David McNulty – British Swimming Performance Centre Bath Lead Coach

David McNulty

Title: Lead Coach, British Swimming Performance Centre Bath

Date and place of birth: 1969, County Durham, England

Athletes coached include: Jo Jackson, Michael Jamieson, Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chris Walker-Hebborn, Tom Dean, James Guy, Freya Anderson.


David McNulty is one of the world’s most respected and successful swimming coaches have guided a host of athletes to Olympic medals with Team GB, as well as World and European titles.

A former competitive swimmer himself, McNulty gained his first part-time coaching experience aged 20 in his native County Durham and, over the next 18 years, rose through the ranks to become Head Coach of Durham Aquatics.

He made his senior international debut as a coach with British Swimming in 2001 and attended his first Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. Four years later he coached Jo Jackson to 400m freestyle bronze at Beijing 2008, one of only three medals won in the pool that year by Team GB.

It was after Beijing that McNulty moved to the South West to become Lead Coach at the Bath National Centre, one of two NCs established during a restructuring of British Swimming. Among the initial small intake of swimmers were Chris Walker-Hebborn and Andrew Willis, who both went on to be double Olympians.

Michael Jamieson, who joined the set-up in its second year, won a superb silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012 and more silvers were to follow at Rio 2016 for Jazz Carlin (400m and 800m freestyle), Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (200m individual medley) and Walker-Hebborn (4x100m medley relay).

Tokyo 2020 proved to be an incredible Games for the National Centre Bath with both Tom Dean (200m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle) and James Guy (4x200m freestyle, mixed 4x100m medley) being crowned as double Olympic Champions. Freya Anderson also won mixed 4x100m medley gold and there was a men’s medley silver for Guy, while Calum Jarvis and Matt Richards – part of Jol Finck’s training group at the National Centre – were gold-medallists in the 4x200m freestyle too. Those successes led McNulty to being named as Coach of the Year at the 2021 Team GB Awards.

He was also inducted into the University of Bath Hall of Fame for Sport in February 2022.

McNulty – who was part of the inaugural intake of UK Sport’s elite coaching programme, successfully graduating in 2016 – has been vocal in his praise for the University of Bath and its support for the National Centre. He has also worked closely with Team Bath staff over the years, particularly Director of Sport Stephen Baddeley, to ensure the swimming facilities at the Sports Training Village are world-class. Improvements during the past decade include a complete refit of the London 2012 Legacy Pool, installation of underwater cameras and a retractable 25m turn-wall to help short-course training.

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