After a year serving as head coach of Swimming New Zealand, Jerry Olszewski has announced his resignation from that post.
Olszewski was named the new Swimming NZ head coach last July, and officially took over for Clive Power in September of 2016. Incidentally, Power was only head coach for about a year before he relinquished his duties and handed over the reigns to Olszewski.
Olszewski served as head coach and CEO of Arizona Gold Swimming in the Phoenix area prior to his stint in New Zealand. His son Ben currently swims for Arizona State University and is just starting his sophomore year there. He cited family reasons for his stepping down from the NZ role.
“This has not been an easy decision for Jerry but we respect his decision and he leaves with our full support and best wishes,” said Swimming NZ CEO Steve Johns.
In the meantime, Olszewski’s assistant Matt Woose will take over on an interim basis. According to NZ-based news agency Newshub, this is the seventh coach in as many years to cycle through the head coach position at Swimming NZ. They’ve also had some other administrative turnover, as Christian Renford, the CEO who was in power when Olszewski was hired last year, has been replaced by Johns.
SNZ Chairman Bruce Cotterill said “It’s one of those genuine family cases. Jerry’s got elderly parents who have taken a turn for the worse, and he was down in New Zealand feeling guilty – like we all would – in those circumstances.
“It’s regrettable because we like him, but it does highlight the risk of employing people from overseas sometimes when things occur that prompt them to reconsider [their position].
“If it happened the year before the Olympics it’d be a setback, but at the moment we’ve just had a world championships with mixed results. It would’ve been good if he’d stayed, but the timing is not absolutely critical.”