Swimming coach switches to rugby league

15 April 2010 - 15:57 By AFP

National Rugby League (NRL) club Canterbury Bullogs on Thursday announced the appointment of Thompson as general manager of the club's rugby operations.

Thompson was on Wednesday cleared of any wrongdoing at Swimming Australia following a four-month investigation into alleged “inappropriate” behaviour at a coaching conference on the Gold Coast in 2007.

Thompson accepted a redundancy package last January after Swimming Australia reduced his powers by splitting the positions of head coach and high performance general manager.

He had held both positions with the Australian national swimming team for five years before he took redundancy.

The Bulldogs said Thompson will oversee a range of rugby programmes including the Bulldogs High Performance Unit and the development, welfare and education portfolios.

“This is a major coup for the Bulldogs,” club chief executive Todd Greenberg said.

“Working as a coach and an administrator Alan guided Australian swimming through a golden era. He has a proven ability to create environments that allow athletes to excel and we're delighted to welcome him on board."

Thompson is a former lower grade player for the Bulldogs and a long-time supporter of the club.

“I'm really excited to be back in professional sport and working with the Bulldogs, I've been following them for more than 40 years,” Thompson said.