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Leigh Nugent resigns as Swimming Australia head coach

Leigh Nugent resigns as Swimming Australia head coach
March 24, 2013

Swimming Australia (SA) will replace Leigh Nugent as head coach after he offered his resignation in the wake of two damning reviews into team culture and leadership.

Understood to have offered his resignation, SA has announced that Nugent's resignation is "still a matter of negotiation".

It is understood that Nugent wants to remain working with SA but not as head coach.

In the meantime SA will appoint an interim head coach in time for the national championships beginning in Adelaide next month.

SA President Barclay Nettlefold told the media "we talked to Leigh and I spoke to him again this morning but he was convinced he needed to move on."

Nettlefold says Nugent was not pressured into resigning either by SA or the public outcry surrounding the controversial Australian campaign at the London Olympics, adding "I don't think it's about public perception.

"It was his decision, he came to us and we commend him for his decision."

Nugent's resignation followed two reviews into Australia's poor performance in the pool at the London Olympics that pointed to a lack of leadership and a poor team culture.

The Australian men's 4 x 100 metres relay team was also forced to admit to a night of poor behaviour while using Stilnox during a pre-Olympic camp in Manchester.

Nugent was criticised for his handling of the relay team's misbehaviour during their bonding session in Manchester.

The six-member relay team took Stilnox and knocked on doors of swimming team-mates at their Manchester hotel ahead of the London Games.

Nugent was reportedly informed of the door knocking the following morning but not the taking of Stilnox.

Nettlefold added that Nugent accepted the blame for Australia's poor showing in London.

Nugent was appointed head coach in March 2010, having assumed the role on an interim basis late in 2009 when Alan Thompson took leave amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour from which he was later cleared.

Nugent was a popular choice, largely because of his role in leading Australia to a haul of seven gold medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004 while filling the position on a temporary basis.

However, the London Olympics proved disastrous for Australia, who returned with just one gold, six silver and three bronze medals, its worst showing at a Games since 1992.

20th February 2013 - SECOND REPORT SLAMS MANAGEMENT OF AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING

19th February 2013 - REVIEW SLAMS ‘TOXIC’ CULTURE IN OLYMPIC SWIM TEAM

22nd November 2012 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION OF CEO NEIL

21st August 2012 - BOARD DIVERSITY A KEY TO SPORT MANAGEMENT AND FUNDING

15th August 2012 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA’S INCENTIVE MODEL WAS A FAILURE


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