Mac swim coach to test international waters

The summer just got busier for Andrew Cole.

The McMaster swim coach has accepted an invitation to join the coaching staff of the Canadian national swim team. Cole heads to Pointe-Claire, Quebec for the 2011 Nations Cup competition scheduled for July 25-26.

The Nations Cup comes right on the heels of the Canadian National Championships also being held in Pointe-Claire the week before (July 21-24), where Cole will be on hand to coach nine of his McMaster swimmers who will be competing. Following the Nationals, Cole will help prepare Team Canada to swim against top-level competition from France, Denmark and Brazil at the Nations Cup.

In addition to his national swim team duties as Technical Manager, Cole was recently honoured by Triathlon Canada as its Age-Group Coach of the Year. Recognized for his work with C3 tri-athletes, along with former Olympic coach and McMaster alumnus Barrie Shepley, Cole saw some tremendous results from his charges this year. Athletes who honed their swimming component under his tutelage include Sean Bechtel, Canada’s long distance Athlete of the Year and Andrew Yorke, Canada’s Junior Athlete of the Year.

“This has been surprise recognition on both fronts,” says Cole, regarding the National team invite and the accolade from Triathlon Canada. “It is nice to get the endorsement of the quality work we have been doing to help our student- athletes.”

In five years as McMaster swim coach, Cole has seen the team improve from qualifying one male swimmer for the Canadian Interuniversity Sports finals in his first year, to this past season when 26 Marauders met CIS qualifying standards. In addition to results in the pool, Cole has built up the program to the point of being able to offer full financial awards to all Senior National qualifiers who meet the academic requirements.