In a conference that has few rivals when it comes to the amount of Olympic talent it has produced in the pool, the conversation for greatest male swimmer of the last 100 years starts and stops in Berkeley.
So said the Pac-12 on Monday when it announced Cal legend Matt Biondi has been named the conference’s Male Swimmer of the Century. The 11-time Olympic medalist headlines a phenomenal group of swimming talent that makes up a Pac-12 All-Century Swimming and Diving team that includes 26 swimmers and six divers who were named by a panel of 20 coaches, swimmers, administrators and members of the media.
Biondi certainly isn’t the only Golden Bear on the list. Nathan Adrian, Par Arvidsson, Peter Rocca and Tom Shields also earned recognition for their amazing careers and Cal swimming ranked third among conference schools with its five honorees.
One of the greatest freestyle swimmers in American history, Biondi won 12 NCAA and 14 Pac-10 titles during his Cal career and was a four-time All-American from 1984-87. He set 12 world records during his swimming career, including being the first man to swim a sub-49 second time in the 100 freestyle.