VICTORIA – Ryan Mallette has been named head coach of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria, effective immediately.
Mallette has been coaching the top centre athletes on an interim basis since January due to the late Randy Bennett’s battle with cancer. He joins Swimming Canada on a permanent basis after having served as the swimming NextGen coach with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific for three years. He also oversaw the Claremont School program.
“Appointing Ryan Mallette into the position of the head coach of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre in Victoria is a great move for the centre, the athletes and for swimming in Canada,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “I look forward to continuing to work with Ryan over this next year and in the build up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
After nearly 15 years of experience in the Montreal area Mallette was recruited in 2012 to oversee the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific Talent Development Program in Victoria. He worked alongside Bennett, the former High Performance Centre – Victoria head coach, for three years. Previously he served as head coach of the Pointe-Claire Swim Club, and his national team roles have included the Pan Pacific Championships, FINA World Junior Championships and Pan American Games.
“We are looking forward to a great and long future with Ryan. He’s a dedicated, athlete-centred coach,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “He has tremendous experience here in Canada and he will be taking his international experience to the next level. It’s another great sign of a Canadian coach we think is going to continue to do big things on the world stage.”
After Bennett was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, Mallette assumed the difficult task of taking over the HPC group including two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane, world championship medallist Hilary Caldwell, and fellow 2012 Olympian Alec Page. All three went on to qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games. Mallette was selected to the coaching staff for Pan Ams as well as the FINA World Championships, for which Cochrane and Caldwell also qualified.
“Randy Bennett was a great friend and mentor to me and I’m honoured to accept the challenge of following in his footsteps. I believe Victoria is the ideal place to work because we have a truly world-class integrated support team in place. The athletes are dedicated, talented and professional. The work environment is exceptional because everyone works relentlessly to be the best in the world,” Mallette said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this group through their Olympic preparations and into Rio.”
Mallette will report to Atkinson and be responsible for all aspects of leadership at the centre, maintaining its status as a world-class daily training environment in pursuit of Olympic medals. His duties will include overseeing the annual budget, IST services and yearly training plan, recruiting athletes and mentoring other coaches.
The Canadian Sport Institute Pacific plans to begin the recruitment process for a new NextGen coach immediately.
“Ryan’s contributions to the Swimming NextGen Program have been fundamental to the success of this innovative program,” noted Wendy Pattenden, CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. “He is a great coach and we know he will continue to have success on the international stage with Swimming Canada.”
Along with Mallette's appointment, Eugene Liang will also be transitioning from CSI Pacific to a full-time role with Swimming Canada this month. Liang has accepted the position of Manager, Paramedical Services as of June 15. As a CSI Pacific team member for five years, he helped lead the formation of the new medical model. With more than 15 years of experience working with swimmers as a Registered Massage Therapist and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Liang is a natural fit for the role with Swimming Canada.