By Stephen J. Thomas
MELBOURNE, Australia, November 10. JUST a couple of weeks back Canadian-born swim coach Jim Fowlie announced he and his wife Lynn were again leaving their homeland to return to Australia. Fowlie had held the position of head coach at the PacificSport National Training Center in Victoria for the past four years. It has now been confirmed that Fowlie will take up the newly created position of High Performance Coach of the Nunawading Swim club in Melbourne’s East in early December.
The Nunawading Club was rocked with the news early last month that its head coach Mark Thompson had been charged with several counts of sexual assault with a person under 16 and had taken leave from the club until the matter has been resolved. Leigh Nugent, the current National Youth Coach, and another former coach from the highly regarded club, had been filling in with the training duties in a squad that includes Athens Olympians Brooke Hanson and Melissa Morgan.
Fowlie left Canada in 1992 to spend a decade as a senior coach at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, successfully guiding a number of leading Aussie swimmers including Todd Pearson, Bill Kirby, Adam Pine and Scott Goodman.
Since his departure from the AIS, Fowlie’s 25-year-old son John has followed in his father's footsteps and has proven a more than capable coach at Australia’s key swimming facility. John Fowlie was part of the Aussie World Champs team earlier this year and had particular success with breaststroker Jade Edmistone who took the gold medal in a world record time over the 50 distance in Montreal. He has also been nominated for Australian Coach of the Year alongside Denis Cotterell and Stephan Widmer. The honor will be announced this month.