13 Jul 2016

NZ swimming gets new coach

10:39 am on 13 July 2016

American Jerry Olszewski will become Swimming New Zealand's new national coach from September.

New Zealand swimmer Lauren Boyle.

New Zealand swimmer Lauren Boyle. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He will take over from Clive Power, who has been the acting head coach for the past year.

Power is unavailable for next month's Olympics, with Gary Hurring to coach the New Zealand team at the Rio Games.

Olszewski has been coaching at the top club level in the United States for more than 25 years and is currently head coach and chief executive of the Arizona Gold Swimming organisation he founded.

He was formerly head coach at Scottsdale Aquatic Club and King Aquatic Club near Seattle.

Olszewski has focussed primarily on the development of swimmers through to college level, and has been responsible for identifying and developing a significant number of swimmers to Olympic Trials, US and other national teams and to Olympic medals.

There were five swimmers from his club in the recent US Olympic Trials, one on the American team and two others on foreign national teams.

"We believe Jerry's credentials ideally fit the needs for high performance swimming in New Zealand," said Swimming New Zealand chief executive Christian Renford.

Olszewski said he is excited to take on the role and move to New Zealand.

"It's a real honour but I am under no illusions that it is a significant challenge and I hope to bring some of the things that have been successful for me into the New Zealand environment," he said.

He said his five key mantras are team culture, expectation, consistency, work ethic and attention to detail.

"I want to set the expectation of what the group brings to each individual and what each individual brings to the group. I will be setting expectations and not settling for anything less than their best.

"Obviously I am looking forward to working with some great staff and also with swim clubs and coaches around New Zealand to help create an environment where we can develop successful swimmers and good young people for years and Olympiads to come."

The arrival of a new head coach has also signalled realignment within the high performance team at Swimming New Zealand.

Gary Hurring, after returning from his role as head coach at the Rio Olympics, will provide a single point of accountability for the Integrated Athlete Development pathway focus area as the High Performance Athlete Development Coach.

Donna Bouzaid will focus on her role as Director of Coaching.