Teri McKeever, Amid Abuse Allegations, Placed on Administrative Leave

Teri McKeever
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Report: Teri McKeever, Amid Abuse Allegations, Placed on Administrative Leave

Teri McKeever, about whom allegations of a culture of verbal abuse and bullying surfaced this week, was placed on administrative leave Wednesday evening by the University of California.

The news was first reported by Southern California News Group, which on Tuesday broke news in a comprehensive investigation. The story spoke with 19 former swimmers and six parents, and follow-up stories have revealed more swimmers coming forward. They paint the portrait of a coach that, while successful in the pool, did so via abusive means, driving many swimmers to transfer, quit the program and in extreme cases contemplate or even attempt suicide. The period covered in the investigation spans from 2005 through the present.

A meeting was scheduled between McKeever and the University of California’s administration Wednesday. The administrative leave came out of that.

“Today, Coach McKeever was placed on paid administrative leave,” Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement to SCNG. “This afternoon, in a meeting I held with team members I shared this news and expressed our commitment to support them in any way we can going forward. As reported, these allegations run counter to our core values and the expectations we have for every member of our department. As the person entrusted with the well-being of more than 1,000 student-athletes, coaches and staff, I have no greater responsibility than ensuring we do the right things in the right way. We will follow all university policies and protocols for investigating and addressing these allegations. We are replying to everyone, including parents and former student-athletes, who has reached out to us as quickly as we can, while we are also providing resources for members of the program who are in need.”

USA Swimming, which has hired McKeever for various coaching delegations, has not returned a request for comment on the situation. McKeever was the first female head coach of an American swimming Olympic team, to the London Games in 2012, and served on the coaching staff as recently as the 2019 World Championships. McKeever has won four NCAA titles in Berkeley and mentored 26 Olympians over her 29 seasons with the school.

Read the full investigation here

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x