Golden Games for Dolphins And Rohan Is Now Taylor-made For Paris 2024

CATE SIMON CUSACK AND ROHAN TAYLOR
TAYLOR MADE: Rohan Taylor (right) on deck with Simon Cusack and Cate Campbell...new head coach for Paris 2024. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Golden Games for Dolphins And Rohan Is Now Taylor-Made For Paris 2024

Temporary Head Coach Rohan Taylor, the man who steered Australia’s Dolphins to its most successful Games ever at the Tokyo Olympics, has earned himself a full time role – head coach for the next Games in Paris in 2024.

Swimming Australia today confirmed Taylor’s elevation to a full-time appointment through to December 2024 – with next year’s World Championships in Fukuoka in May and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July his next campaigns.

Rohan taylor and Alex Baumann and Coaches

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Rohan Taylor holding court with CEO Alex Baumann and coaches on pooldeck. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

The Dolphins Swim team returned from Tokyo with a record haul of 21 medals (nine gold; three silver and nine bronze) – the most ever gold and medal tally – topping Melbourne’s eight gold and Beijing’s 20 total medals.

Taylor temporarily took over the reins of the team following the departure of previous Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren in June 2020, who returned to his home country of the Netherlands for family reasons and has since been appointed Head of Performance for the French Team for 2024.

After serving as Mentor Coach under Verhaeren, Taylor credits the former Dutchman for setting up the systems which he took over – and implementing his own style and brand of leadership, steering the Dolphins through a COVID crisis that threatened the Games.

Under the mantra “We make each other better,” Taylor developed a team ethos of individual authenticity for swimmers and coaches – and it shone through with a record medal tally.

Aug 1, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Australia relay team of Kaylee McKeown (AUS), Chelsea Hodges (AUS), Emma McKeon (AUS) and Cate Campbell (AUS) during the medals ceremony for the women's 4x100m medley relay during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

ON SONG: Australia’s gold medal winning medley relay shown medals in Tokyo. (L-R0 Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell. Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

The ensuing spirit shone through as the senior brigade led by the Campbell girls Cate and Bronte, Emily Seebohm and the unstoppable star of the team Emma McKeon wrapped themselves around debutants like Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown – who won five gold medals between them.

The previous head coach at successful club programs at Carey Aquatic and Nunawading, Taylor was appointed State Head Coach (Victoria and Tasmania) for Swimming Australia.

He built and strengthened key relationships within the team, in an additional role as Coach Leader on numerous campaigns, giving him the perfect platform and allowing for a seamless transition to take over as Head Coach, after Verhaeren departed – and the smart move to appoint the highly respected former National Head Coach Leigh Nugent as his Mentor Coach.

Taylor will be joined in leading the Olympic program with Tamara Sheppard, previously General Manager High Performance and also Team Leader in Tokyo, who has been appointed as High Performance Director,

Both roles reporting directly into the CEO.

Taylor said he was thrilled to take on the role to see the team through to Paris 2024, saying: “I am so incredibly proud of what we achieved in Tokyo – athletes, coaches and staff included – and the great environment we have built in this team over the past few years.

Rohan Taylor a nd Leigh Nugent

GOLD DIGGERS: Masterminds Head coach Rohan Taylor and Mentor Coach Leigh Nugent after a successful prospecting mission in Tokyo.  Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“With a shorter cycle to Paris now, I look forward to continuing the work with our coaches and athlete leaders to build on this success and maintaining the fantastic culture we have created.

”Sheppard will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of high performance, including performance support and innovation, pathway development and Paralympic swimming.

“Being a part of the leadership team in Tokyo was incredibly special and I felt very privileged to be able to witness the success of the team, achieved through the hard work of all the athletes and coaches,” said Sheppard who looked forward to leading the high performance arm of the sport.

“I know we have a world-leading high performance program and I look forward to working with our staff and coaches to continue to build on the success of Tokyo.

Out-going Swimming Australia CEO Alex Baumann said the appointments of Taylor and Sheppard will set the team up strongly heading into the next Olympic campaign.

“Rohan has done an outstanding job leading this team through the challenges of COVID and creating an environment where athletes and coaches are able to thrive,” Baumann said.

“The Board and I are fully supportive of re-contracting Rohan through to Paris following our most successful Olympic campaign ever.

Rohan Taylor holding court

DECK HANDS: Head Coach Rohan Taylor holding court with Dean Boxall (left) and Alex Baumann Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“(While) in the last 18 months, Tamara has shown great leadership in challenging times and stepping up into the role of High Performance Director is a natural progression for her and extremely well deserved.

“I have no doubt she will work tirelessly to continue to build on our world-leading environment for athletes and coaches to succeed.”

Taylor and Sheppard will begin their roles effective immediately.

Meanwhile The Dolphins Paralympic campaign kicks off on Wednesday in Tokyo.

To keep up to date, follow the Australian Team’s performance with @dolphinsaus on all social media platforms.

Heats start at 10:00am AEST, with finals kicking off at 6:00pm AEST.

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