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Volkers Appointed Head Coach of Aussie Women's Team -- October 18, 2002

SYDNEY, Oct 18. SCOTT Volkers was appointed as the new head coach of the Australian women's swim team today, exactly one month after he was cleared of sexual misconduct charges involving former swimmers.

Swimming Australia also announced that Sydney University-based Brian Sutton had been selected as the new national men's coach, beating Doug Frost, Ian's Thorpe's former coach, for the post.

Volkers and Sutton will be in charge of preparing the Australian team for next year's World Championships in Barcelona and the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"We are confident that these two coaches will provide Australian Swimming with the leadership and inspiration for what is the most prestigious campaigns in swimming," Swimming Australia president John Devitt said.

Volkers, best known as coach of Australia's Olympic and world champion Susie O'Neill and former world champion Sam Riley, was widely expected to get the women's job once the indecency charges against him were dropped last month.

He had been suspended from his position with the Queensland Academy of Sport after he was charged with seven counts of indecent behavior toward three girls under the age of 16 whom he coached in the early 1980s.
But the 43-year-old father of two always maintained his innocence and was finally cleared in September when the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions office dropped all the charges.

Volkers said he was delighted to be back on the pool deck in the lead-up to Athens. "Coaching is my passion," he said. "Believe you me, I will be doing everything in my power to prepare these athletes to the best of my ability."