Cyndi Gallagher, one of the top college coaches in America, recently retired after 31 years as women’s head coach of the UCLA Bruins. Gallagher is one of the few coaches in the nation who coached 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 11 Olympians, 21 Pac 10/12 champions, 91 All-Americans plus 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 impressive win-loss record of 202-107-2 at UCLA. In nine of her 30 years at the helm of UCLA women’s swimming, her Bruins have finished among the nation’s Top 10 teams, and have been among the Top 15 teams in 15 of her years. The Bruins won conference championships in 2001 and 2003. She is a two-time Pac 12 Coach of the Year, winning in 1990 and 2003.
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. During the summer of 2008, Gallagher guided three athletes to Olympic teams – 2006 graduate Kim Vandeberg, 2009 graduate Nicolette Teo (competing for Singapore in her third Olympic Games) and four-time Olympian Amanda Beard.
All told, Gallagher’s athletes have earned a total of 205 All-American awards in her 30 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.
Currently she is in her third season coaching DC Trident in the International Swim League.