Finck bids farewell to Bath National Centre

11 Sep 2021

British Swimming offers its thanks to decorated National Coach Jol Finck for his contribution to the swimming High Performance Programme as he prepares to depart for a new role. 

Australian-born coach Finck joined the Bath National Centre after Rio 2016, following his time in the position as Director of Swimming at Millfield School. He has guided athletes to Olympic, World and European Championship success, in addition to overseeing swimmers to appear on British international teams at every junior level through to becoming a mainstay of senior teams during his coaching tenure in the UK.

It was at Millfield that Finck first began coaching James Guy, overseeing his breakthrough World Championship campaign in 2015, where he coached Guy to a world title in the 200m Freestyle, silver in the 400m Freestyle and gold in the Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay. The same year, he was nominated for the British Swimming Coach of the Year Award and followed this with another nomination in 2016.

The duo of Finck and Guy transitioned to the Bath National Centre together after the latter’s two Olympic silvers in Rio, with Finck at the helm of a group that included further world champions Chris Walker-Hebborn and Calum Jarvis. As part of his British senior team roles, Finck took on the continuing responsibility of leading the dominant Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay team that achieved gold at the World Championships in 2017 ahead of the recent, historic Olympic triumph in Japan.

With five of his athletes making their debut for Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and that tally being capped by the success of Matt Richards and Jarvis in the Men's 4x200m Freestyle team, Finck will depart on a high later this year for his new role as Director of Coaching at the Nunawading Swimming Club in Melbourne.

Speaking ahead of his move, Jol said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time working with British Swimming. I joined British Swimming at Bath in early 2017, and I’ve had the great opportunity to work with some incredibly well-put-together athletes, and a staff of people who are world-leading in what they do. I hope I’ve contributed somewhat to the life of the Bath National Centre, but I know I have learned an enormous amount from all of the people around me, the athletes and the staff. I am very, very grateful for that. 

Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay GOLD MEDALS Tokyo 2020
Jol oversaw the Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay on their way to Olympic glory

“I was incredibly privileged to be handed the keys to that from Bill Furniss in 2015. That relay team has been my baby for the last six or seven years. It really is incredibly fulfilling to have been on the journey with that team, from eighth at the World Championships in 2013 through to Olympic champions and very nearly world record holders.

“Then, of course for me, having Matt Richards and Jarv on that team, as a part of that team in Tokyo, was very, very special. But I am mindful of all the guys who have been on that team, all the way through from 2015. The legacy of that team very much belongs to those guys, as well as the five guys who did the job in Tokyo. I feel very proud to have been part of it over the last seven years. They better keep winning!” 

British Swimming National Performance Director Chris Spice said: “Jol has been a vital member of the British Swimming coaching team for the best part of five years, and he leaves British Swimming after our most successful ever Olympic Games.

“The successes in Tokyo included victory for the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team he has helped to develop into a consistently world-class unit since taking the reins of that event in 2015. The fact that Matt Richards and Calum Jarvis – from his squad at the Bath National Centre – were part of that relay success was another big achievement for Jol, as the pair became Olympic champions for the first time. 

“I know that Jol will be missed on pool deck at Bath and across national and international events by the British team. We wish him all the best in his new role and thank him for his valuable contribution to the programme and the sport as a whole. We also wish him and his family all the best for their future in Australia.”