Chris Mooney To Spearhead Bond University After Tokyo Glory; Kaylee McKeown’s Future Is Undecided

DECISIONS DECISIONS: Chris Mooney has taken over as Head Coach at Bond University..but will Kaylee McKeown follow him to the Gold Coast? Photo courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Chris Mooney To Spearhead Bond University After Tokyo Glory; Kaylee McKeown’s Future Is Undecided

Chris Mooney, the man who steered Kaylee McKeown to triple gold at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, has been appointed as the new Head Swimming Coach at Bond University on Queensland’s Gold Coast – but it remains to be seen whether his golden girl will join him.

Chris Mooney whistle

ON THE MOVE: Chris Mooney will head back to the Gold Coast to become Head Coach at Bond University Swimming. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Mooney has been the Head Coach of the successful USC Spartans Swimming program at the University of the Sunshine Coast for the past six years and takes over at Bond following the departure of Richard Scarce to Rackley Swimming’s Miami Swimming Club.

McKeown, who along with Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus, became the golden girls of Australia’s most successful Olympic campaign in Tokyo, said she and Mooney had spoken about the move but she had made no decisions about her future.

“Chris and I are very close and we have achieved a great amount together on the Sunshine Coast at USC and he will be a great asset to the Bond program,” McKeown said.

kaylee mckeown, olympics, Jul 31, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Kaylee McKeown (AUS) celebrates after winning the women's 200m backstroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

TRIUMPHANT: Tokyo golden girl Kaylee McKeown. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

“We have talked about it and will continue to talk…now that I have arrived back in Australia after the Olympics and have some break time and time out of the water to carefully consider what is best for me and my swimming moving forward.

“I have not made any decisions as yet and will keep talking with the people close to me to make the very best decisions. I am due back in the water in 7-8 weeks or so and will make my decisions during that time.”

Mooney said he is excited to have the opportunity to take over the reins at Bond saying: “There is some unbelievable talent in the Bond program.

“We have three years of opportunity (until the 2024 Olympics) and we want to make that daily training environment the best it can be.

“There will be no pressure on the results, there’ll be just a little bit of pressure on the process to make sure we get those day-to-day things right.”

The Bond move will be a homecoming for Mooney who began his coaching career on the Gold Coast under master coach Denis Cotterell.

He then gained experience in the acclaimed US college system as a coach at the University of Hawaii before being appointed Head Swimming Coach at the Spartans.

Mooney also coached at the 2016 Rio Games, where Kaylee’s sister Taylor McKeown won silver in the 4x100m medley relay and in Tokyo where he steered Kaylee to gold in the 100 and 200m backstroke and as a member of the gold medal-winning Australian 4x100m medley relay team.

Mooney’s coaching is science-driven and he says he will draw on Bond University’s sports scientists to keep at the forefront of innovation in the sport.

He says his coaching values can be summed up as attitude, respect and accountability.

Bond University Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said Bond’s coaching staff and club were excited at the appointment of Mooney to lead the program.

“He brings an immense amount of experience for our swimmers to learn from and we can’t wait to have him on deck at the university,” Samuelson said.

“I look forward to working with Chris on driving the program through to the next level for the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.”

The university’s Executive Director of Sport Garry Nucifora said Mooney’s appointment was a natural evolution of Bond Swimming.

“Chris Mooney is a coach of exceptional standing and we are very excited about the contribution he will make to the swim program’s exciting story,” Nucifora said.

“His values align very well with those of the university where excellence in swimming complements the academic pursuits of our elite student-athletes.”


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