By Ian Hanson
SYDNEY, Australia, March 16. LEIGH Nugent, the man who steered Australia to its best off-shore Olympics in Athens in 2004, has been appointed Australia's new head coach for the 2012 Olympics in a deal that could see him take the reigns until Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Nugent takes over the position following the unfortunate departure of successful 2008 Olympic head coach Alan Thompson, who accepted a redundancy earlier this year.
Thompson and Nugent had worked hand-in-hand to plot the best pathways for Australian Swimmers since Thompson's appointment leading up to the 2005 Montreal World Championships.
The 59-year-old Nugent has been Australia's National Youth Coach for the past nine years – steering the youth of the sport towards on an elite pathway.
Swimming Australia is fortunate to have such a well respected, well credentialed replacement for Thompson.
Nugent's first assignments will be to lead the Dolphins to this year's Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai.