Dean Boxall Earns Fourth Aussie Coach Of Year Award

FUKUOKA TRAINING CAMP 2023 Dean Boxall anf Ariarne Titmus Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)
Dean Boxall with star swimmer Ariarne Titmus -- Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Dean Boxall Earns A Record Fourth Australian Coach Of The Year Award On The Gold Coast

Olympic and World Championship gold medal coach Dean Boxall has been crowned Australia’s top swimming coach for a record fourth time on the Gold Coast.

The man who steered Australia’s golden girls to a record medal haul at this year’s World Championships in Fukuoka won the award at the Swimming Coaches And Teachers Australia Awards Night, Sunday at The Star Casino.

Boxall, head coach at the famed St Peters Western program in Brisbane, coached his star pupils Ariarne Titmus and Mollie O’Callaghan to three individual gold medals – two of them in world record time as Australia scooped the pool against the Americans.

Titmus, who just last week revealed she had to undergo emergency surgery to remove benign tumors from one of her ovaries, won the much-vaunted women’s 400m freestyle “Race Of The Century” in world record time – saying she was thankful to know she wuld make a full recovery and would start swimming again under Boxall in two to three weeks as they prepared for Paris 2024.

While O’Callaghan also set a new world record to beat Titmus over 200m freestyle, to defend her 100m freestyle crown.

Titmus and O’Callaghan then joined Brisbane’s St Peters Western clubmates Shayna Jack and Brianna Throssell to win the 4x200m freestyle relay – also in world record time as the Dolphins swept to 13 gold medals.

Boxall beat an all-star field of nominations: Michael Bohl – Kaylee McKeown (Gold 50, 100 and 200 backstroke); Tim Lane – Cameron McEvoy (Gold 50 Freestyle); Peter Bishop – Kyle Chalmers (Gold 100 Freestyle) and Damien Jones – Sam Short (Gold 400 Freestyle.

Boxall was unable to attend the ceremony and his award was accepted by Australia’s National head coach Rohan Taylor, who described the mad cap coach as “calmer than you may think.”

“We are blessed with exceptional coaches in this country and I really believe we are the best coaches in the world and that’s the current crop and the coaches in the past,” said Taylor, who provided an insight into Boxall’s winning ways.

Dean Boxall and Rohan Taylor

GOLDEN HUG: Rohan Taylor and Dean Boxall after Australia’s 4x200m freestyle relay win. Photo Courtesy: Wade’s Photos.

“And what Dean does well and exceptionally well, he individually works with each of his athletes – he talks about the keys and (unlocking the powers) of each athlete- and each of his athletes is very, very different.

“He is exceptionally detailed and to see him in action he’s fun to watch – he’s very disciplined and he’s very calm, believe it or not he’s much more calm than people think and it’s a privilege to be in that same space as him (on pool deck) and be able to lead the team with Dean on it and I feel a lot more calm when he is.”

Other major winners presented with their awards at The Star Casino ballroom were Boxall’s fellow Queensland-based coaches, Kate Sparkes (Yeronga Park, QLD) who was named the Open Water Coach of the Year and the Multi Class Coach of the Year while  (St Peters Western) was named Age Group Coach of the Year.

Sparkes steered Rio Olympian Chelsea Gubecka onto her second Olympic team for Paris after winning her silver medal in the 10k at the Fukuoka World Championships.

Gubecka was in the room last night and joined her coach on stage for the presentation with Awards Night host, 1988 Seoul Olympic gold medallist Duncan Armstrong.

As well as coaching Paralympic gold medallists Rowan Crothers to two gold and Katja Dedekind to one gold at the Para World Championships in Manchester.

Sleight led Boxall’s St Peters Western team to another coveted and much sought after National Age Pointscore and he has just returned from the World Junior Championship in Israel where he coached Jamie Perkins to gold in the women’s 400 freestyle and Jacyln Barclay to gold in the 100 backstroke.

Sleight has also been appointed as the new Head Coach of the Churchie swimming program in Brisbane, saying in a SwimCon23 lecture earlier in the day that he has worked and stood alongside Boxall describing him as “the best swim coach in the world” also saying that “I have to be Richard Sleight” after being approached to take his new role.

Meanwhile, St Peters has appointed former Warringah Aquatic (NSW) head coach Cameron Gledhill to replace Sleight as its new National Age coach, coming into the Queensland system after steering the Warringah Aquatic Piranhas on Sydney’s Northern Beaches to one of the best junior and youth programs in the country.

And after a record number of nominations In the SWIM Australia Teacher Of The Year award categories, Canberra’s  of Aquatots ACT has been named the 2023 Teacher of the Year.

The 2023 SWIM Australia Teacher of the Year for Learners with Disability went to Kelli-Jane Smith, from Little Snappers Swim School, Queensland. While the 2023 SWIM Australia Teacher of the Year for Babies & Toddlers award went to Alena Sarri from Aquatots, ACT.

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