - the 200 Butterfly, which she won at the Olympic Trials, and the 800 Freestyle Relay. Salmeen, who had already become Gallagher's first national collegiate champion when she won the 200 Fly at the NCAA's, went on to win Olympic gold as a member of the triumphant USA 800 Free Relay.
Four years later, Gallagher placed another Bruin in the Olympics when Marilyn Chua, representing Malaysia, swam the 50 Free at the Sydney Games. In 2000 and 2004, the Bruins' Malin Svahnstrom represented her native Sweden at the Games, swimming in the 800 Free Relay both times and coming away with a silver medal.
During the summer of 2008, Gallagher guided three athletes to Olympic teams - 2006 graduate Kim Vandenberg, 2009 graduate Nicolette Teo (competing for Singapore in her third Olympic Games) and four-time Olympian Amanda Beard. Vandenberg won a bronze medal as a member of the 800 Free relay, while Beard and Teo competed in the Breaststroke.
In addition to the Olympics, Gallagher has also placed many UCLA swimmers on international teams, including the World Championships, Pan-Pacific Games, World University Games, Goodwill Games and the Pan-American Games. More than a dozen U.S. and foreign National A and B teams have also featured swimmers coached by Gallagher.
All told, Gallagher has coached 87 All-Americans who have earned a total of 191 All-American awards in her 27 years as head coach, and she has made her mark on national and international U.S. coaching staffs as well. She served on the advisory coaching staff for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was selected as assistant coach at the 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2006 World University Games. She also served as assistant coach for the 1995 U.S. National Junior Team that competed in Paris, the 1994 U.S. National Distance Camp, the assistant coach for the Japan International Grand Prix and the 1993 US Olympic Festival. All of that international coaching experience paid off when she was selected to serve as USA's Head Coach at the 2007 World University Games.
During Gallagher's tenure at UCLA, her swimmers have completely rewritten the school record book and 21 different Bruins have won at least one event at the Pac-10/12 Championships. But it's not just the crème de la crème who thrive under Gallagher's guidance.
Gallagher is also proud of the composition of the team that qualifies for the NCAA's, a team that, more often than not, includes several "walk-ons" who have gone on to be NCAA All-Americans. Bethany Goodwin scored in the 100 Fly and Kristen Lewis was in both the 100 and 200 Fly. Also, Lewis was a semi-finalist at the 2004 Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200 Fly and Goodwin went on to make several U.S. National teams and set a World University Games record while winning the 50 Fly.
...and in the Classroom
Gallagher's commitment to excellence in the classroom is shown in her student-athletes' many academic achievements. Exhibit A, of course, is NCAA Champion and Olympic gold medalist Salmeen, who was named a Rhodes Scholar - UCLA's eighth-ever and first since 1973 - and also earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Even while she was working on advanced graduate work at Oxford, Salmeen stayed involved in swimming as an elected Athlete Representative for USA Swimming.
During her magical senior year in 1996, Salmeen won two Pac-10 titles (100 and 200 Fly) and was named UCLA Female Athlete of the Year and Alumni Association Outstanding Senior. She also received the NCAA Top VIII Award, presented to only eight NCAA student-athletes annually for excellence in academics and athletics. In addition, Salmeen was an NCAA Woman of the Year finalist. During her Bruin career, she was a two-time team MVP, named the team's hardest worker on three occasions, voted most inspirational twice and graduated with UCLA records in the 200 Butterfly, 200 Free and 500 Free. Salmeen graduated from UCLA with honors in chemistry (3.94 GPA) in 1997 and earned her PhD in biochemistry at Oxford in 2001. In October 2006, Salmeen was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Along with Salmeen and Lewis, Keiko Price, Brighed Dwyer and Katie Younglove were also honored with coveted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Younglove was named a Verizon Academic All-American and numerous Bruins have received Pac-10/12 All-Academic recognition. It's no accident that the Bruin swimmers are consistently represented on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.
Gallagher's ultimate goal in coaching is to have each athlete reach her full potential, both as an athlete and as a person. She is most proud of her former athletes for their accomplishments and contributions to society after graduating from UCLA. Gallagher's swimmers have gone on to earn Masters degrees and PhD's, and to become successful teachers, lawyers, scientists, doctors, engineers, businesswomen, ministers and mothers.
The Last Decade...
2014-2015: The Bruins set five school records at the Pac-12 Championships and broke two of those records while setting an additional record at the NCAA Championships en route to a 23rd-place finish. At Pac-12's, UCLA set records in the 200 IM Relay (Madison White, Allison Wine, Noelle Tarazona, Linnea Mack), 100 Breaststroke (Wine), 400 IM Relay (White, Wine, Tarazona, Mack), 400 Free Relay (White, Mack, Katie Grover, Monica Dornick), and 1650 Free (Katy Campbell).
In the very first heat of the very first race of the NCAA Championships, Mack, Grover, White, and Dornick bettered the Bruins' season-best time (1:30.03) by nearly a second with a 1:29.05 to set a school record in the 200 Free Relay. In the 400 IM Relay, White, Wine, Tarazona, and Mack bested their previous school record of 3:34.54 set at Pac-12's with a 3:34.25. On the final day of NCAA's, Dornick, Mack, Gover, and White set a new school record in the 400 Free Relay with a 3:15.83.
A total of eight Bruins were named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team (Tarazona, Annika Lenz, Grover, Taylor Carlson, Jessica Khojasteh, Katie Kinnear, Arlyn Upshaw, and Anna Quinn). Tarazona, Lenz, and Grover earned first-team honors. During the summer swim season, Grover, Mack, White, and Tarazona took home the bronze medal in the 400 Free Relay at the Phillips 66 National Championships.
2013-2014: The Bruins set five school records at the NCAA Championships en route to a 21st-place finish. UCLA set records in the 500 Freestyle (Lauren Baker), 200 Free Relay (Kathryn Murphy, Ting Wen Quah, Katie Kinnear, Linnea Mack), 100 Butterfly (Quah), 200 Backstroke (Madison White) and 400 Free Relay (Murphy, Mack, Quah, Anna Senko).
Eight Bruins were named to the CSCAA Honorable Mention All-America Team (Baker, Kinnear, Mack, Murphy, Quah, Senko, Noelle Tarazona, White). In August, UCLA swimming completed an outstanding summer when Katy Campbell won the 1500 Free at the U.S. National Championships, the Bruins’ first winner of a National Championship since 2004. In addition, Mack was named to the U.S. Junior National Team.