Denmark Hires First Danish-Born Head National Team Coach in 15 Years

The Danish Swimming Federation announced Stefan Hansen as its new head coach on Monday, filling the gap left by the resignation of Dean Boles late last year. Boles, who joined Swimming Denmark in 2015, left to return to his native Canada,

The hiring i s a homecoming of sorts for Hansen, who was the head coach at the National Training Center in Denmark from 2013-2016. In 2016, he left to take over as the head coach at the Berlin National Training Center in Germany.

“I am looking very much forward to returning to the cooperation with colleagues in the Danish Swimming Federation and becoming part of the team again,” Hansen said of his return. “I have enjoyed standing on the pool edge every day and being responsible for the development of the performance of individual swimmers, but I am now looking forward to being present on the pool edge in a completely different way and to contributing to the good development which has characterised Danish swimming sport for several years.”

The 37-year old Hansen has served as the head coach in Denmark at the Swimming Club Triton in Ballerup, Genntofte Swimming Club, and Gladsaxe Swimming Club in addition to his stint at the National Training Center.

Hansen will begin work as national team coach on April 1st, 2019. High Performance Manager Lars Green Bach indicated that the federation has brought Hansen in to continue the already-laid plans for this summer’s World Championships and the 2020 Olympic Games, rather than any kind of a drastic overhaul.

More significantly for the domestic politics of swimming, Hansen will be the first Danish-born head coach of the Danish National Team since 2003 – more than 15 years.

  • From Australia – Mark Regan – head coach 2003-2008
  • From the Netherlands – Paulus Wildeboer – head coach 2008-2013
  • From Britain – Nick Juba – head coach 2013-2016
  • From Canada – Dean Boels – head coach 2016-2018
  • From Denmark – Stefan Hansen – head coach from April 2019

The last Danish-flagged coach of the Denmark National Team was Michael Andersen.

Hansen, in his return home to Denmark, deals another blow to the leadership of German Swimming, which in the past 6 weeks has seen the resignation of both its National Team head coach Henning Lambertz and the president of the federation Gabi DörriesThe federation plans to fill the gap to Tokyo with a think-tank of German coaches, rather than a single national team coach. Hansen, as head of the training center in Berlin, was likely to be included in that group.

Full Danish Press Release:

New National Coach for Danish Swimmers

The Danish Swimming Federation has concluded an agreement with Stefan Hansen who will return to Danish swimming sport as new national coach.

It is with great pleasure that the Danish Swimming Federation can announce that the vacant position as national coach has already been filled. Stefan Hansen, who is a familiar face in Danish swimming, has been chosen for the job.

– I am very pleased that it has been possible to get Stefan Hansen back home to Denmark as new national coach. Stefan has a deep insight into and experience from international high performance swimming from Denmark and Germany, and I am sure that this will be a benefit to Danish swimming, says High Performance Manager Lars Green Bach.

Stefan Hansen has for many years worked with some of the most talented swimmers in Denmark and abroad, for example as coach at the National Training Center (NTC) from 2013 to 2016. Over the last two years, Stefan Hansen has been head coach at Bundesstützpunkt Berlin, which corresponds to NTC in Denmark. For this reason, he looks forward to returning home to Denmark and the Danish swimmers:

– I am looking very much forward to returning to the cooperation with colleagues in the Danish Swimming Federation and becoming part of the team again. I have enjoyed standing on the pool edge every day and being responsible for the development of the performance of individual swimmers, but I am now looking forward to being present on the pool edge in a completely different way and to contributing to the good development which has characterised Danish swimming sport for several years.

Further development of the strategic platform is still the most important task

Only a few weeks after Dean Boles’ departure from Danish swimming sport in mid-December last year, the vacant position as national coach has been filled. Still, High Performance Manager Lars Green Bach is convinced that Stefan Hansen is the right choice for the position.

