Jon Rudd Leaves Plymouth for Ireland Performance Director Role

Swim Ireland has appointed Jon Rudd, the personal coach of Ruta Meilutyte and Ben Proud at Plymouth College, as their new High Performance Director.

His most recent splash was leading an unknown 15-year old Meilutyte to the 2012 Olympic gold medal, and eventually a World Record in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke. An elbow injury derailed her progress to Rio, but she’s still regarded as one of the best breaststrokers in the world.

His other recent success is with Ben Proud, a 21-year old who has broken the British Record in the 50 free and 50 fly in long course and short course meters.

“The Plymouth College High Performance Swimming Programme has been the perfect preparation for my new role as Performance Director with Swim Ireland.” Rudd said. “Success at this level can only achieved with an excellent team. At Plymouth College, I have been especially fortunate to work with many of the best swim coaches, strength & conditioning staff and facilities available. I am sure Plymouth College will continue to be the first choice for students wishing to hone their swimming talent while receiving an outstanding education. After eleven years, I will certainly miss coaching these wonderful students, and will miss the 5.00am coaching sessions slightly less. I have always aspired to develop a National Team and I am delighted that Swim Ireland have afforded me this opportunity.”

Rudd has worked as the senior head coach for both British Swimming and English Swimming and twice has been named the British Swimming Coach of the Year. He’s also currently the chairman of the British Swim Coaches’ Association.

Swim Ireland’s goals:

After a review of the performance framework earlier in 2016 Swim Ireland has put in place a restructured programme for 2017 and beyond. The revised framework sets out a vision of a long-term, systemic approach to achieving consistent medal success at Olympic and World level. The framework is centered on the people within the system – athletes, coaches, support staff and administrators – and focuses on developing a culture of personal excellence that builds their capability to operate successfully at the highest levels of World Sport.

Swim Ireland is also recruiting for a Head Coach, which will make the first time in the history of the organization that Ireland will have both a head coach and a National Performance Director in place at the same time.

Arguably the two best-known coaches in Britain have now changed jobs since the Olympics. Mel Marshall, coach of electrifying breaststroker Adam Peaty, moved from Derby to Loughborough earlier this month.


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It is Ruta’s bad luck to loose mother at four, to have abnormally hard childhood, to be an immigrant at her teens without language and friends and to have a coach who had no idea of what kind of incredibly rear brilliant talent he got lucky to deal with. He blamed publicly on Ruta all problems that she went through, taking no personal responsibility. Now it is Ireland swimming’s bad luck.



You forget to mention Ruta only swam breaststroke because Jon Rudd saw the potential in her stroke and pushed her that way – She was an out-and-out freestyler (adamantly) when she went to Plymouth. He leaves her as an Olympic, World & European Champion, and a multiple world record holder in a stroke she had never swum before Jon took her on.


Prickle where did you get that view? Imo Rudd did an excellent job with Rute who came to him as a decent breastroker at 13 ( 1.14) & within 2 years Rudd smoothed the stroke out , gave it timing & the strength program to keep it all together . Rute was a naturally strong girl who could have sickled her way through turnip fields in a peasant smock but fate & the GBs desperate need for east euro aged care workers brought her to UK . Plymouth had the previous exp of bringing in the African 50 & 100 record holder & giving her a scholarship .( This ungrateful person slammed GB swimming even though it ga e her… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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