Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - August 31, 2012

Stanford fills final two head coaching vacancies

by Rick Eymer

It has been a busy few weeks for new Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir, who added two new head coaches to his staff with recent hires.

Muir filled the vacant head coach job for women's swimming by naming Cal men's assistant Greg Meehan to that position on Monday. Before that, Muir reached into his connections at Georgetown and hired the Hoyas' Chris Miltenberg as Stanford's new director of track and field and men's cross country.

"We are excited to welcome Greg Meehan to the Stanford family as our new women's swimming and diving head coach," Muir said. "Greg brings a wealth of experience from his previous coaching stints at Princeton, UCLA, Pacific and most recently at Cal. He has excelled at coaching student-athletes not only in academic settings but also in the highest level of the sport while producing NCAA champions and Olympians."

Regarded as one of the top assistants in the country, Meehan takes over a Cardinal program that has earned nine national titles and most recently finished fourth at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

No stranger to success on the pool deck, Meehan most recently helped lead the Cal men's swimming and diving program to back-to-back national titles.

"It is with great excitement and humility that I accept the position of head women's swimming coach at Stanford," Meehan said. "I would like to thank Mr. Muir and Mr. (Earl) Koberlein for their trust in me to lead this incredibly storied program. They have presented my family and I with an amazing opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest student-athletes in the world. I look forward to getting to know the team very soon, and working with them through the opportunities and challenges that each season presents."

Meehan replaces former Stanford head coach Lea Maurer, who stepped back from her coaching career earlier this summer to devote more time to her family.

Maurer, a former Stanford All-American, coached the Cardinal to back-to-back Pac-10 championships in 2010 and 2011. In each of her seven seasons on the Farm, Mauer guided Stanford to finishes of fifth-place or better at the NCAA Championships.

Meehan, who recently complete his fifth season with the Golden Bears, was promoted to Cal's associate head men's swimming and diving coach last September. In Meehan's four seasons with Cal, the program produced a pair of NCAA championships (2011, 2012) and a runner-up finish in 2010.

Prior to joining Durden's staff in April 2008, Meehan was the head coach for both the men's and women's programs at the University of the Pacific.

Sharing the pool with Meehan will be Ted Knapp, who assumed the head coaching duties for the men's swimming and diving program in July. Knapp spent the previous 28 years as an assistant at Stanford under veteran Skip Kenney before being named as Kenney's replacement.

With the 2012 collegiate cross-country season opening this weekend, Stanford finally got its new coach in Miltenberg. He replaces Edrick Floreal, who previously held both jobs before leaving this summer for Kentucky.

Miltenberg will jump into the season immediately, as both the Stanford men and women will send runners to the USF Invitational on Saturday.

Miltenberg comes from Georgetown, where he was the associate head coach for track and field and the head women's cross-country coach. He led the Hoyas to the 2011 NCAA title in women's cross country and was named the USTFCCCA National Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.

"We are thrilled to have Chris join us at Stanford," said Muir. "He will be an excellent contributor and leader for a tremendous group of student-athletes. He is very well thought of and recommended by many. He has had great success at Georgetown and we expect similar results here at Stanford."

Miltenberg comes with outstanding credentials from his five seasons at Georgetown. He has coached 36 All-Americans in track and field, including individual NCAA champion at 3,000 meters, Emily Infeld, and two NCAA runner-up finishes. Miltenburg also led the Georgetown women to the 2012 Big East indoor track title.

"I'd really like to thank Bernard Muir, Patrick Dunkley and Joe Karlgaard for the opportunity to come to Stanford," said Miltenberg. "This is a great opportunity for my family and we couldn't be more excited. Stanford has an incredible tradition of excellence that I hope to build on, while at the same time beginning a new chapter and looking for ways to improve and get better. I am deeply humbled and honored to be coming to Stanford, but more than anything I am fired up to get started."

Under the guidance of Miltenberg, Georgetown has finished in the top 10 of the USTFCCA Terry Crawford Program of the Year each of the last two seasons. He is a three-time Mid-Atlantic Assistant Coach of the Year for women's track and field and had six of his athletes compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Miltenberg is a 2003 graduate of Georgetown, where he was a two-time All-American and placed fourth at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships in the 3,000 meters. He went on to run professionally for a year with Adidas as he trained for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Women's soccer

Nationally No. 4-ranked Stanford renews a bi-coastal rivalry when the Cardinal (2-1) plays host to No. 7 Boston College (3-0) on Friday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at 4 p.m.

The teams have met in the past three NCAA tournaments.

The Cardinal is hoping to bounce back from its first loss of the season. Stanford was ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches' Poll going into the Penn State Invitational, but experienced mixed results in Happy Valley.

On Friday, Mariah Nogueira headed in the winning goal in the 88th minute to give Stanford a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Penn State in a dramatic contest that featured a Nittany Lion lead, a Stanford comeback and a late Penn State penalty kick to tie.

On Sunday, Stanford finished the tournament with a 1-0 loss to unranked West Virginia, which scored on a 20-yard shot in the 83rd minute. The loss ended Stanford's 25-match winning streak, 28-match unbeaten streak, and 64-match regular-season unbeaten streak.

"My reaction is that soccer can be a cruel sport at times," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "West Virginia had a good game plan, and we lacked energy and creativity."

After beating a pair of nationally ranked teams to open the season, the Cardinal lost to an unranked opponent, its first setback since losing to Notre Dame in December of 2010 at the NCAA championship. UCLA was the last team to beat Stanford in the regular season, on Oct. 31, 2008.

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