The Excelle Sports Coaches’ Council is comprised of top college, Team USA and professional league coaches from a broad range of women’s sports. Each coach represents their specific sport and will be contributing to the Excelle community in their own way, whether with news, story ideas, up-and-coming athletes, results, video, social posts, quotes, interviews, podcasts, or all of the above. We are thrilled to have them as part of the Excelle team!
Adam Krikorian is the most decorated water polo coach in the world. He is the head coach of the USA women’s water polo Olympic team. Under his leadership, Team USA won Gold at the 2012 London Olympics and have competed in 12 major FINA Championships, coming away with Gold in nine. He was named the 2013 Jack Kelly Fair Play Award recipient by the USOC for his accountability and composure during the 2012 Olympic Games semifinal match. Krikorian has also earned National Women’s Water Polo Coach of the Year honors five times: 2001 and from 2005 through 2008.
As a player, he was the captain of the UCLA team in 1995 leading the team to their first NCAA title in 23 years. Prior to coaching Team USA, Krikorian coached the UCLA men’s and women’s programs for 10 years. In total, he won 14 NCAA National Championships as player, assistant coach, and head coach at UCLA. He currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA.
David Leadbetter has coached players to 20 Major Championship titles and over 100 individual worldwide tournament victories with six of his students holding first place in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is a regular contributor to publications such as Golf Digest and Golf International as well as authoring over 8 books which have sold over two million copies. Leadbetter has developed his methods and philosophies into a stringent, holistic training program for golf instructors with many of the world’s top teachers having come through the Leadbetter Academy system. Additionally, David has produced a number of instructional videos, DVDs, an interactive video game, and developed training aids all dedicated to helping people play better golf. Today, David remains a revered voice in golf instruction and continues to coach several top PGA, LPGA, and European Tour players, along with hosting “Leadbetter’s Locker Room” on SiriusXM radio, authoring new publications, developing new training aids, and continuing to bring the same innovative and elite level instruction to players everywhere with 24 academies worldwide.
In her 23-year history as the head women’s swimming coach at Cal, which is currently ranked third in the country, Teri McKeever has coached two of the most accomplished female swimmers in the history of the sport in Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin. Swimmers who have trained under her have won a total of 28 Olympic medals and 35 NCAA individual wins. Her resume includes four NCAA team titles, four Pac-12 titles, and she’s also a six-time conference coach of the year. And in 2012, exactly 100 years after women’s swimming became a Summer Games sport, McKeever became the first female head swimming coach in U.S. Olympic history.
Greg Meehan was named as an Assistant Coach for the 2016 Olympic Women’s Swimming Team. He has been the head women’s swimming coach at Stanford since August of 2012, and led the team from an 8th place at the NCAA meet during his first season to 2nd place in 2014 and 3rd place in 2015. In 2014 Meehan was named the CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Year.
Before Stanford, Meehan spent five seasons at Cal, where he was promoted to associate head men’s swimming and diving coach in 2011. In Meehan’s five seasons with Cal, the program produced a pair of NCAA championships (2011, 2012) and a runner-up finish in 2010.
Prior to joining Cal’s staff in 2008, Meehan was the head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs at the University of the Pacific. Meehan coached at Pacific from 2005-08, leading his women’s team to a second-place finish at the Big West Conference Championships in 2006-07 and two fourth-place finishes.
Prior to coaching at Pacific, Meehan was the assistant women’s coach under Cyndi Gallagher at UCLA from 2001-05, helping the Bruins to a 2003 Pac-10 title and seventh-place NCAA finish in 2004. Thirty-three All-Americans were produced and 32 school records broken during his time with the Bruins, where he specialized in working with the distance and individual medley corps.
Meehan also was assistant women’s coach at Princeton from 1999-2001, helping the Tigers to a 17-0 dual meet record and the 2000 and 2001 Ivy League titles. Meehan was the first assistant and later interim head coach at William & Mary in 1998-99.
In the summer of 2003, Meehan served as assistant coach for the USA Swimming National Distance Camp at the USOC Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., mentoring the top young male and female distance swimmers from around the country.
A graduate of Rider, Meehan earned a degree in mathematics and secondary education. While at Rider, he competed in the 200 backstroke and was a member of several Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion relays. Meehan also was a four-time All-Academic Award recipient.
Meehan and his wife, Tess, reside in Moraga, Calif., with their two sons, Salvatore and James.
Digit Murphy is the Co-Founder and CEO of the new United Women’s Lacrosse League, which started in 2016 with four pro teams. Murphy was previously the Head Coach of the women’s professional hockey team, the Boston Blades. Murphy has over twenty years of coaching experience since her start at Division I Brown University. She has coached Olympians and All-Americans, and earned numerous ECAC and Ivy League titles.
Murphy spent 22 years as Brown University’s first female head coach and retired as such as one of the longest tenured coaches ever in collegiate women’s hockey. Her teams have made it to the national semifinals four times, playing for the National Championship three times. Murphy led Brown to five Ivy League titles, six ECAC regular seasons or tournament titles, and four National Championship appearances. Under her leadership, Murphy’s players have been named Ivy League Player of the Year eight times, ECAC Player of the Year three times, Ivy and ECAC Rookie of the Year, and ECAC Goaltender of the Year. Seven of Murphy’s players have played in the Olympics for the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
In 2014, she was recognized by the American Hockey Coach’s Association as the fifth female coach to be honored with the Women’s Ice Hockey Founders Award. That same year, Murphy’s portrait was unveiled in the Brown Hockey Legends portrait gallery in Meehan Auditorium at Brown University. She was the first female to be recognized in the gallery. In 2013, the Blades captured the CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) regular season title and Clarkson Cup trophy. Murphy was named Coach of the Year as her players earned MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Goalie of the Year. During the 2006-2007 season, Murphy became the winningest coach in Division I women’s hockey history, picking up her 300th win.
