For the third time in his career, Knox Pymble’s Simon Cusack has been named ‘Coach of the Year’ by the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association.
Cusack received the top honour in front of more than 250 people at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at the weekend – adding another credential to his long list of achievements.
Speaking to Swimming Australia in the wake of his accomplishment, the father of three said he was “thrilled” to win the award with such a high calibre of coaches at the event.
“I was thrilled to win coach of the year for the third time, and to have many other highly respected coaches from around the country in the room to help celebrate not just my award, but the many award recipients from the evening was special,” Cusack said.
Once reluctant to continue his family’s business and dive into the coaching caper, there’s no doubt Australian swimming is fortunate Cusack eventually accepted his father’s offer to coach a swimming squad at Indooroopilly.
Simon Cusack has taken home his third 'Coach of the Year' award.
Fast forward two decades and Cusack – the son of Olympic medallist Robert – is now regarded as one of the country’s leading swimming coaches. As the coach of Cate and Bronte Campbell, the former cattle musterer has guided the Campbell sisters to multiple Olympic gold medals and world records.
Making the move to Sydney at the end of 2018 to reside at Knox Pymble, Cusack continues to coach the Campbell sisters, as well as Paralympic champion, Ellie Cole, who relocated from Brisbane to join his squad.
“The group dynamic is great, with all three women having similar interests, goals and aspirations. All three are true professionals who inspire each other to strive for excellence,” Cusack said.
Reflecting on the transition to NSW and what he’s learnt over the past 12 months, Cusack said it’s been a hectic but rewarding journey so far.
“The first three months have been extremely busy, settling my three children into their new schooling environment as well as assembling a new sport science and sport medicine service team for the Northern Metro Hub,” Cusack said.
“Both Knox Grammar and Pymble Ladies College have been outstanding in providing world-class training facilities and the NSWIS support staff are true professionals who are relishing the opportunity to be involved in supporting our new high-performance centre and its athletes.
“The previous 12 months has reinforced to me once again that clear communication around goals, consistent messaging around process and expectation along with event specific, race pace training is the best way to help athletes reach their full potential.”
With the 2019 Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials taking place between 9-14 June, Cusack believes this meet will be extremely competitive as athletes vie to make the team heading to South Korea for the World Swimming Championships in July.
“World trials will be fiercely competitive once again and those who make the team will be truly worthy of representing Australia,” Cusack said.
“For my squad, it will be the first time that they will have tapered since the Pan Pacs and will give a good indication of how well they have prepared this year and how they have responded to the training stimulus that I have given in the daily training environment.”
Meanwhile, Dean Boxall from St Peters Western’s – who coaches the likes of world short course record holder Ariarne Titmus and Olympic silver medallist Mitch Larkin – took home three awards, including ‘Age Group Coach of the Year’, ‘Youth Coach of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Coaching Achievement’.
Michael Bohl from Griffith University was also awarded life membership by ASCTA.
St Peters Western coach Dean Boxall was congratulated by Swimming Australia President, John Bertrand.
2019 Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association Awards:
Swim Australia Supporters Awards: Vorgee, Dawn Fraser, Kids Alive, Bondi Rescue, In The Deep Swim School
Outstanding Community Service Awards: Alpha Learn To Swim (Danielle Taylor), 5-Star Swim Schools, Kirby Swim, Karrinyup
Best Swim School for Marketing, Promotion and Customer Service:Airlie Beach Swim School
Best Swim School for Innovation: Kirby Swim School Academy, CCGS
Teacher of the Year for Learners with Disability: Shad Royston (Above and Beyond Swim School, Gladstone)
Teacher of the Year Babies and Toddlers: Nerida Powell (5 Star Swim Schools NSW)
SwimSAFER Awards: Shannon Townsend (Glennie Toowoomba); Terri-Anne Ransfield and Marina Burley, Kingswim (Mornington, VIC); Sunny Skye’s Swimming and Parties and Saltwater Aquatics – Tallebudgera
Meritorious Service to Teaching of Swimming in Australia: David Urry (SA)
Outstanding Contribution to Swimming in Australia: Kevin Hasemann (Swimming Qld)
Life Membership ASCTA: Michael Bohl (Griffith University)
Masters Coach of the Year: Greg Lewis (Ryde AUSSI)
Open Water Coach of the Year: John Rodgers (Noosa Aquatic)
Multi-Class Coach of the Year: Andrew Howard (Cairns Central)
Age Group Coach of the Year: Dean Boxall (St Peters Western)
Youth Coach of the Year: Dean Boxall (St Peters Western)
Outstanding Coaching Achievement: Dean Boxall (St Peters Western)
Swim Australia Teacher of the Year: Danielle Taylor (Alpha Swim School)
ASCTA Coach of the Year: Simon Cusack (Knox Pymble, NSW)