Dolphins Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren Returning To Europe After Tokyo 2020

Jacco Verhaeren
Jacco Verhaeren will resign as head Australian coach after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; Photo Courtesy: SwimmingWorld.TV

Swimming Australia Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren announced that he will be vacating his post after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, per a report published in the Sydney Morning HeraldVerhaeren will be returning to Europe, specifically the Netherlands, with his family after the 2020 Games to pursue new opportunities there.

Verhaeren took over as head coach for Swimming Australia following the 2012 London Olympics, where the Australian swim team had an under-whelming performance that failed to produce a single individual gold medal. The post-Games fallout also revealed major cultural concerns among the Aussie team that included an initiation at a pre-Games training camp involving the sleeping pill Stilnox.

Verhaeren has been credited as a major force behind reforms to the Aussie team since 2012, including instituting a new four-year framework for the national team heading into the next Olympic quad following the 2016 Rio Olympics. That has included more stringent standards to qualify for international meets and a new shift for trials closer to major international meets, similar to the schedule in the United States for the Olympic Games.

While the new standards have resulted in leaner rosters for international meets, Verhaeren is quoted by the Herald as stating the bar needed to be raised regarding qualification for major meets.

“That is the reality of our sport,” Verhaeren commented. “There is some discretion because of tactical decisions you have to make regarding relays. But when it comes down to a set time, one one-hundredth too slow is one one-hundredth too slow. It keeps it very clear. This is the performance culture we want, although making the Olympics is a huge achievement. Nobody will deny that.”

You can see the full article announcing Verhaeren’s departure following Tokyo here.

19 comments

  1. Paul Robbins

    Good news for Europe!

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Europe has been swimming very fast while Jacco has been in Australia…

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness I do believe they have. They are still lucky to have a coach like Jacco back in the fold.

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness great coach.

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Paul Robbins
      Absolutely. Dry humored to boot. Met him in 2012, and visited him and Winnie in Queensland a year before he passed.
      Encouraged me to write some articles for the ASCTA magazine…Swimming in Australia.

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness you were very lucky to see him before he died. Sad loss! Very tough athlete centred coach.

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Paul Robbins
      The word “Tough” has many misleading meanings, as does “Hard Work” Paulus never gave work the swimmer could not handle. He loved pyramid sets…

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness – hence my comment athlete centred. He was a great coach no doubt about that. I agree on the diversity associated with meanings. Tough to me is related to standards not to the way coaches relate to athletes. This can lead to misunderstandings on that I would agree.

  2. Paul Robbins

    Good news for Europe!

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Europe has been swimming very fast while Jacco has been in Australia…

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness I do believe they have. They are still lucky to have a coach like Jacco back in the fold.

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness great coach.

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Paul Robbins
      Absolutely. Dry humored to boot. Met him in 2012, and visited him and Winnie in Queensland a year before he passed.
      Encouraged me to write some articles for the ASCTA magazine…Swimming in Australia.

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness you were very lucky to see him before he died. Sad loss! Very tough athlete centred coach.

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Paul Robbins
      The word “Tough” has many misleading meanings, as does “Hard Work” Paulus never gave work the swimmer could not handle. He loved pyramid sets…

    • Paul Robbins

      Tony MacGuinness – hence my comment athlete centred. He was a great coach no doubt about that. I agree on the diversity associated with meanings. Tough to me is related to standards not to the way coaches relate to athletes. This can lead to misunderstandings on that I would agree.

    • Richard John Sleight

      Paulus was fantastic
      Such a great mentor
      I was very fortunate to have Winnie work as my assistant for a year before Paulus sadly passed
      Winnie taught me a great deal as well