Bill Furniss, Chris Spice to Lead British Swimming; Adlington Will Retire

British Swimming has unveiled the new leadership team that will be the head of its organization going toward Rio 2016. Chris Spice will be the National Performance Director, coming over from British Basketball, and Bill Furniss will be the Technical Director.

Furniss’ hire is a slam-dunk to meet the criteria of the organization, though Spice’s will be a bit of a headscratcher.

Furniss has served most recently as the coach of Rebecca Adlington, the most successful female swimmer in the history of British Swimming and winner of four Olympic medals. Adlington is having a press conference on Tuesday where she is expected to announce her retirement.

Spice, on the other hand, has had stints with British Hockey, Rugby, and British Basketball. He had great success with England’s Rugby team, though their hockey and basketball teams have struggled under his watch (British Basketball won only a single game in the 2012 Olympics).

Most importantly for this team, though, is that they brought the roles home. In the runup to 2012, they were lead by an Australian Michael Scott and an American Dennis Pursley, and there were many within the organization who felt that these roles would be best served by those more in-touch with the British culture.

It is a new era in British Swimming, on the news both of the new staff and Adlington’s retirement. They have a very good young core of athletes that are ripe to be mentored to take this team back to a catbird’s position in the world swimming scene, much as they were in 2008.

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9 years ago

Adlington knew after the 800 in London that she would not get a chance to win that race again with ledecky showing up . It’s simple as that

9 years ago

In the US, some wait so they can get their monthly stipend from USOC/USA Swimming. If they ‘officially’ retire, then no more money coming in for most of them. Same probably for swimmers in other countries.
USA Swimming is giving out thousands to many swimmers who have no plans on swimming anymore.

Reply to  korn
9 years ago

Korn – I had not thought of that. Some are obviously been paid per twitter posting. Life. In them old dogs yet.

9 years ago

Why do adult swimmers take so long to announce a retirement?

Maybe we should have a red carpet event where they can all parade down & be interviewed about their deep reasonings for not continuing to do that massively important thing they do.

Get a grip. Just sign the papers & go .

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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