In 2004, Murphy was inducted into the International Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame for her accomplishments both as a coach at Brown and as a student-athlete at Cornell, where the women’s hockey team’s MVP award is named after her. The same year, Murphy coached the U.S. National team at the Lake Placid Olympic Festival, where Brown University was represented by eight of the 60 players.
Murphy was a member of the 1998 Olympic Selection Committee and has coached at the Junior National level in Lake Placid for eight years. In 1997 Murphy’s fellow coaches and the media honored her with both the ECAC/KOHO and the New England Hockey Writers’ Coach of the Year awards. In October 1996, she coached the U.S. National Team as an assistant at the Three Nations Tournament. Murphy was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1992, Murphy’s well-respected hockey talents earned her the position of assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey National Team. Under Head Coach Russ McCurdy, she helped lead the U.S. to a silver medal in Finland.
Anne Walker was named the Margot and Mitch Milias Director of Women’s Golf in 2012, quickly establishing herself as one of the top college coaches in the country. She has guided the Cardinal to three consecutive NCAA Championship berths, and captured the first national title in program history during the 2014-15 season.
Making its 30th appearance, Stanford beat Baylor 3-2 in the first-ever match play format final for women, shown live on the Golf Channel, at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. In the deciding match, junior All-America Mariah Stackhouse won the last two holes against Haley Davis to force sudden death, then parred the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to clinch the crown.
Stanford defeated Pac-12 rivals Arizona and top-ranked USC to reach the finals.
Walker became only the fifth coach to claim an NCAA title at Stanford in three or fewer years. She was named WGCA National Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
It marked only the ninth time in NCAA Division I history that a men’s and women’s program from the same school have won national titles in the same sport. In 2013-14, Walker led Stanford to its first Pac-12 Championship title since 1999. Six conference teams were ranked among the top 11 in the nation heading into the tournament, including defending NCAA champion No.1-ranked USC.
The Cardinal produced 12 top 10 finishes on the season and tied for 18th at the NCAA Championships.
During Walker’s inaugural season in 2012-13, Stanford recorded its best finish since 2007 at the NCAA Championships by tying for 13th. They also won the Peg Barnard Invitational, Cal Classic and Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational, the most program wins since early 1980s. Walker’s team placed fourth in the Pac-12 Championships, its highest showing since 2001. Six players garnered at least one top 10 showings during the regular season.
Walker came to Stanford from UC Davis after serving as its head women’s golf coach for four years. She took over the program during its transition from Division II to Division I and made an immediate impact. The Aggies won three Big West Conference titles and advanced to a pair of NCAA Championships. Walker also led the team to its first-ever top 20 national ranking.
Walker was a three-time Big West Coach of the Year. In 2009, two of her players qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open. With her guidance, UC Davis produced three Big West Players of the Year and two Big West Freshmen of the Year.
Walker began her coaching career at her alma mater, California, where she was named assistant coach after earning a geography degree in 2002. She also received a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration. Walker was named associate head coach at Cal in 2007, then accepted the head coaching job at UC Davis in 2008.
As a student-athlete at Cal, Walker was a three-time captain for the Golden Bears and twice won individual medalist honors. She was the 2002 Pac-10 medal winner and was a three time All-Pac-10 selection. Walker also received NGCA All-America scholar honors three times. In 2013, she was inducted into the California Athletics Hall of Fame.
Aliceann Wilber is the winningest coach in NCAA Division III women’s soccer history (496 wins). She is a four-time winner of NSCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year Award, a five-time winner of NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year Award, and the winner for four consecutive years of the NYSWCAA Coach of the Year Award.
The only soccer coach William Smith has ever known, Aliceann Wilber built the Herons from the ground up into one of the most successful and widely respected programs in the nation. Along the way, she has solidified her place among the legendary names of collegiate soccer coaches. Including the 1988 and 2013 national championships, Wilber’s career record with the Herons stands at 496-128-55. She is the first woman in collegiate soccer history to earn 400 career wins, and her 496 wins put her in first place on the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer all-time list.
In 2003, Wilber received the NSCAA’s prestigious Bill Jeffrey Award for her outstanding achievement and longtime dedication to college soccer. She was the first woman to win the award. Wilber earned back-to-back NSCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year Awards in 1987 and 1988. After winning the same honor in 1991 and 2008, she remains one of three NCAA coaches (and the first woman) to win the award four times at any level. Wilber was honored again in 1993, 1995, 1999, 2008 and 2011 as the NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year. She also won four consecutive NYSWCAA Coach of the Year Awards between 1999 and 2002.
An exceptional mentor, Wilber has coached more Division III first-team All-Americans (20)—including 2013 selection Olivia Zitoli ’14, 2011 selection Amanda Davis ’12 and 2008 and 2010 selection Brelynn Nasypany ’11—than any other Division III women’s coach.
Chad Wiseman is both Head Coach and General Manager of the New York Riveters, one of four teams in the going into the second season of the National Women’s Hockey League. During his professional career as a player, Chad was a left winger for the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers, and played on other AHL, DEL, Swedish and Asian teams.