2012 Swammy Award: European Club/Coach of the Year

The Man:

Fabrice Pellerin

The Team:

Head Coach of Olympic Nice, France

His Charges:

Yannick Agnel, Camille Muffat, & Charlotte Bonnet

The Count:

3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze; 3 World Records

The Moment – The Olympics

By the time the London Olympic Games rolled around in August, it was pretty clear that something very

Camille Muffat, 3-time 2012 Olympic medalist

Camille Muffat, 3-time 2012 Olympic medalist

interesting was going on in Nice, France. Yannick Agnel had dropped the 400 free, an event where he once looked like he was on track to be one of the greats ever, to favor the 100 and 200 freestyles. Meanwhile, Camille Muffat was negative-splitting 400’s and 800’s, in-season, with some of the most unbelievable closing splits we’ve ever seen in the mid-to-distance freestyles.

This all erupted at the Olympics when Yannick Agnel ran down the American 400 free relay, and the pair carried the French team to their most impressive Olympic performance ever. That included another Nice trainee, Charlotte Bonnet, who along with Muffat gave the French women their first-ever relay medal with a bronze in the 800-meter team event.

Short Course Season

Pellerin’s fearsome duo didn’t stop after the Olympics. They continued to work hard, and with France hosting the 2012 European Championships, the pair were ready to impress a home crowd. First, at French Nationals, Agnel broke the World Record in the 400 free – an event that he swore he was done with – and then won both that and the 200 free at the European Championships. Muffat broke the 800 record at French Nationals, a race she didn’t even swim at the Olympics, and followed that up with a 400 World Record at the European Championships, plus a gold medal in the 200.

The Fallout

Pellerin has now become the hottest name in European coaching. Danish Olympians Lotte Friis and Pernille Blume have both joined the Olympic Nice squad since the Olympics, and early returns for them were wildly successful. Blume anchored the Danish women to their first-ever relay World Championship and Friis took a silver in the 800 free.

For his efforts, Pellerin was awarded the 2012 Coach of the Year honor by l’Equipe: France’s largest sports outlet.

Honorable Mentions

Andrea di Nino, ADN Project (Italy)
Sandor Szeles, Jovo SC (Hungary)
Fred Vergnoux, CN Sabadell (Spain)

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bobo gigi
9 years ago

Congrats to Fabrice, Yannick, Camille, Charlotte and Anna for your outstanding year! Your freestyle results have been fantastic. And with the Danish swimmers who have joined them we can say there’s one of the biggest freestyle industries in the world in Nice. I think they will appreciate this deserved swimswam award.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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