Kiefer, Thompson Earn Swimming Canada Coach of the Year Honors

Continued international success from their swimmers has led Linda Kiefer and Mike Thompson to being named Swimming Canada’s Coaches of the Year for 2019.

Kiefer, the longtime assistant at the University of Toronto, wins the award for a third straight year as she helped Kylie Masse successfully defend her World Championship title in the women’s 100 backstroke.

Masse was also named Swimming Canada’s Female Swimmer of the Year for a third straight year.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” Kiefer told Swimming Canada. “But this is a shared award for both Byron (Macdonald, U of T head coach) and myself. It was a very good year. Certainly, Kylie getting her hand on the wall for that gold medal in the 100 back at worlds, that was amazing.”

Masse also won bronze in Gwangju in the 200 back and the women’s 4×100 medley relay.

Kiefer was also pleased with how the U of T program as a whole has developed over the past year.

“We had seven swimmers on the FISU Games team last summer, two on the junior national team, and we have one girl on the Estonian national team who went to worlds as well. Add another 35 or so varsity athletes, keeps us busy.”

For Thompson, this was his first Swimming Canada award.

The head coach of Montreal’s High-Performance Centre – Quebec, six of his athletes earned eight podium finishes at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London, including two gold medals from Aurelie Rivard. Rivard was also named Swimming Canada’s female Para Swimmer of the Year for a fourth time.

“I’m an Aurelie Rivard fan and I’ll always be,” said Thompson. “She joined us in 2017 and really bought in. Tess (Routliffe) had some of the gutsiest performances at worlds. And James (Leroux) coming back from not making the Pan Pac team in 2018 to win a silver medal was pretty amazing.

“Watching our group grow as people, become better racers and develop things in their personal lives makes me the proudest. I love these guys and they make me proud every day.”

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I know I will probably be railed on this, but why is it , in the one example here that a Coach of the year is based on having One excellent swimmer? An excellent swimmer that could have been coached by several people and been successful. I always thought that an excellent award winning coach should be based on a larger base of success, for example the Texas A & M university coach. I know different countries and many more swimmers but coaching very few swimmers that have performed at a high level of years is not in my opinion an Award winning coach. She has been at University of Toronto for approximately 30 + years , how many Olympic… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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