Nick Baker promoted to Paralympic Head Coach
Tom Dyson steps into the new Head of Olympic and Paralympic Performance Delivery position
Nick Baker, who has coached the Paralympic team for almost 10 years, leading his crews to two Paralympic titles and three World Championship golds, is stepping up into the Paralympic Head Coach role, replacing Tom Dyson. He will be supported this summer by coach James Loveday as the pathway and performance programme athletes merge to form new-look crews. Nick will sit alongside Paul Stannard and Andrew Randell, the new Olympic Head Coaches, on the GBRT leadership team.
Explaining his vision for the team going forward, Nick said: “I’ve worked with the team since 2013 and moved on a huge amount in that time. Tom and I have different skill sets, we’ve complemented each other, and I’ve learnt so much from him over the years. I can now put my stamp on the programme in a conservative way as Tom and I have always refined and moved on. We have a big influx of exciting new athletes coming into the team and I want to push the limits and see what we can do to make the whole system, across boat classes, successful. I want to ensure that all our athletes’ lives are enhanced and that they have a good experience from being part of the programme.”
Following an outstanding 14 years leading the Paralympic Programme Tom Dyson will remain a key member of the leadership team as he moves into the newly created role of Head of Olympic and Paralympic Performance Delivery. He will remain strongly connected to the Paralympic Programme as well as leading on Olympic performance delivery where he will head up the Programme Support Team and will take on the line management of Operations, Logistics, Resources and Athlete support, enabling the team behind the team to perform at their very best.
In his time with the Paralympic Programme Tom led the team to become the top Paralympic Rowing nation, topping the medal table for the last two Paralympic Games and along the way bringing home an incredible six Paralympic gold medals and 12 World Championship titles (as Chief Coach and Crew Coach combined). Of the 36 Paralympic gold medallists crowned since 2008, GB rowers account for an incredible 22 of these.
Tom said: “Whilst excited about the prospect of taking on a new role, I am of course sad to be stepping back from the Paralympic team as Head Coach after 14 years. I’ve had the chance to work closely with some incredibly talented athletes and some brilliant coaches. Nick is an incredible coach and I’m confident the team can’t be in better hands going forward. I’m excited to see him put his stamp on the programme and to watch the team thrive as they move towards Paris. Looking forward, I’m excited to be taking on a role where I can keep contact with the Paralympic team and also work more broadly with the performance support team across Olympic delivery. It will be great to work more closely with the team behind the team that have supported so much of the success I enjoyed as a coach.”
Louise Kingsley, Director of Performance added: “I am absolutely delighted to be able to work with both Tom and Nick as part of the Senior Leadership Team. Tom’s leadership of the Paralympic Programme has been outstanding and I am sure the athletes will miss him greatly, but moving forward Tom will be able to positively impact on the performances of both the Olympic and Paralympic teams.
“The Paralympic Programme will be handed over to Nick Baker who in his own right is also an outstanding and experienced Paralympic Coach. This promotion will create the opportunity for Nick to keep evolving the Paralympic Programme which is expanding from four medal classes to five in Paris.”