Brief History: compiled by Jeff Beavis
Brian left home at 15 years of age to pursue a swimming career in Sydney. Living in a rented unit, he completed the Higher School Certificate whilst training full-time and working part-time to maintain total financial independence.
He won several National Age & Open Championships in Freestyle, Backstroke and Individual Medley. In 1979, after winning National Open Titles in the 100m Free & 400m IM at the same meet, Brian was offered a Full Scholarship to the University of Hawaii, USA.
During his freshman year (1st year), he won the prestigious Quarterback Club’s “Athlete of the Month Award” for January 1980, after completing a 3 week racing tour of California undefeated. This was a State wide award that covered all sports and Brian was the 1st swimmer to win this award.
For the next 2 seasons he continued to compete successfully around the world before incurring a serious knee injury that required surgery. The day after coming out of his plaster, Brian executed a life saving rescue in the 16ft deep diving pool, that retore all the ligaments in his right knee. This required a complete knee reconstruction and after 3weeks in hospital, Brian continued to train and race whilst his leg was in plaster. Despite this, he was still able to qualify for the US Open Championships and was subsequently awarded the “Most Inspirational Award” at the end of the season.
At the end of his Sophomore Year (2nd year), Brian was elected Team Captain by his fellow swimmers, becoming the first non-Senior athlete to be bestowed this honour in the 50 year history of the swimming program. After re-injuring his knee whilst competing at the US Open in Gainsville-Florida, he found himself going back under-the-knife two more times... bringing his competitive swimming career to an abrupt and premature end.
On a brighter note, during his time at the University of Hawaii, Brian studied Exercise Physiology & Applied Science. On returning to Australia, he was very keen to pass on the technical knowledge he acquired in the U.S.. Before he could do so, he had to endure another two knee operations and decided to start training greyhounds (ie. racing dogs), as part of his rehabilitation. Over the next 3 years, Brian trained in excess of 120 winners and became one of the top greyhound trainers in NSW.
His application of these scientific methods on future athletes proved a great success, training swimmers to countless State, National and International Gold medals. In late 1999, Brian was diagnosed with a malignant Melanoma, that had already spread to several areas of his body and was forced to have 3 major surgeries in the space of 3 weeks.
Despite this, Brian bounced back to have 3 of his swimmers make the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games team and was again selected as one of the coaches on the Australian Olympic Team. After another cancer scare in 2003, he decided that he would retire after the 2004 Olympics and pursue his long-term dream of training Thoroughbred (i.e. racing) horses.
Since late 2010, Brian has returned to the sport of swimming as a High Performance Consultant to Swimming Australia, NSW Institute of Sport and Macquarie University, just to name a few. After being disappointed in the direction that our National program has taken, Brian has decided to concentrate on the developmental side of the sport, an area in which he feels is being totally neglected by the swimming administration.