British Swimming Federation Head Coach Bill Furniss Collects OBE

After being awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen in June of 2017, British Swimming Federation head coach Bill Furniss collected his hardware at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Building on a career of over 30 years, Furniss, 63, led Great Britain to its most successful Olympic swimming showing in the last century.

“It is a massive honour but is one I feel should be shared due to the progress made by British Swimming in the last four years under the leadership of National Performance Director Chris Spice and myself,” he said.

In 2013, Spice and Furniss took over as the National Performance Director and Technical Director, respectively.

In an interview with FINA last year after the Olympics, Furniss said that he was able to revive British swimming by doing things his own way, rather than emulating bigger, traditionally dominant teams: “For me, there was an opportunity to take best practice from countries producing the most successful competitive swimmers, and apply it in a British way that was relevant to our culture. That’s what I think gave British Swimming our edge.”

His success in fostering that “edge” is tangible, as last week, Britain’s Adam Peaty was awarded his Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) grade, following his 2016 Olympics 100 breast gold medal performance — the first for Great Britain in nearly 30 years.

Prior to taking over the British Swimming effort, Furniss coached Rebecca Adlington, the most decorated female British swimmer ever with four Olympic medals.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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