Published: Mar 20, 2013 04:49:45 PM Updated: Apr 22, 2013 01:42:37 PM
Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold has confirmed that Leigh Nugent will stand down from the position of Head Coach, with an Interim Head Coach to be appointed and in place before the Australian Championships starting on April 26.
In a mutual decision between Nugent and the board of Swimming Australia, Nettlefold said the 61-year-old will take an extended break from the organisation before returning in a youth development and coach mentor role.
A former National Youth Coach who first took on the Head Coach position in 2003, Nugent was in charge of the team for Australia’s most successful Olympics outside of Australia, winning seven gold medals, five silver and three bronze in Athens in 2004.
He was appointed Head Coach again in 2010 where the Australian Swim Team won a staggering 54 medals, including 22 gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Having coached Australia at two Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific Championships and the World Championships, Nugent said it has been a tough decision to stand aside, but it’s the right one.
“The role of Head Coach is both physically and mentally demanding and has evolved so much since I first took over the reins in 2003,” said Nugent.
“The time is right for me to step aside and let someone else take over. It’s been an honour and a privilege to coach the Australian Swim Team at the highest level, and I’m just pleased that I’m able to stay involved in the sport that I love,” said Nugent.
“I have every confidence that our elite swimmers and coaches will embrace the challenge of returning our sport to the lofty heights that we are capable of, and if I can play a small part in that from a development sense, then I will.”
The Australian Swimming Championships will be held at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre from April 26 to May 3.