Bill Furniss Named British Swimming Olympic Head Coach

Bill Furniss
Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Great Britain’s Olympic swim team will be led by renowned coach Bill Furniss next year, British Swimming announced today. Furniss will have six assistant coaches working with him in Rio de Janeiro, all of whom are likely to have some of their personal swimmers on the trip as well.

Furniss is largely known for guiding Rebecca Adlington to two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. Less than a year after what was deemed a disappointing showing at the home Olympics in 2012, Great Britain named Furniss as the national team head coach.

His assistant coaches include two well-known Olympians who became successful coaches. Melanie Marshall has been named British Swimming’s top coach for the past two years, the first female to do so. She helped Adam Peaty to two world records and two individual world titles in a span of two years. James Gibson was one of Great Britain’s top breaststrokers, and now runs the team at Loughborough where the likes of Fran Halsall and Liam Tancock train.

Jolyon Finck, who saw his top swimmer James Guy win the 200 free at this year’s world championships, will be another strong assistant coach for Team GB next year. David McNulty is also set to serve as assistant coach, and hopes his top charge Michael Jamieson will return to the team to improve on his 2012 silver medal in the 200 breast.

Ben Higson brought Ross Murdoch back from illness in late 2014 to a spot on the world championship team in 2015. That led to a surprise bronze medal in the 100 breast, almost a year after Murdoch won the Commonwealth Games title in the 200 breast. Russ Barber rounds out the list of pool assistant coaches, and could have Nicholas Grainger on the team as part of the 800 free relay that will be looking to add Olympic champion to the world title from 2015.

Serving as the two coaches for the marathon swimmers will be Kevin Renshaw and Laurel Bailey.

“Early selection gives us an opportunity to plan more effectively and build relationships ahead of time to ensure we can support athletes and their home coaches to successfully integrate them into the national team programme,” said National Team Director Chris Spice in British Swimming’s announcement.

Remaining support staff for British Olympic swim team:
Team Leader: Chris Spice (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
Team Manager: Dawn Peart (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
Marathon Lead: Bernie Dietzig
Media Manager: Dave Richards (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
Head of Sports Science Sports Medicine: Karl Cooke
Doctor: Dr Jon Greenwell (Pool and Marathon Swimming)
Physiotherapists: Carl Butler, Rhys Shorney, Jane Carre, Louise Imrie (Marathon Swimming)
Strength and Conditioning: John Watson
Performance Scientists: Mike Peyrebrune, Ben Holliss, Clare Lobb
Nutritionist: Nigel Mitchell


  1. Jeremy Cooper

    Best man for the job !

  2. avatar
    Paul Robbins

    This a great team full of an outstanding band ol leaders to elite athletes.

  3. avatar
    Keith Brown

    No psychologist. Haven’t learnt that lesson from London.