Olympic medalist Lea Maurer becomes first woman to lead USC’s swim programs

USC logo at the Coliseum in 2018.
(Aaron M. Sprecher / Associated Press)

Two-time Olympic medalist Lea Maurer was named head coach of USC’s men’s and women’s swimming teams Friday, making her the first woman to lead both programs.

Maurer had served as interim head coach after Jeremy Kipp was placed on administrative leave by the university last fall amid allegations of abusive behavior toward athletes. He resigned in March.

Athletic director Mike Bohn said Maurer “demonstrated her tremendous leadership and relationship-building abilities over the past few months leading our teams.”

Maurer becomes the first woman to coach a USC swimming team since Pokey Richardson led the USC women from 1977 to 1979.


During her interim stint, Maurer guided the USC women to a 16th-place finish and the men to 26th place at the NCAA championships.

Maurer came to USC in July 2020 as associate head coach of the swimming program. She was women’s head swimming coach at her alma mater Stanford from 2006 to 2012. She was an assistant coach at Northwestern in 1994-95. She spent 10 years coaching the boys and girls teams at Lake Forest High in Illinois, where future Olympic champion Matt Grevers was among her swimmers.

Competing under her maiden name of Loveless, she won a gold medal in the 400-meter medley relay and a bronze in the 100 backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Her husband, former Stanford swimmer Erik Maurer, previously coached with her.