By Phillip Whitten
CANBERRA, Australia, March 26. PIERRE La Fontaine, former head coach of the Phoenix Swim Club was appointed today to be head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport's swimming program.
In that position he will oversee the training and development of Australia's elite swimmers in the lead-up to next year's Olympic Games in Athens. La Fontaine had been acting head coach for the last several months, ever since Mark Regan resigned abruptly. Regan has since taken the top coaching position in Denmark.
Before moving to the AIS last year, La Fontaine had been head coach of the Phoenix Swim Club (PSC) in Arizona. PSC swimmers Gary Hall, Jr., Anthony Ervin and Klete Keller won eight medals at the Sydney Olympics. Before that he had coached at the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta and several clubs in his native Canada.
AIS director Michael Scott said La Fontaine's appointment gave the stability needed to the swimming program, which boasts Olympians including Petria
Thomas, Sarah Ryan, Justin Norris, Adam Pine and Reagan Harrison.
La Fontaine said he was delighted with the opportunity to continue work at the AIS.
"I've been fortunate in my career to oversee some incredible swimmers," he said.
"The AIS gives me the opportunity to help talents like Petria Thomas, Justin Norris and Sarah Ryan reach their potential and their goals."