Despite a slew of COVID-19 outbreaks that affected his swimmers at every turn, Tom Rushton has coached some of the most prolific swimmers this year, including Asian Female Swimmer of the Year Siobhan Haughey, Chad le Clos, Kregor Zirk, Simona Kubona, Travis Mahoney, and more.
Rushton, Canadian, is a coach of Energy Standard, the International Swimming League club who won the most recent season and has won two out of ISL’s three leagues of existence. Rushton’s work with Energy Standard already earned him a 2018 Swammy in the same category with the rest of the Energy Standard staff, but this year, Energy’s swimmers pushed the boundaries farther than ever before.
Sjostrom, for example, became the first swimmer to clear 1000 MVP points in the League. Adam Barrett swam Masters for years before returning to represent Energy Standard and clinching the season title with his third-place skins finish. And Haughey broke both the SCM 50 and 100 free Asian records.
All of this is a testament to Rushton’s coaching when you look at Energy Standard’s relatively humble beginnings, when he and James Gibson began training just a small group of athletes at the Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey.
Rushton’s work has extended beyond an electrifying ISL season. He’s served as le Clos’ personal coach, and le Clos has been a consistent top performer this year. Rushton informally represented South Africa when the delegation was prevented from traveling to SC Worlds because of the surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. At that same meet, Rushton formally represented Estonia, especially his personally trained swimmer Zirk, who broke the Estonian LCM 200 free record in April.
Rushton has his own successful swimming background. He’s a member of Kenyon College’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and the only DIII swimmer to ever claim the national title in the 500 free for four consecutive years.
- James Gibson: Another Energy Standard staple, Gibson was our winner in 2019 and the year before as part of the club staff. His active Instagram with over 45,000 followers has also helped make elite swimming more accessible to the world at large.
- Radovan Siljevski: As the head coach of the elite group at Södertörn Swimming Club, Siljevski’s most high profile swimmer is one of the best in the world: Sarah Sjostrom. But he’s also shown he’s capable of growing a team, with Emelie Fast raking in Swedish junior records at the end of this year.
- 2020 Swammy — Mark Faber
- 2019 Swammy — James Gibson
- 2018 Swammy — Energy Standard Club staff
- 2017 Swammy — Philippe Lucas
- 2016 Swammy — Stefano Morini
- 2015 Swammy — Shane Tusup