Marshall Claims Coach of the Year Hat-trick

Mel Marshall scooped her third straight coach of the year award at the British Swimming Coaches Association’s annual awards. The City of Derby head coach was once again honoured for her work with Adam Peaty, who enjoyed a stellar 2016 season.

Peaty, of course, won the first Olympic gold for a British man since 1988 and in the process redefined domination, smashing his own world record twice. He also picked up Olympic silver in the medley relay to add to a hatful of European titles. Those achievements have always been classed as team one any Peaty, who has spoken often about his bond with Marshall. For her part Marshall retains the title she took as the first female recipient in 2014 and that she won again last year.

The coaching award of excellence went to the man who coached Britain’s other Olympic individuals medalists. Dave McNulty’s Bath group is the base for Jazz Carlin who took 400 and 800m silvers in Rio and Siobhan Marie O’Connor who matched that feat in the 200IM. Both were in the form of their lives which spells volumes for their preparation. McNulty also coaches Chris Walker-Hebborn who was part of the medley relay team.

The Paralympic equivalent awards also saw a coach retain the top title as Glenn Smith of Nova Centurion once again was awarded the Disability Coach of the year honours after his charge Ollie Hynd took two gold medals and a world record in Rio. The disability coaching award of excellence went to City of Manchester’s Mark Rose, coach to Hannah Russell who won the S12 50 freestyle and 100 back at the Paralympics, the latter in a world record time.

Tazmin Pugh – part of a strong Ellesmere College Titans squad under Alan Bircher

In the junior ranks the Youth Coach of the year went to Alan Bircher, head coach of Ellesmere College Titans, who had a strong season culminating in an excellent showing at the British Summer Championships. Bircher’s squad also supplied two junior European champions in the shape of Tazmin Pugh in the 200 backstroke and Freya Anderson who won the 100m freestyle in a remarkable 54.73.

The final award given out was the Alan Hime Memorial Award which is given to a coach with no previous international experience who has made an impact at that level over the past year. The recipient was Darren Ashley, coach at Warrington Warriors and mentor to Kathleen Dawson who made such a breakthrough in the 100m backstroke with bronze at the European Championships.