Natalie Coughlin to be Inducted into Pac-12 Hall of Honor

Natalie Coughlin(2)

BERKELEY – One of the all-time greats in Cal history who was named the Pac-12 Women’s Swimmer of the Century in 2016, Natalie Coughlin will be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor at the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas next week.

Coughlin, who starred for the Golden Bears from 2001-04, was an 11-time NCAA individual champion, winning the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly four times and the 200 back three times. A three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year (2001-03), Coughlin was a four-time team MVP who was undefeated in dual meets during her career, posting a 61-0 record in individual races. She was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team on three occasions, was a second-team Academic All-American as a junior and a CSAA Scholar All-American as a senior. By the time she graduated, Coughlin held school records in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM, and her two butterfly marks still stand atop the Cal record book nearly 15 years after she last suited up for the Bears.

Coughlin’s star also shined brightly on the national and international stages. A three-time Olympian, she captured 12 medals – a total unsurpassed by any woman in U.S. Olympic history. In her first Olympic Games in 2004 in Athens, she won five medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), before earning six medals in 2008 in Beijing (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze) and a bronze medal in 2012 in London. Coughlin was the first woman ever to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke (2004, 2008). She also owns 20 medals from the World Championships (8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze).

Among her numerous awards are the 2002 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year, the 2002 Swimming World Female World Swimmer of the Year, and the 2003 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year. In addition, Coughlin was a three-time finalist for the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete (2001, 2002, 2005). She was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

From 2002-17, the Pac-12 celebrated its men’s basketball legends by inducting an annual class of standout coaches and student-athletes into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor. Starting in 2018, the Hall of Honor pivoted to feature legendary figures from an array of sports to be inclusive of the broad-based athletics success celebrated in the Conference of Champions.

Previous Golden Bear inductees into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor are:
  • 2002 – Pete Newell
  • 2003 – Kevin Johnson
  • 2004 – Jason Kidd
  • 2005 – Darrall Imhoff
  • 2006 – Andy Wolfe
  • 2007 – Russ Critchfield
  • 2008 – Charles Johnson
  • 2009 – Nibs Price
  • 2010 – Earl Robinson
  • 2011 – Bob McKeen
  • 2012 – Lamond Murray
  • 2013 – Shareef Abdur-Rahim
  • 2014 – David Butler
  • 2015 – Sean Lampley
  • 2016 – Brian Hendrick
  • 2017 – Jerome Randle
  • 2018 – Matt Biondi

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the Pac-12. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact


  1. Pat Kennedy

    A well deserved honor for an amazing individual.

  2. Mark Tierney

    As she should be! Very much deserved! Congratulations Natalie Coughlin!