Exeter City Swimming Club are searching for a new head coach, following the news that Jon Randall has handed in his notice to join City of Bristol Swimming Club.
Randall is a well-respected coach at international level, having worked with Liam Tancock before he went on to become a world champion and a Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
However, having spent more than ten years at the club in two spells as head coach, Randall has decided to move on and will complete his last day at Exeter on March 15.
It leaves a massive hole for the club to fill, but Tancock is delighted his former coach has the opportunity to work with better facilities at City of Bristol, who have a 50m ten-lane Olympic-standard pool at their Hengrove base.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Tancock. “What he has done for me has been incredible over the years, but an opportunity has come up to move to Bristol to coach. They have got a nice new 50m pool and loads of lane space, so it’s great for him and great for the swimmers there.
“Jon coached me from a very early age and he is a great friend, I still speak to him and I still go and visit the swimming club,” he added. “Jon has been great for Exeter Swimming Club, so it’s a bit of a shame from their point of view, but it’s great for Jon and his career progression – they’ve got a 50 metre pool and Exeter don’t.”
As a swimmer, Randall had an illustrious career representing Great Britain over six years, winning national titles at all levels and setting British senior and junior records.
As a coach, he has international experience as a GB senior event team coach, GB junior team coach and as a GB World-Class Potential Youth Squad coach. Swimmers under Randall’s guidance have won more than 100 national medals in almost the whole range of events.
However, Exeter City Swimming Club chairman Dean Pearce is confident the club can bring in a suitable replacement, having set a closing date of April 14 for potential coaches to apply.
“Even now the early indication from people, prior to them putting applications in, means we are expecting a good standard of applicant,” said Pearce, who added that he could understand Randall’s reasons for leaving.
“It was the opportunity for him to train all of his morning sessions, long course. And, obviously there was never any intention for Exeter to get a long course pool. I don’t know, but I believe that if we had found out that there was a 50m pool going in Exeter, I don’t think he would have left.
“It doesn’t take a lot to realise that you can have three times the amount of swimmers at his sessions, in Bristol, than we can at Exeter. And, obviously, that means three times the amount of opportunities to find another Liam Tancock.”
Pearce added that following Randall’s last day on March 15, Paul Jackson would be taking over as interim head coach. He added that the club did not need to rush into a decision on Randall’s replacement.