Breaking News: Rohan Taylor Appointed As New Dolphins Head Coach as Jacco Verhaeren Departs

Jacco with Matt Wilson and Bronte Campbell
FRONT AND CENTRE: Departing National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren with Matt Wilson and Bronte Campbell said "I am honoured to have had the opportunity to serve this amazing swim team and nation for almost seven years." Photo Courtesy Delly Carr Swimming Australia.

Swimming Australia has today paid tribute to its departing head coach Jacco Verhaeren who will reluctantly step aside early from his National Team duties on a day they also welcomed the appointment of Dolphins Team coach leader, respected Olympic team coach Rohan Taylor as his replacement.

Rohan Taylor with Jacco

HAND OVER: Rohan Taylor, the man who will take over the reins of the Australian Dolphins National Swim Team, pictured on deck with Jacco Verhaeren. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia.

Verhaeren, who steered the Australian Swim Team to the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2015, 2017 and 2019 World Championships and 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games has chosen not to extend his contract with Swimming Australia – which was due to be completed in November 2020 after the Tokyo Olympics – Verhaeren will now finish in his role at the end of September.

A statement issued today by Swimming Australia said: “With COVID-19 forcing the postponement of the Games, Jacco carefully considered every possible scenario to stay, but ultimately made the tough decision to return home after many discussions with his family and Swimming Australia.”

Verhaeren said: “I tried to look for ways to extend, but you can’t compromise in a high performance environment, nor did I want to compromise my family.

“I am honoured to have had the opportunity to serve this amazing swim team and nation for almost seven years and I am confident that there are many good people around to ensure the continued success for swimming in this country, and that the team is ready to face any challenge.

“I am incredibly proud of the systems and strategies that have been implemented – from the national relay project, to the reintroduction of national event camps and an improved campaign structure and leadership model.

“But these plans and systems would be nothing without the talented people from across the organisation and our high performance programs that come together to work towards our goals, and I thank them all immensely.

“We have built trust between these people over a period of time and I believe that is a crucial component to achieving high performance success.”

Stepping into Verhaeren’s role to oversee the Tokyo campaign is current Victorian and Tasmanian State Head Coach Rohan Taylor, who has also worked closely with Verhaeren and the Dolphins swim team as its Coach Leader.

Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell said Taylor was well placed to step into Verhaeren’s shoes and take the team through to Tokyo.

“I know Rohan is primed to lead the way on the revised journey to Tokyo having worked closely with Jacco over a number of campaigns,” Russell said.

“His passion and commitment for our athletes, coaches and staff is apparent to everyone who works with him. He has our full support and will work closely with Jacco during the next few months to make the transition as seamless as possible.”

Verhaeren supported the appointment of Taylor into the role and will work with him through a transition period.

“I want to congratulate Rohan, who I believe is a great appointment, and wish him and the team all the best for next year and beyond.

“My focus now shifts to supporting the organisation and Rohan through the transition phase until the end of my contract,” he concluded.

Taylor, the Olympic coach of gold medal swimmer Leisel Jones and former Nunawading Coaching Director, said he was honoured to take up the role guiding the Dolphins through to Tokyo.

“Firstly, I would like to thank Jacco for his friendship and leadership over the past six years. I have been privileged to work as a team coach under him for numerous campaigns and I wish him and his family all the best,” said Taylor.

“Jacco has laid the groundwork for our Olympic campaign and I have worked closely with him and our Olympic leadership team, so believe I am well placed to see those plans through and lead our team to success in Tokyo next year.

“I look forward to working with Jacco during this transition period and beginning work with our high performance programs and Swimming Australia staff as we count down to the Olympics.”

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Scott j

    Congrats Rohan

  2. avatar
    Nancy wilson Maksym

    Congratulations Rohan!!!’
    👍🍷
    From old friends the Wilson’s
    Linda, Nancy,Brian