INTERNATIONAL coach Jon Rudd believes Plymouth College’s swimming programme is in ‘very safe hands’ after Robin Armayan was appointed as his successor.
Rudd, who guided Ruta Meilutyte to Olympic gold in 2012, left his joint post as Plymouth College’s director of swimming and Plymouth Leander’s head coach this month to take up the role of national performance director with Swim Ireland.
During his time at Plymouth College, Rudd transformed the school’s swimming programme and has helped produce countless internationals and a host of Olympians, including Meilutyte and Ben Proud.
At last summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, Plymouth College had 10 current or former pupils competing.
The school and Plymouth Leander, who have been National Arena League champions seven times in eight years, want their success to continue and they hope Great Britain junior coach Armayan can help do that.
After advertising and judging candidates to replace Rudd as director of swimming, Plymouth College opted to promote Armayan, who has been working with the school and Leander since 2014.
The 35-year-old Frenchman had been Rudd’s number two in Plymouth for three years since moving to Devon from Poole Swimming Club, where he guided the Dorset side to their most successful spell in their history after becoming their head coach in 2008.
“I am not sure who will be more delighted myself for Robin’s success, or the students who get to keep a superlative coach,” said Rudd on Armayan’s appointment.
“The programme is in very safe hands with Robin and I look forward to watching his and the students’ continued success.”
Plymouth College headmaster Jonathan Standen added: “Robin was, without question, the best candidate. The panel were particularly impressed with Robin’s vision for the future.
“Robin is an ambitious man determined to build on Jon’s impressive work, taking our programme to new heights.”
Meanwhile, Proud and Meilutyte are both considering where they will base themselves in the build up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Double Commonwealth Games champion Proud is currently training in Turkey with sprint specialist James Gibson, who left his role with British Swimming in November and is now head coach of pioneering Energy Standard Club. However, Proud has not ruled out returning to Plymouth.