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Mooney to spearhead Bond University swimming after Tokyo glory

August 20, 2021

The Bond University Aquatic Centre. PICTURE: Cavan Flynn

Chris Mooney, one of Australia’s most successful coaches at the Tokyo Olympics, has been appointed Head Swimming Coach at Bond University.

Mooney is currently Head Swimming Coach at Spartans Swimming at the University of the Sunshine Coast where the high performance program includes Australian swimming sensation Kaylee McKeown.

The Bond move will be a homecoming for Mooney who began his coaching career on the Gold Coast under master coach Denis Cotterell.

He then gained experience in the acclaimed US college system as a coach at the University of Hawaii before being appointed Head Swimming Coach at the Spartans.

Mooney also coached at the 2016 Rio Games and in Tokyo where McKeown won three gold medals and one bronze.

His other charges have included the likes of Jennie Johansson, the 2015 50m breaststroke World Champion, and Taylor McKeown who won gold in the 200m breaststroke at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Mooney takes over at Bond following the departure of Richard Scarce to the Miami Swimming Club.

“There is some unbelievable talent in the Bond program,” Mooney said.

“We have three years of opportunity (until the 2024 Olympics) and we want to make that daily training environment the best it can be.

“There will be no pressure on the results, there'll be just a little bit of pressure on the process to make sure we get those day-to-day things right.”

Mooney’s coaching is science-driven and he says he will draw on Bond University’s sports scientists to keep at the forefront of innovation in the sport.

He says his coaching values can be summed up as attitude, respect and accountability.

They were exhibited in spades by his most famous charge McKeown, and Mooney said he had been quietly confident of her chances in Tokyo.

“When required she can take herself to a pain threshold that not many people can go through today,” he said.

“She just has this knack of busting through it.”

Bond University Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said Bond’s coaching staff and club were excited at the appointment of Mooney to lead the program.

“He brings an immense amount of experience for our swimmers to learn from and we can’t wait to have him on deck at the university,” Samuelson said.

“I look forward to working with Chris on driving the program through to the next level for the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.”

The university’s Executive Director of Sport Garry Nucifora said Mooney’s appointment was a natural evolution of Bond Swimming.

“Chris Mooney is a coach of exceptional standing and we are very excited about the contribution he will make to the swim program’s exciting story,” Nucifora said.

“His values align very well with those of the university where excellence in swimming complements the academic pursuits of our elite student-athletes.”

Mooney takes up his new position in October.