Swimming Canada named Martyn Wilby as the new interim head coach at its High Performance Centre – Vancouver on Thursday, taking over the role previously held by Brad Dingey.
Wilby, a Swimming Canada Senior Coach, has been the head coach of the Canadian team at every major international championship meet since joining the organization in early 2017, and will remain in his new role as HPC – Vancouver head coach through this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
Most recently, Wilby led the Canadian team to its most successful showing ever at the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December, leading the team to seven gold and 15 total medals.
Swimming Canada also announced the appointment of world-leading sport scientist Tom Vandenbogaerde to the role of Performance Scientist Coach, in partnership with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific.
Swimming Canada revamps HPC-Vancouver with coaching change, performance scientist coachhttps://t.co/rQxjR7nezF
Réorganisation au CHP-Vancouver de Natation Canada : changement d’entraineur et embauche d’un spécialiste de la performancehttps://t.co/ztKZwxtONm pic.twitter.com/VjmkSoWpRw
— Swimming Canada / Natation Canada (@SwimmingCanada) January 27, 2022
Prior to joining Swimming Canada, Wilby spent 19 years as an associate head coach at the University of Florida, working alongside former U.S. Olympic coach Gregg Troy.
“I have worked to progress opportunities for our athletes since I began working with Swimming Canada,” Wilby told Swimming Canada. “I am now looking forward to getting on deck and working with the athletes, staff, coaches in Vancouver and ultimately progressing their performance into 2022 and beyond.”
While training his athletes at HPC – Vancouver, Wilby will continue to play a key role on Canadian national teams.
“The time is right for a strategic shift at the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Vancouver, based at UBC,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “In order to build on the national team results at the last two Olympic Games, we envision a strong centre in Vancouver as we move toward the 2024 Games in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles.”
“Coaching and staffing appointments at HPC-Vancouver will be key to progressing the program toward the ultimate performance level at the Olympic Games,” added High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “We recently announced the appointment of Coach Mandy Bell to serve as the program’s assistant coach and she will work alongside Wilby in the new team structure.”
As for Dingey, he was only in his role as head coach at HPC – Vancouver for 17 months, having taken over in August 2020. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the nearby HPC – Victoria program from late 2019 until it closed down in the summer of 2020.
In 2021, Dingey led open water swimmers Hau-Li Fan and Kate Sanderson to Olympic berth in the men’s and women’s 10km marathon swimming events in Tokyo, respectively. Despite being the head coach of Canada’s only two open water swimmers, Dingey was not named the country’s head open water coach in Tokyo.
Swimming Canada didn’t address the reasoning for Dingey’s departure directly but did thank him for his time with the program.
“Swimming Canada thanks Brad for his contributions to the organization in his various roles and wishes him the best in the future,” Atkinson said.
When asked for further details on the change, a Swimming Canada spokesperson said: “We want to maximize resources and set up the structure and opportunities for athletes to improve performance there. We’re focusing on how to best build that centre for the future.”