SWANSEA, Great Britain, January 14. SOME big changes will occur in Welsh Swimming as American coach Bud McAllister has chosen to end seven years of service with Swansea, and is headed to coach in Australia according to a variety of media reports out of the U.K.
McAllister, best known for having coached American Janet Evans, released a statement regarding the change.
“My time in Swansea has been a great experience,” McAllister said. “It is by far the best coaching position I have had in my career and I am grateful to all the people along the way that have helped me during that time as I move on to the next chapter in my career.”
During his time in Swansea, McAllister coached Jemma Lowe, Georgia Davies and Jazz Carlin to international stardom, with Carlin just missing a medal at the 2013 World Championships with a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle.
The move was precipitated by British Swimming pulling funding from Swansea as an Olympic and Paralympic training center. Welsh Swimming, however, has filled the void with the Wales National Pool in Swansea now being the home of the new Welsh Swimming National Performance Centre.
Davies and Lowe had already decided to move training bases, but Carlin is looking to remain with the new announcement. Billy Pye, who has coached Paralympian Ellie Simmonds to greatness and is an elite swim coach in his own right, has now joined Welsh Swimming and will be part of a new coaching staff moving forward.
“I believe this will bring a better programme for elite and performance swimming in Wales,” said Martyn Woodroffe, Swim Wales National Performance Director. “We can now invest directly in our own structure, which gives us greater flexibility and the opportunities of developing more Welsh swimming talent. I think the proof is there by having a first class coaching team supporting all our groups. We have some excellent talent here such as Jazz Carlin, Jack Thomas and Morgyn Peters. We’re looking to extend the numbers we have at the moment and we now have stability with the centre that can help us move forward. We will also fit with the British pathway so we feed athletes into the Great Britain system and provide the best possible training and coaching for those capable of winning medals at the very highest level.”
Carlin reacted publicly via her Twitter feed @JazzCarlin, explaining her thoughts about the move.
“A couple of days ago, I received some bad news, my coach is moving to Australia at the end of February. I was really devastated,” Carlin tweeted. “My priority and focus is still the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year. My time will be spent in Swansea and Australia for the build up. I’ve been so lucky to have had my coach for the past seven years, and I will be working harder than ever for Glasgow! Thank you for the support.”