American Jerry Olszewski to Lead New Zealand As Head Coach After Rio Olympics

Matt Stanley, of NZL, by Simon Watts /

American Jerry Olszewski is to be Swimming New Zealand’s national head coach from September. He will take over from Clive Power, who has been the acting head coach for the past year.

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Umm, who? Seriously, he might be a good (well-respected, even) club/age-group coach in Phoenix, but I bet even your American readers will be going “Who’s that?”

How can you make a National Head Coach appointment overseeing an elite high performance program of adult swimmers with an American coach who has not had collegiate experience? What top platinum level coach in the US has not come out of the NCAA Collegiate system? By “platinum level”, I use the term as used by the Australians, meaning a coach who has directly coached swimmers to podium at Olympic and/or World Champs (and claiming swimmers that you may have coached in the past who subsequently went on to podium at Olympics/World Champs under a different coach, doesn’t count), and done so consistently, like Michael Bohl or Denis Cotterell who have always produced a stable of swimmers at the top level.

Even by American standards, is he a US Swimming Coaches Hall of Famer? No. Is he a Frank Busch, Bill Rose, Randy Reese, David Marsh, Mark Schubert, or Steve Bultman? No. Coaching top club/age-group swimmers is vastly different than dealing with elite adult athletes. Frankly, I would say that NZ coaches such as Gary Hurring and Thomas Ansorg would have vastly more experience than this guy and I wouldn’t blame them if they view this appointment as insulting.


Swimming New Zealand should identify world’s top coaches who are also big fan of Lord of the Rings, and offer them the job.

joking aside, I was also like “who…?”

Such a huge discrepancy when NZL’s neighbour Australia was able to poach Jacco Verhaeren for the same job.

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