According to Dutch site NuSport.NL, Jacco Verhaeren will be announced as the new head coach of Swimming Australia on Thursday.
Verhaeren takes the new position less than a year after he stepped off deck at the club PSV Eindhoven to become the Technical Director for the Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB), a job he was signed to hold through the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Verhaeren is best known for coaching some of the Netherlands’ top performers, including Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who won the gold medals in both the 50 and the 100 free at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Now, he’ll head down under to take over one of the highest-paying national team jobs in the country, Swimming Australia, where it’s been rumored that huge salaries have been offered to lure in some of the best coaches from around the world.
Leigh Nugent, the former National Team coach, was fired in March after a year of turmoil and what many perceived to be a failure at the Olympic Games. He was immediately replaced by the combination of Michael Bohl and Rohan Taylor, who agreed to temporarily fill the role while a full search was conducted.
Among those who were talked to for the job is University of Florida head coach Gregg Troy.
Troy, who among his many globally-successful athletes coached Ryan Lochte and Elizabeth Beisel to medals at the 2012 Olympics, confirms that he had conversations about the job:
”I did have some conversations with Swimming Australia, but I withdrew my name from consideration. I considered it a tremendous honor to be identified as a possible candidate because of the high quality of work and the history of that program. However, I felt that being on deck at the University of Florida is what I really enjoyed doing and that I preferred to stay here. I plan on being the head coach of the Gators for a long time. I love it here.”
Other sources we’ve spoken to said that Troy was one of Swimming Australia’s top three choices for the job.