Bill Furniss Named Head Coach Of British Swimming’s Olympic Team

British Swimming’s National Performance director has officially named the 2016 Rio Olympic Team Staff. This announcement is being made much earlier than normal, as coaches are typically picked after the country’s Olympic Trials based on who swam their way to spots on the roster. This year, however, the coaches that were interested in being named to the Olympic Team Staff needed to apply before the end of September.

The 2016 Olympic Team will be lead by Head Coach Bill Furniss. David McNulty, Jolyon Fink, Melanie Marshall, Ben Higson, James Gibson, and Russ Barber will be the other six coaches on deck for British Swimming in Rio. Kevin Renshaw and Laurel Bailey will be the two open water coaches in Rio.

The National coaching staff will have a lot of flexibility and discretion on who, and how many, athletes to assign to the team. The winner of each event at the Olympic Trials must also hit an Automatic Qualifying Standard established by British Swimming. Beyond that, the coaching staff has the option to select six more swimmers at their discretion. Based on 2015 season best times from British swimmers, only a small handful will be able to hit the automatic qualifying standards without dramatic improvement. Those swimmers are:

  • James Guy – 200 free, 400 free
  • Chris Walker-Hebborn – 100 back
  • Adam Peaty – 100 breast, 200 breast
  • Ross Murdoch – 100 breast
  • Andrew Willis – 200 breast
  • Fran Halsall – 50 free
  • Jazz Carlin – 400 free, 800 free
  • Siobhan-Marie O’Connor – 200 IM
  • Hannah Miley – 200 IM, 400 IM
  • Aimee Willmott – 400 IM

Glasgow, Scotland will host the 2016 British Swimming Championships, which will serve as the nation’s Olympic qualifying meet next spring. The British Olympic Trials will take place from April 12th to the 17th of 2016 at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, which hosted last summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Press release courtesy of British Swimming: 

A team of coaches and staff designed to support athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been unveiled by British Swimming National Performance Director Chris Spice.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the management, coaching, and support staff who have been appointed to our 2016 Olympic team staff,” said Spice.

“We have decided to appoint this group earlier than usual to ensure all staff, and in particular our Olympic coaches, can start work with their identified athletes from now until we depart for Brazil on the 22nd July next year.

“Early selection gives us an opportunity to plan more effectively and build relationships ahead of time to ensure we can support athletes and their home coaches to successfully integrate them into the national team programme.”

The announcement coincides with the launch of a calendar of activity designed by British Swimming to support the collective Olympic ambition.

“We will be running a series of camps, competitions and workshops over the next 10 months aimed at ensuring our ‘team around the team’ leaves no stone unturned in our preparations for Rio,” explained Spice.

“Exact roles and responsibilities will be allocated by our leadership team over the coming months as we work with the British Olympic Association and our partners to support our team in the best possible way.

“I would like to congratulate all the team on their appointment and look forward to working with them on this challenging and exciting journey ahead.”

Team Management

Team Leader: Chris Spice (Pool and Marathon Swimming)

Team Manager: Dawn Peart (Pool and Marathon Swimming)

Marathon Lead: Bernie Deitzig

Media Manager: Dave Richards (Pool and Marathon Swimming)


Head Coach: Bill Furniss

Coaches Pool: David McNulty, Jolyon Fink, Melanie Marshall, Ben Higson, James Gibson, Russ Barber.

Coaches Marathon: Kevin Renshaw, Laurel Bailey

Sport Science Sport Medicine

Head of SSSM: Karl Cooke

Doctor: Dr Jon Greenwell (Pool and Marathon Swimming)

Physiotherapists: Carl Butler, Rhys Shorney, Jane Carre, Louise Imrie (Marathon Swimming)

Performance Scientists: Mike Peyrebrune, Ben Holliss, Clare Lobb

Nutritionist: Nigel Mitchell

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About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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