Canadian Coach of the Year Ben Titley Out at HPC-Ontario

Swimming Canada’s Coach of the Year Ben Titley is out as the head coach of the High Performance Center in Toronto, Ontario after his contract wasn’t renewed. Titley was named the Canadian Swimming Coach of the Year by both SwimSwam and Swimming Canada for 2021.

Ryan Mallette, who was previously listed as the associate head coach, is now listed as the head coach.

“My time in Canada has been the best and I am happy to think that I leave with the program in a far stronger place than when I arrived,” Titley said. “This year, winning the Canadian Coach of the Year, Canadian Junior Coach of the Year, and Aquatics Canada Coach of the Year, along with helping Penny (Oleksiak) become Canada’s most successful ever Olympian is a huge testament to the great team of staff I have been lucky enough to share the poolside with here in Toronto, and the amazing athletes who are even better people.

“I am sorry to leave them as they are like family and I would have loved nothing more than to have stayed through this season to help them accomplish their goals. But sometimes in life, as with work contracts, what we want and what we get are 2 different things.”

The High Performance Center – Ontario was home to most of Canada’s medalists at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, especially after athletes were consolidated there during the COVID-19 pandemic. 10 Canadian Olympians trained there full-time in the leadup to Tokyo 2020:

  • Finlay Knox
  • Josh Liendo
  • Summer McIntosh
  • Penny Oleksiak
  • Sydney Pickrem
  • Kayla Sanchez
  • Kylie Masse
  • Yuri Kisil
  • Taylor Ruck
  • Rebecca Smith

Maggie MacNeil, the Olympic gold medalist in the 100 fly, also trained there in her final preparations for the Olympics.

The current High Performance Center roster also includes up-and-comers Elan Daley, Ashley McMillain, and Regan Rathwell.

“I am proud of what the Senior athletes have accomplished, and what they still have to show the world in the years to come,” Titley said. “And for the junior athletes like Summer McIntosh, Josh Liendo, and a few others, whose names you may not know yet but soon will, I feel what we have set up to this point will have them achieve truly amazing things in the very near future, and I can’t wait to see their hard work and learning come to fruition.”

Mallette previously served as the head coach of the High Performance Center in Victoria on Canada’s west coast, but in 2019 moved east to support Titley in Toronto.

Both Titley and Mallette were on Canada’s coaching staff in Tokyo.

Titley came to Canada in 2012 from the Loughborough ITC in the UK, where he coached one of the most successful groups in England for 16 years. Titley is British.

“As for me, I’m sure a new and exciting chapter will begin soon, and with my wife expecting twins this summer it will no doubt be an unforgettable one.”

Titley declined to comment on the reason for his departure after his group’s success last summer. Several elite Canadian swimmers contacted by SwimSwam said that they were surprised by the move too and have not yet been given an explanation either.

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Beached Whale
1 year ago

Heard through the grapevine his boss thought he was getting to be too big of a deal and wanted him out of the picture. Such a shame for Canadian swimming. So many promising athletes that could really pop in 2024.

1 year ago

Just coincidence that “rockstar” Canadian coach Titley leaving and USC Kipp resigning within days? Conspiracy theorists see Titley’s next stop as Los Angeles to join what might be 4-5 Canadians there on the Trojan squad. Just sayin’. More likely just dreamin’.

SuperSwimmer 2000
1 year ago


Swim Parent / Coach / Official
1 year ago

Absolutely shocked at this decision. I’ve watched for years what was happening at the highest levels of Swim Canada and definitely not impressed. John Atkinson has been the worst for swimmer development across the nation. Yes we’ve had recent success but at the expense of long term athlete development. Ben Titley is an amazing coach and I’ve personally known swimmers who sacrificed by leaving their family and friends behind to be able to train with him. This is a very real loss for swimming in Canada and I worry about what’s next from the Atkinson crowd.

1 year ago

looking forward to tonite’s swims

1 year ago

Money? Or maybe Money, or tying his hands, and money? Maybe he likes trucks?

Swim or Die
1 year ago

This has John Atkinson written all over it.

Puts on his super media face during the Olympics: ‘We are all a team working for the betterment of Canadian Swimming on a world level’ – but behind the scenes he has a totally different agenda: My way or the highway.
He has a history of making questionable decisions.. His 2nd most recent: Not officially naming a female coach to the Beijing Olympic Team…

I also have to wonder with Canada’s performance at the past Olympics (Memo to Swim Canada: Most of those medals came from Ben’s squad). How much money did Swim Canada receive from the Own the Podium Program? If this is a money issue – I’m sure Ben… Read more »

Reply to  Swim or Die
1 year ago

John Atkinson, Martyn Whilby, Mark Perry, are just a few to be named. But this buffoonery is bleeding into Swim Ontarios provincial body and its workings as well. It is an absolute dumpster fire here.

Go, Summer, go!
1 year ago

Is it possible that his participation in ISL had lead to such outcome, I wonder? He was helping his athletes, even travelling with them. It’s known that Swim Canada is skeptical about ISL and even consider prohibiting carded athletes to participate in it…

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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