Jerry Olszewski Named National Head Coach of Swimming New Zealand

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Experienced American coach Jerry Olszewski will take over as Swimming New Zealand’s head coach after the Rio Olympics.

He replaces Clive Power, who has been acting head coach since high performance director Luis Villanueva resigned in April last year after two years in the job.

Gary Hurring, however, will be head coach of the New Zealand team at Rio de Janeiro, as he was at the World Championships in Kazan.

Olszewski, chief executive of the Arizona Gold Swimming organisation he founded, headed off 30 applications. He has coached at the top club level in the US for more than 25 years, developing young swimmers to Olympics and national teams.

He said he was “excited” to start the job and move to New Zealand in September.

“It’s a real honour but I am under no illusions that it is a significant challenge. Swimming New Zealand has been going through a bit of a rough patch, and one of my skill sets is rebuilding programmes and getting people involved in the programme motivated…. to make an impact on global swimming.

“I want to set the expectation of what the group brings to each individual and what each individual brings to the group,. I will be setting expectations and not settling for anything less than their best.”

Olszewski has focussed primarily on the development of swimmers through to college level, and has been responsible for identifying and developing a significant number of swimmers to Olympic Trials, US and other national teams and to Olympic medals.

There were five swimmers from his club in the recent US Olympic Trials, one on the American team and two others on foreign national teams.

Outgoing Swimming New Zealand Chief Excecutive Christian Redford said Olszewski’s credentials are an ideal fit for the needs of for high performance swimming in New Zealand, “Jerry has significant success creating and building programmes, and implementing a performance culture where they have prospered to international level.

“He also has a great understanding of the high performance environment needed to make this happen, and is hugely passionate about swimming and nurturing young people to reach their full potential.”

With five potential 2020 Olympic swimmers qualified for the current team to Rio and some world-leading junior swimmers coming through the ranks, Renford says the new high performance leadership team is well placed to move the sport forward.

Olszewski’s enthusiasm and passion for swimming began as a child when he swam for Jon Urbanchek at the club level. With his success in the 200 Breast and the 400 IM, he secured a college scholarship to the University of Nebraska. He and his wife Shelly have four sons, including twins.

Courtesy Dave Crampton

7 Comments

7 comments

  1. avatar
    Becky Pow Blomquist

    Congratulations Jerry!!!!!!!! WOW!!! So awesome!!!!!!!!

  2. avatar
    Brian Keller

    Whoot Whoot!

  3. avatar
    Simonovic Family

    Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Jerry has been a mentor to so many children and while he has taught them swimming he has taught them life lessons that they will carry well beyond there competitive swimming days.
    We want to thank Jerry for being a huge part of our daughter making it to Rio…Jerry kept saying look at ASU its up and coming. Jerry your the best and we wish you great success in your next challenge.
    Simonovic Family

  4. avatar
    Emily McGill

    Adriana Palomino!

  5. avatar
    Bill Spahn

    Congratulations Jerry

  6. avatar
    Dunc1952

    Congratulations, Jerry.

  7. avatar
    Christine Aitchison

    Congratulations, Jerry!! We are so happy for you!! New Zealand is lucky to get you.

Author: Cathleen Pruden

avatar
Cathleen Pruden is a 2016 graduate of Mount Holyoke College and was a four time All-American and a three time Academic All-American for the Lyons. She grew up swimming in and has also coached in Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently she is the Assistant Coach at Bowdoin College.

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