2020 Swammy Awards: Dave McNulty Earns British Coach Of The Year

To see all of our 2020 Swammy Awards, click here.


Longtime National Lead Coach at British Swimming’s National Centre Bath, Dave McNulty, has been handed the 2020 Swammy Award for British Coach of the Year.

McNulty has been at his post for the past 11 years but his resume of accomplished swimmers keeps growing as time rolls on.

After having coached Jazz Carlin to two Olympic silvers at the 2016 Olympic Games, McNulty has more recently welcomed 2015 World Champion James Guy, two-time European Short Course Championships gold medalist Freya Anderson and rising star Tom Dean into his training stable.

19-year-old Anderson made the move from Ellesmere to National Centre Bath this past summer after having worked with McNulty on and off for the past year. With a rocky training path due to the coronavirus pandemic, Anderson was still able to perform impressively as a member of the International Swimming League (ISL) team London Roar.

En route to the squad’s 3rd place finish in the overall team standings, Anderson posted a new British national record in the women’s 200m free, earning a time of 1:51.87. In total throughout the 2020 ISL season, she dropped her British Record of 1:52.77 from the 2019 European Championships by 9-tenths of a second to rank #2 in the event across the entire ISL when all was said and done.

But Anderson also scorched a lifetime best of 51.43 in the 100m free to end her season as the 5th fastest swimmer in the league and British Swimming’s 2nd fastest woman of all-time.

The McNulty-guided athlete also put up some critical relay splits across the series of matches, culminating in a 50.44 scorcher as anchor on the Roar women’s medley relay.

Anderson’s teammate on the McNulty squad, Tom Dean, also had a breakout 2020 ISL season. As a member of London Roar as well, Dean took down 400m freestyle ace Danas Rapsys of Energy Standard on two separate occasions. In the process, Dean’s season-best of 3:36.56 rendered him as the league’s 2nd fastest performer across all matches.

That outing ranks 20-year-old as Great Britain’s 2nd fastest 400m freestyle of all-time, sitting just .21 outside of the British national record held by training partner Guy.

Dean also established himself as a formidable 400m IMer, reaping a season-best of 4:02.53 in the final to rank as GBR’s 5th fastest performer in history. The mechanical engineering student ended the season as the ISL’s 4th fastest swimmer in that event.


In no particular order.

  • Mel Marshall (Loughborough) – Marshall’s protege Adam Peaty broke the World Record in the men’s 100m breaststroke as a member of London Roar. Under Marshall’s tutelage, Peaty dropped the record down to a menacing 55.41 to establish himself yet again as the world’s premier breaststroke across both long and short course. Note: the record has since been overtaken by Belarusian Ilya Shymanovich in 55.34. Marshall is also credited with helping the Roar finish in 3rd place only 6.5 points outside of the runner-up slot.
  • David Hemmings (Loughborough) – With the likes of Joe Litchfield and Abbie Wood in his training squad, Hemmings has helped his swimmers make major strides in the pool this season. Wood was one of New York Breakers’ shining stars this season, taking on a heavy event load at each of the team’s 5 meets. Wood swam the 100/200/400 triple and each of her matches this season, repeated scoring within the top 3 in each event throughout the season. Wood finished the season with a new British record in the 200 IM with her season-leading time of 2:04.77. As for Litchfield although he didn’t actually win a race all season long, he was a runner-up on 6 occasions. More importantly, he was a key cog for the Breakers in a lot of spots they needed it, putting himself back into the conversation for Britain’s Olympic medley relay. Litchfield and Wood combined for best times in 13 events in 2020 across long course and short course. Also in Hemmings’ group at the multi-group Loughborough site are 2 other New York Breakers: Molly Renshaw and James Wilby.

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U.K. Club Coach
24 days ago

It’s a tough job getting the most talented kids in the country year after year. Not swimswam’s job but nice if anyone at British Swimming ever recognised and supported the programs developing these kids to the point that they are plucked away to centres and boarding schools schools with barely a word of thanks.

Reply to  U.K. Club Coach
23 days ago

Hear! Hear! Great comment.

23 days ago

Curious there’s a British coach of the year swammy but not a British swimmer of the year award

Reply to  Splash
23 days ago

It’s probably still to come. Be patient

Reply to  Samesame
23 days ago

Doesn’t exist on their overall list of awards https://swimswam.com/swimswams-official-2020-swammy-awards-index/

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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