Died: April 27, 2015 (Victoria, British Columbia)
Randy Bennett was a swimming coach based in British Columbia who sent four athletes to the Olympic Games, including Ryan Cochrane, a two-time medallist.
Bennett was the head Canadian swimming coach at the Olympics (London, 2012), two Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014), and three FINA world aquatics championships (Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001; Melbourne, Australia, in 2007; Rome in 2009). He was also a coach at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.
Though restricted to bed following a cancer diagnosis, Bennett continued to offer advice to swimmers training for this summer’s Pan American Games in Toronto.
In 2008, Bennett was named the head coach at the High Performance Centre in Victoria. At the Saanich Commonwealth Pool outside Victoria, B.C., he trained Cochrane and such other world-class swimmers as Olympians Hilary Caldwell and Alex Page, as well as Commonwealth medallist Julia Wilkinson.
Cochrane was his most successful athlete, winning a bronze at the 2008 Olympics and a silver four years later, both in the 1,500-metre freestyle.
Originally diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in February, Bennett was later determined to have metastatic malignant melanoma.
“I think it’s important people realize I’m not lying in bed curled up in a ball,” he said at the time. “I am OK. It is what it is. You deal with it. I’m not rolling over. My expectation is that I’m going to get through this.”
Bennett began his coaching career in 1982 in Fort McMurray, Alta.
He was named swim coach of the year in B.C. in 2003 and 2005.
Bennett was 51. He leaves his wife and two teenaged sons.