Following Australia’s most successful Olympic swimming campaign, Swimming Australia has confirmed the re-appointment of National Head Coach Rohan Taylor through to December 2024.
Swimming Australia head coach Rohan Taylor led the Dolphins Swim team won 21 medals, including nine gold, at the Tokyo Olympics, the biggest Olympic haul since the Athens 2004 Games.
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.
A coach at the Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games for Swimming Australia, Taylor 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.
Taylor will be joined in leading the Olympic program with Tamara Sheppard, who has been appointed as High Performance Director, with both roles reporting directly into the CEO.
Taylor said he was thrilled to take on the role to see the team not only at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, now less than a year away but through to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
High performance director Tamara Sheppard with head coach Rohan Taylor at the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony. (Swimming Australia)
Sheppard will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of high performance, including performance support and innovation, pathway development and Paralympic swimming.
Sheppard, who was previously General Manager High Performance and also Team Leader in Tokyo, said she looked forward to leading the high performance arm of the sport.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Swimming Australia Chief Executive Alex Baumann said the appointments of Taylor and Sheppard will set the team up strongly heading into Birmingham and then on to Paris.
“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,” he said.
“The Board and I are fully supportive of re-contracting Rohan through to Paris following our most successful Olympic campaign ever.
“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.
The Dolphins Paralympic campaign kicks off on Wednesday in Tokyo, to keep up to date following along with @dolphinsaus on all social media platforms. Heats start at 10:00am AEST, with finals kicking off at 6:00pm AEST.
With thanks Swimming Australia.