Written by on February 23, 2017

A Jamaican has been hired as a head swimming coach at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook.

On Monday the institution announced that Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson is now the head coach of Women’s swimming, as well as a diving coach.

SUNY Stony Brook recently reinstated it’s women’s swimming & diving program for the 2017-18 academic year, and hired Atkinson to rebuild its swim program, following a 4 year hiatus due to the university’s pool needing critical maintenance and renovation.

Prior to the appointment, Atkinson spent 3 seasons as assistant coach at the University of Connecticut, Fairfield, where she worked with both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs, helping the team set numerous school records.

She also spent 4 seasons at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio, coaching it’s distance program, and most recently was an ESPN commentator for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

As an Olympian Janelle Atkinson represented Jamaica in the 200m and 400m freestyle at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. She also served as head coach for Jamaica’s National Team at the 2009 Swimming World Championships in Rome.

In addition, she is a 6-time recipient of the Jamaican Swimmer of the Year award and a 6-time nominee for the Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year.

Of her new job with SUNY, Atkinson said “I’m beyond thrilled and excited to be appointed to lead this program” because of the “high level of excellence this athletic department has achieved.”

Janelle Atkinson has no relation to Jamaica’s current Olympic and swim champion Alia Atkinson.

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