Sport

UK Athletics set to nominate new British head trainer after postponement of Olympics

UK Athletics keen to appoint new British head coach following postponement of Olympics

  • UK Athletics have brought forward plans to hire a new head coach
  • Neil Black left October during the fall-out of the Alberto Salazar affair
  • New CEO Joanna Coates confirmed a swift appointment was a priority 

UK Athletics have brought forward plans to hire a new head coach in the wake of the postponement of the Olympics.

The organisation has been without a permanent performance chief since Neil Black left in October during the fall-out of the Alberto Salazar affair and following a missed medal target at the Doha World Championships.

Initially the plan had been to utilise the interim pairing of Steve Paulding and Tommy Yule at the Games in Tokyo, but with the Olympics moving back a year, new CEO Joanna Coates confirmed a quicker appointment has now become a priority. It is understood they will look to have someone in place in the next two or three months and ideally a British candidate.

UK Athletics has been without a permanent performance chief since Neil Black left in October

UK Athletics has been without a permanent performance chief since Neil Black left in October

Early possibilities with strong backing in the coaching community would be Stephen Maguire, the director of coaching at Scottish Athletics who rejected the chance to replace Black last year and would require persuading, and Toni Minichiello, who led Jess Ennis-Hill to gold at London 2012.

Coates said: ‘The postponement of the Olympics gives me, in a selfish way, a chance to really accelerate change. And I think we can accelerate change in the performance area. That would have had to wait until after Tokyo. But we’ve got 16 months now to rebuild.

‘I believe the first appointment we need to make is a head coach for the Olympic programme. I believe that coach development and coaching is an area we need to focus on and to have a UK head coach would be a great thing.’

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Meanwhile, UKA have confirmed they are putting 11 members of staff on furlough.

 


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