Nitro Swimming Hires Olympic Gold Medalist Garrett Weber-Gale as Interim National Team Coach

Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Garrett Weber-Gale, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has joined Nitro Swimming as a stabilizing force as he helps the squad’s national team and elite swimmers through this summer.

“We chose not to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves,” Nitro head coach Mike Koleber told Swimming World. “That wouldn’t fit with our style here at Nitro. The kids and the program absorbed a big blow this past Monday afternoon, I don’t wish that on anyone, or any program. I wanted to help accelerate the healing process for all of them. Garrett brings us an expert set of eyes, he’s a high quality individual who can make a positive impact immediately. We’re fortunate to have him help guide our top level athletes through Trials and their respective national meets.”

The move comes within days of former Nitro Swimming coach Tim O’Brien being banned for life by USA Swimming. While Nitro promoted Elliot McGill into O’Brien’s previous position working with the top swimmers at Nitro, Koleber felt that they needed a bit more help going through such an important time during the end of this quadrennium as top Nitro talents like Sean Grieshop and Taylor Abbott are eying bigger things than just junior national titles.

Weber-Gale is best known for his two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including his celebration with Michael Phelps as part of the epic men’s 400-meter freestyle relay during which Jason Lezak pulled off one of the most improbable comebacks in swimming history.

Nitro Swimming Press Release:

Garrett Weber-Gale, two-time Olympic gold medalist, world record holder, and US national champion, is joining Nitro Swimming as an interim coach for their national team, with the focus of helping the Nitro National team athletes achieve their goals at the Olympic Trials and US Nationals.

“My goal is to be a steady, positive force in these young athletes lives, and share with them some of the guidance that I’ve learned from my coaches; Eddie & Randy Reese, Kris Kubik, and Dwight Davis, and my expertise as a successful Olympic athlete,” Weber-Gale said. “I am excited to work with the athletes and help them find ways to improve as swimmers and as individuals.”

Garrett will continue to run AthleticFoodie, the sports performance company he started in 2014, that makes snacks specifically designed to help athletes get the nutrition they need to perform at their best. “Sports nutrition is really the last frontier in athletics, and I am working to make AthleticFoodie the leader of that pack, where our vision is to unlock the potential of every athlete in the U.S.”

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  1. avatar

    Weird hire since Garrett has never really coached and was a sprinter and most of Nitro elite guys are distance based. Also to me, it sounds like they didn’t have the confidence in Elliott.

  2. avatar
    Phil Jackson

    I actualy thought they were going to reach out to Ian Crocker. He is local, also a gold medalist and former world record holder, and has coaching experience. He was an assistant for UT Women and currently coaches at a small USA club in Austin

  3. Randy Rogers

    Congratulations Garrett Weber-Gale!

  4. avatar

    I have 100% confidence in Elliott. We operate out of two locations and Elliott can’t be two places at once. GWG will be assisting at both, has the energy level to match our program, and wants to help these kids move past this. The kids are excited and looking forward not backward, which is what they need to do. We appreciate the outpouring of support from our families and other swim friends from around the country as we move ahead. Mike K.

    • avatar

      The Nitro attitude – always positive, focusing on excellence and continuous improvement. Proud to be a part of the Nitro family. Going on 8 years, and counting…

  5. avatar

    As Garrett has done for his entire life, he will add enrichment to the lives of those swimmers fortunate enough to work with him. He is a master at refining all the small things that contribute to creating great athletes and human beings. I hope the swimmers and parents are as excited to have Garrett join their team as he is. Garrett understands the benefits of hard work and dedication. He benefitted from working with amazing coaches who helped him become the endearing man he is today.

  6. avatar

    Just a heads up, GWG does not show up as a registered swim coach. All swim coaches should be registered with USA swimming.

  7. avatar

    You would think that Nitro would have made all things were done by the letter of the law before they hired Garrett…backround check, USA coaching certification, etc….and before they announced it. Proactive is better than reactionary

    • avatar

      Being certified is kind of important; especially Athlete Protection portion of the certs!!!!!

      • avatar

        Nah! The owner has 100% confidence in Garrett. Thats all you need…..apparently.

  8. avatar
    Hillz Font

    great news! GWG+Elliott=strong leadership for the Naipnal kids.

  9. avatar

    So for $289-318 a month a kid can swim in the National group under a non-certified USA swimming coach with no experience coaching a National group?

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