Swimming Australia announced this week that it has extended the contract of National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren through the next Olympic cycle ending in 2020.
Verhaeren was named Australia’s National Head Coach in 2013, on the heels of a disappointing London Olympics for the nation, traditionally a swimming powerhouse. With the new extension, Verhaeren will be leading the nation’s swimming program for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games as well as the next Olymics, to be held in Tokyo in 2020.
In between, he’ll lead the Australia Dolphins at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, the 2019 World Championships in South Korea and the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships in 2018.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson had high praise for Verhaeren in the swimming federation’s press release announcing the extension:
“On making the appointment in 2013 we were all confident that Jacco would add a lot of value to our Australian Dolphins Swim Team and our high performance unit, and he has absolutely delivered on these expectations over the past two years.
Jacco’s vision has been embraced by our coaches, athletes and staff. He has a style that brings people along with him on the journey. We believe that there is much more that we wish to achieve and that Jacco is the individual to lead that process in his role as National Head Coach,” Anderson stated.
“The results on the international stage, along with the cultural changes, including the establishment of shared team values and a visionary leadership group, are evidence that the team is progressing and moving in the right direction for Rio and beyond.
Jacco’s role combined with the expertise and contribution of the management team headed up by the General Manager, Wayne Lomas have created a united team and a high performance culture both in and out of the pool,” Anderson said.
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand said that Verhaeren’s knowledge and experience are invaluable to the Australian team.
“On behalf of the board we are absolutely delighted with the way Jacco has worked with the swimmers, coaches and staff. It is clear in Jacco we have a Head Coach who is respected and knowledgeable and will complement and strengthen the direction of the Dolphins,” Bertrand said.
“I am looking forward to seeing the momentum he has built continue as we approach Rio and then through to 2020. Within Swimming Australia, our aspirational vision is world best practice in everything we do. Jacco is absolutely key in this exciting journey.”
Verhaeren expressed his excitement and gratitude in the same release:
“In Australia I am very fortunate to be able to work with some of the best coaches and swimmers in the world, to be given the opportunity to extend my work with the team is a great honour. I want to challenge and inspire our team to achieve its goals, both short and long term,” Verhaeren said.
“After working with the team for almost two years now I am excited with the prospects of the future and how I can continue to support the development of coaches, staff, athletes and the high performance system to stay or become world class, respected both in and out of the pool.”
“On a personal note I can say that I am humbled by this opportunity offered by Swimming Australia well before the conclusion of this Olympic cycle. And my family, who are really enjoying this adventure as well, is also very happy to be able to extend our stay in Australia.”