2022 Swammy Awards: Canadian Coach of the Year – Ryan Mallette

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It was a transition year for Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Ontario training group following the departure of former head coach Ben Titley in early 2022, but Ryan Mallette took over seamlessly and thus earns Canadian Coach of the Year honors.

The vast majority of Canada’s top swimmers spent time with the Toronto-based group this year, including individual LC World Championship medalists Summer McIntoshJosh Liendo and Kylie Masse, along with relay medalists including Penny OleksiakTaylor RuckMaggie MacNeil and Kayla Sanchez.

McIntosh, who has since made the move to train with the Sarasota Sharks in Florida, had an incredible 2022 that included two World Championship titles in the women’s 200 fly and 400 IM, two Commonwealth Games titles in the 200 and 400 IM, and a total of six LCM events in which she ranked sixth or better in the world this year.

Liendo, who began his freshman year at the University of Florida in the fall, had a big summer that saw him win bronze in the men’s 100 free at the World Championships and follow up with an individual gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 100 fly.

Masse, now training under Titley in Spain, had continued success at the sport’s high level by winning gold at both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games in the women’s 50 back, and she also claimed silver in the 100 back at both meets along with another second-place finish in the 200 back at the Games.

Other top performers who have trained out of HPC – Ontario this year are also currently based elsewhere—Sanchez is now living in and representing the Philippines internationally, MacNeil is at LSU and Ruck has returned to Stanford in the NCAA.

Oleksiak is still training out of the Center, and had a strong World Championship performance that included placing fourth in the women’s 100 free and anchoring Canada to four relay medals. She has been inactive since, undergoing knee surgery in late August after tearing her meniscus.

In addition to helping guide some of Canada’s top names earlier in the year, Mallette also propelled several others to breakouts a and resurgences in late 2022.

Javier Acevedo broke numerous Canadian Records in short course meters on the FINA World Cup circuit, and went on to win silver in the men’s 100 IM at the Short Course World Championships, one spot ahead of another HPC – Ontario swimmer, Finlay Knox.

Ella Jansen, who, like McIntosh, is a product of Etobicoke Swimming, is coming off a breakout showing at the Ontario Junior International meet earlier this month, having also accrued experience internationally at the Commonwealth Games and Junior Pan Pacs this year.

Jansen and Etobicoke teammates Elan Daley and Maya Bezanson, all listed as training out of the Center, also reset a pair of NAG relay records at OJI.


  • Dave Johnson, Cascade Swim Club – Johnson helped guide Ingrid Wilm to a fourth-place finish in the women’s 50 back at the World Championships.  Wilm, who also won bronze on the women’s 400 medley relay at LC Worlds, then won three medals at SC Worlds in December, including an individual bronze in the 100 back. Two-time Olympian Yuri Kisil also rejoined Johnson at Cascade midway through the year.
  • Mike Blondal, University of Calgary – Blondal coached Rebecca Smith to a repeat silver medal at the Short Course World Championships in the women’s 200 freestyle, breaking her Canadian Record in the process, and Smith also won two relay medals at LC Worlds and four more at SC Worlds. Blondal also had Rachel Nicol and Richie Stokes qualify to represent Canada in Budapest, and led Stephen Calkins to a spot on the Commonwealth Games team. In U SPORTS competition, Blondal led the University of Calgary men to an upset win over UBC in November at the Canada West Championships.


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1 year ago


1 year ago

Come on, Let’s list some names of coaches that deserved the honors rather than one that was handed most of the top talent in the country and then most of them left…

Reply to  Canaswim
1 year ago

I can think of a handful in alberta alone never mind the rest of the country

Last edited 1 year ago by Canaswim
1 year ago

Blondal also got Stephen Calkins onto the commonwealth game team where he was a semi finalist in the 100 and 50 free and medaled for his prelims effort in the 4×100 free relay.

Bo Swims
Reply to  ParentFan
1 year ago

The men killed it at Canada West and Calkins was a big part.

Honestly I think Carl Simonson could also be an honorable mention here as well. NAGs left & right, a bunch of kids in the National Development Team program.

The kids are alright 🦖🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️

1 year ago

Both Rachel Nicol and Richie Stokes are U of C swimmers with Mike Blondal. Neither swam for Dave at Cascade.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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