2021 Swammy Awards: British Coach of the Year, Dave McNulty

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Dave McNulty, National Lead Coach at British Swimming’s National Centre Bath, has been awarded the 2021 Swammy Award for British Coach of the Year. This marks his second year in a row receiving this honor.

McNulty continues to make an impact in British Swimming, having coached four swimmers to five Olympic silvers in the previous two games. He made a big splash this summer when nine University of Bath-based swimmers were selected to Team Great Britain, five of whom took home gold medals.

That selection included McNulty-guided James GuyFreya Anderson, and Tom Dean.

Tokyo Olympic Medalists Trained Under McNulty

  • James Guy: 4×200 freestyle relay gold, 4×100 medley relay silver, mixed 4×100 medley relay gold
  • Freya Anderson: mixed 4×100 medley relay gold
  • Tom Dean: 200 freestyle gold, 4×200 freestyle relay gold

Tom Dean rose to Olympic heights in Tokyo this past summer when he won the 200 freestyle, becoming the first British swimmer to win Olympic gold in that event. He also swam with Guy on the 4×200 freestyle relay, which won gold and set a new European Record. 

Guy also contributed to another European Record in the men’s 4×100 medley relay, where Team Great Britain finished second. He also won gold in the mixed 4×100 medley and helped set a new World Record in the process. His Bath-based teammate Freya Anderson swam that relay in qualifying heats and set a new Olympic and European Record as well.

Dean and Guy each won two golds at the same Olympic Games. Adam Peaty, who trains under Mel Marshall, did as well. They became the first male British swimmers in 113 years to accomplish this feat.

Earlier in December, McNulty received Coach of the Year honors given by the British Swim Coaches Association (BSCA). He received the award in recognition of his “sustained excellence and dedication to the British swimming programme,” according to Team Great Britain’s website.

He first made his international debut as coach in 2001 at the World Championships. After the Beijing Olympics, he was appointed head coach of the British Swimming Bath Intensive Training Centre.

Honorable Mention

In no particular order.

  • Mel Marshall –  Marshall is Lead Coach at National Center in Loughborough and continues to guide Adam Peaty to swimming gold. At the Tokyo Olympics, he became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title: he won the 100 breaststroke and claimed Team Great Britain’s first gold of Tokyo. He won a second gold in the mixed 4×100 relay as well. She also coaches Olympic medalists Luke Greenbank and Anna Hopkin. Earlier in December, Marshall was honored by the BSCA with a Coaching Award of Excellence.
  • Steven Tigg – Tigg leads the International Swimming League’s London Roar and helped guide them to a third-place finish in the finals. He is also Head Performance Swim Coach at the University of Stirling. This year, he guided Aimee Willmott to her third Olympic games and coached Duncan Scott to several Olympic medals. Scott claimed silver in the 200 freestyle, gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay, silver in the 200 IM, and silver in the 4×100 freestyle relay. He became the first British athlete to win four medals in a single Olympic Games. Tigg was also honored by the BSCA with a Coaching Award of Excellence.
  • Ian Hulme – Hulme is Head Coach at Loughborough University. This year, he coached Sweden’s Louise Hansson and France’s Marie Wattel to the Tokyo Olympics. Both were finalists in the women’s 100-meter butterfly: Hansson finished fifth and Wattel was sixth. Hansson also broke out at the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships where she won a staggering seven medals. Most notably, she won gold and set a new World Record in the 4×50-meter medley relay. She also won and set a new European Record in the 4×100-meter medley relay. Hansson also placed first in the women’s 100-meter backstroke and set a new Swedish record in that. 

Previous Winners

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2 years ago

Jol Finck coached Matt Richards and Calum Jarvis not David McNulty.
Ben Proud swims with Bath Uni under Mark Skimming not National Centre.
Abbie Wood swims under Dave Hemmings in Loughnorough NC along with James Wilby, Molly Renshaw, Max Litchfield and Joe Litchfield.
Felix Auboeck swims with Andi Manley in Loughborough Uni not National centre. Mel Marshall coaches Adam Peaty, Luke Greenbank, Anna Hopkin and Jacob Whittle.

Big Mac #1
2 years ago

Who else is at the Loughborough center? I feel like maybe Abbie wood is there?

Reply to  Big Mac #1
2 years ago

Felix Auboeck?

Reply to  Big Mac #1
2 years ago

I know these swimmers are there (Uni or Centre):

  • Louise Hansson
  • Alice Dearing
  • James Wilby
  • Marie Wattel
  • Felix Auböck
Last edited 2 years ago by SwimReason
2 years ago

I think McNulty has now coached people to Olympic medals swimming back (CWH), breast (Jamieson), fly (Jimbo), free (Jackson, Dean, Anderson) and IM (O’Connor)

The man is an absolute legend of British swimming and has long deserved more recognition – Very pleased to see Swimswam showing him the appreciation he has long deserved.

Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

Jazz Carlin in Free too! Many medals under McNulty

Reply to  JohnW
2 years ago

Of course! She’s always a Bud McAllister swimmer in my head ha.