Mark Faber Promoted to Head Coach of Dutch National Team

Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Arno Kamminga (NED) holds up his silver medal after finishing second in the men's 800m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports
Arno Kamminga; Photo Courtesy: Grace Hollars/USA Today Sports

Mark Faber Promoted to Head Coach of Dutch National Team

Mark Faber has been promoted to head coach of the Dutch swimming team as it prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the federation announced on Friday.

Faber, 48, has been based in the High Performance Center in Amsterdam. He’ll remain as the head coach there along with talent coach Kees Robbertsen, directly overseeing athletes. Among his star pupils are Arno Kamminga and Kira Toussaint. The Amsterdam HPC will split into two groups of elite swimmers starting this year to prepare for Paris, with Thijs Hagelstein overseeing a distance group and Patrick Pearson leading a sprint contingent.

“With Mark, the KNZB has positioned an experienced and proven successful coach in this important position,” Dutch swimming federation technical direct Andre Cats said in a statement. “Mark has shown that he can guide a swim team towards compelling global results. With a largely renewed swimming team, we want to express ourselves at a global level in the coming years. A strong leader is vital on that route to new successes.”

Former head coach Marcel Wouda has transitioned to a new role, leading the Eindhoven program and serving as project coach. That role includes pursuits with longer time horizons, such as a “Medley Stroke 2032” initiative.

“With Marcel, the KNZB will provide a major boost to knowledge development among coaches of both clubs and the KNZB coaches,” Cats said. “Our coaches must be smarter and more knowledgeable than colleagues abroad. Then we put our athletes ahead of the competition. Marcel, with his enormous wealth of knowledge and experience, will shape this ambition.”

Also among the coaching reshuffling is Henri Koek, based in the Drachten training center, leading national talent development efforts. Koek will also direct the coach training program. Jeroen Rademaker was named head coach for the European Youth Championship in 2022.

The Dutch team’s five training centers will be headed by: Rademaker in Hengelo, Job van Duijnhoven in Amsterdam, Geert Janssen in Eindhoven, Harm Rozenga and Robin van Aggele in The Hague and Koek in Drachten.

The Dutch had a respectable showing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Kamminga led the way with silver medals in the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke. Sharon van Rouwendaal won the women’s 10-kilometer race. Six Dutch swimmers made finals in the pool, and the nation qualified for the Games in four of seven relays, led by the fourth-place women’s 400 free relay. Even as Femke Heemskerk and Ranomi Kromowidjojo are on the far side of 30, there are talents like Toussaint emerging behind them. A number of those swimmers are starring in the International Swimming League.