TOP international diving coach Andy Banks is leaving Plymouth to take up a role in Australia.
Banks has been appointed Diving Australia’s national coach (Melbourne).
His departure is the second blow to Plymouth aquatics, following Jon Rudd’s move to Swim Ireland earlier this year.
Banks, who coached Tom Daley to the World Championship title and Olympic bronze medal, has been head-hunted before, including by Diving Canada a few years ago, but has previously resisted other offers.
In a statement issued by Diving Australia, Banks said: “I am so grateful to the city of Plymouth and other partners in the city who have supported me for the last 25 years, but all good things come to an end and I am so excited to get down under and sink my teeth into all things Melbourne and Australia.”
Banks will be working with fellow GB diving coach Ady Hinchcliffe, who recently left Leeds to join Diving Australia after helping Jack Laugher and Chris Mears to Olympic gold.
Banks, who as well as Daley has also helped developed the likes of Olympians Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow, said: “Obviously I know and love working with Ady, who is now an Australian national coach in Brisbane, but I am also so excited to be working with Chava Sobrino and Michel Larouche and the other Australian coaches – particularly Gong Ming and all the other Melbourne based coaches.
Diving Australia has a great vision and are continuing to assemble a team of people within their national program which I believe will set the global benchmark.”
Diving Australia CEO David Bell said: “Andy is one of the world’s best coaches and to add him to our Melbourne program, in a newly created national coach role will give us a huge boost nationally. We know he will be a fantastic asset and we couldn’t be happier.”