– With Stefan, we get a national coach who has obtained international experience from the Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships through the last 5 1/2 years. In addition to this, he has a deep insight into Danish clubs and the Danish training environments. Stefan also knows the background for the Danish Swimming Federation’s strategic platform for development of Danish swimming, and he shares the training philosophy which we work with on the national teams and at NTC in Copenhagen, says High Performance Manager Lars Green Bach.

Thus, expectations are high when Stefan Hansen starts working as national coach on 1st April and, among other things, gets the overall responsibility for the sporting performance at both the World Championships this summer in Korea and the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

– One of Stefan’s main tasks will be the realisation of existing plans for the period leading up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and at the same time a contribution to the continuous implementation of the Danish Swimming Federation’s strategy and action plan “From proud results two new common ambitions”. I am convinced that Stefan, with his background, will have a good and fruitful cooperation with the national team swimmers as well as coaches in the clubs, and that he can help fulfil our mission at the NTC to keep our national team swimmers at the highest international level, says High Performance Manager Lars Green Bach.    

International experience is worth its weight in gold for Denmark

The Danish Swimming Federation’s recruitment of the new national coach is the result of a close cooperation with Team Denmark. Lone Hansen, CEO of the Danish Elite Sports Organisation Team Denmark, considers Stefan Hansen the right match for the Danish Swimming Federation which is one of the world class federations of Team Denmark.

– Already at an early stage in his career, Stefan focused on developing his competences in an international context, and we need coaches for the best athletes with the courage and ability to take part in training the elites of other nations. Stephan is returning to Denmark with a lot of experience as international coach at the top level in Germany. The experience and knowledge which he has acquired as coach and manager of an elitist set-up in another country will certainly be valuable when he finds himself on the pool edge again, says Lone Hansen, CEO of Team Denmark, and adds:

– We have a relatively short time before the Olympic Games in 2020, and that’s why it is really great that Stefan is able to support the daily training and strategic work from day one – and, in addition, with new inspiration. We are looking forward to seeing him become part of the close cooperation which Team Denmark has with the swimmers, coaches and the Danish Swimming Federation, says Lone Hansen.

Stefan Hansen: I have high expectations of myself

Stefan Hansen will not only be responsible for good results at the important championships when he takes up the job in April. He will also be in charge of the cooperation between the Danish Swimming Federation and Danish swimming clubs regarding a strong international high-performance environment. This is a task which Stefan Hansen is looking forward to.

– I have high expectations of myself in the sense that I will perform the job professionally. We need to have the courage to think differently when needed, but I am primarily planning to get involved in the further development of Danish swimming sport. I am looking very much forward to beginning the hard work behind the scenes where I will help making sure that Danish swimmers and coaches have optimal conditions to perform at the highest international level, says Stefan Hansen and adds:

– There is already a clear strategy for Danish swimming sport towards 2020 – a strategy which I helped preparing at the beginning – and I have no doubt that I will be happy with this strategy and that both swimmers and coaches can continue their good work towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo without having to worry about Danish swimming sport heading in a different direction here and now.

Facts about the new national coach

37-year-old Stefan Hansen has trained several of the best Danish swimmers, including Pernille Blume before she went to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and won a gold medal. For the last 17 years, Stefan Hansen has been employed as head coach in several Danish swimming clubs, such as the Swimming Club Triton in Ballerup, Gentofte Swimming Club and Gladsaxe Swimming Club as well as coach at the NTC from 2013 to 2016. Stefan Hansen also has an educational background from Skaarup College and an athletic training education (Coach Diploma and ITA (Sport Coach Academy)).

Since 2017, Stefan Hansen has been employed as head coach at Bundesstützpunkt Berlin (BSP). In addition to the daily training, he has, among other things, also been responsible for recruiting swimmers for BSP Berlin both locally and nationally, and he has assisted the German Swimming Federation in achieving a better coherence between the swimming clubs and BSP Berlin.

 

Stefan Hansen takes up his position as national coach on 1st April 2019.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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