Shannon Rollason resigns from leadership role at Denmark’s National Training Center

Shannon Rollason, the highly-respected swimming coach who has overseen Denmark’s explosion of talent the past two seasons, will resign as coach of the National Training Center at the end of 2014.

Rollason informed the Danish Swimming Federation of his plans to resign from the job following this December’s Short Course World Championships. Rollason cited family reasons for his resignation, and will move back to his native Australia to be closer to his family.

Rollason took over the National Training Center in Denmark in the spring of 2013. In just under a year and a half, his swimmers have blown up on the international stage. Rollason’s training group includes world record-holder Rikke Moller Pedersen, who won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the European Championships this summer, Euros 100 fly champ Jeanette Ottesen and gold medal-winning medley relay anchor Pernille Blume.

The Danish Swimming Federation announced the move today. You can find their release on the subject (in Danish) here. It appears this move comes as a shock to the federation, which had Rollason under contract through the 2016 Olympics. Still, federation representatives expressed their understanding that family needs take precedence over professional requirements.

A rough translation of Danish Swimming Director Pia Holmen‘s statement:

We have to admit that Shannon’s dismissal was certainly not part of the plan up to Rio 2016 At the same time we must respect the fact that private interests may affect the professional life, and it has unfortunately been the case here. We are now starting to find solutions so that we continue to have an optimal set-up around the swimmers at the national training center NTC.

For now, it appears the National Training Center coaching role will be taken over by Stefan Hansen, currently an assistant at the NTC, when Rollason leaves in December. Denmark won 6 gold medals at the European Championships this past summer, the second-highest total of any nation.

Click this link to read a feature piece we reported on Rollason last summer.

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6 years ago


Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  triguy
6 years ago

That is what I immediately thought but it could be the QLD mentor coach . The end of 2014 is too far away for James .

6 years ago

Very disappointing news, but he can’t be blamed for putting his family first.

I know my wife found adjusting to Danish culture quite difficult after moving from the UK, so I imagine compared to Australia it’s even harder (and the Danish weather doesn’t help either…)

Not sure where Denmark goes from here, this will be a difficult time for the NTC swimmers. Jeanette Ottesen has said she is totally shocked, and that he is the best coach she has worked with and it will be very difficult to find a replacement.

Let’s hope the excellent showing in Berlin can help to attract a world class replacement.


Tania Pine
6 years ago

Come home Shannon. We love and need you.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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