Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

Memories of a Training Partner and Coach (now retired)


The first thing I remember about her is her laugh. It was infectious.

The second thing I remember about her was her pure speed in the 100 back. I couldn’t match it.


The third thing I remember about her is the fact that she couldn’t hold that speed for a 200. And I was happy for that.

Until she could. And then I was sad.

I remember underwater 100s kicking on our back. Quietly kvetching about how he (our coach) was killing brain cells. Valuable brain cells we might well need one day.

I remember our trip to New Zealand and our conversation in the warm down pool about not caring who was first or second in March of the next year, so long as we were both on that Olympic Team.

I remember her making that team when I did not. I was almost as happy for her in having made it as if I’d made it myself (almost……)

I remember her comeback to swimming and her world title in 1998 and how impressive and inspiring it was.

I do not remember her wedding (though I believe it both started with good wine and ended with a doozy of a hangover).

I remember pushing each other day in and day out in workout; the first of my friends who was both my biggest competitor and my best of friends.

I know that I can call her and it’s like not a day has passed.

And I know that of all things that can make me smile, it’s her laugh.


Today, Stanford lost one of the greatest swim coaches in its history. Lea Maurer retired as the head coach of the Stanford Women’s Swim Team.

Lea adds her name to a list of coaches that includes some of the all time greats; George Haines, Richard Quick…..if you swim, you know how impressive it is to belong in that category of coaching.

Her legacy is remarkable. Her friendship? Invaluable.

Congratulations on your retirement, Lea. You are one of a kind!



Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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