Check out our new site at

Ron Jacks

From Openwaterpedia

Ronald Brian "Ron" Jacks (born January 23, 1948 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) was a renowned Canadian Olympic and international swimmer in the 1960s and 1970s and served as Canada's national open water swimming coach. He created COW Swimming, a website devoted to Canadian open water swimmers and is the coach of Richard Weinberger.

Jacks is also currently serving as a member of the UANA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee along with Jose Ismael Gonzales, Executive Committee Liaison from Guatemala, Denny Ryther, Chairman from the USA, Chantal Van Keekin Frederik from Suriname, Tomas Haces German from Cuba, Gladys Mejia Garcia from El Salvador, Pierre Lafontaine from Canada and Jorge Delgado, Secretary from Ecuador.

Swimming Career

At the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games (held in Kingston, Jamaica) he won a gold medal in the 110 yards butterfly. In the 1970 British Commonwealth Games (held in Edinburgh, Scotland) he won a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly. He also competed for Canada at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and the 1972 Munich Olympics, and 1967 and 1971 Pan American Games.

Between 1964 and 1972 Jacks set seven Canadian records, and won numerous Canadian National Championships. As a club swimmer he trained with the Vancouver 'Y' swim club, under Canadian coach Ted Simpson. For his University swimming career he attended Indiana University from 1966 to 1972, training under Doc Counsilman. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1971. He is a member of the Canadian Swimming Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Swim BC Halls of Fame.

Coaching Career

In 1972, Jacks retired from competitive swimming and turned his attention to coaching starting in Vancouver, British Columbia as the head coach for the Arbutus Swim Club. Later founding the Vancouver Pacific Swim Club. Jacks became head coach with the Hyack Swim Club from 1974-1984 when he moved to Victoria, BC to become the head coach of the Victoria Amateur Swim Club. In 1988 he helped in the formation of Island Swimming, and held the position of Director of Swimming until 2002. In 2002, he and fellow coaches Rod Barratt, and Mark Lancaster formed Pacific Coast Swimming where Ron is currently in the position of Director of Swimming.

Jacks is a Canadian NCCP Level IV and NCI Master Coach. He has received numerous recognitions for coaching excellence by Swim BC, the BC Swim Coaches Association, the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association, and Swim-Natation Canada. He was named as the National Open Water Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2005 he was named the Swimming Canada National Open Water Head Coach.


Jacks received a National Domestic Excellence in Coaching Award in 2003 and 2004, a Petro-Canada National Coaching Excellence Award in 2004, and a 2004 International CSCTA Team Award. He was also awarded the 2004 and 2005 BC Coach of the Year (SWAD), and the 2002 BC Coach of the Year (16 and under age group).

Jacks coaching has produced finalists or semi-finalists at every Olympic Games since 1976 and has coached the following swimmers:

Olympians Bronze medals - Shannon Smith and Pam Rai
World Champion Open Water swimmers: Kim Dyke, 1993 Open Water World Cup Series Champion, Greg Streppel, 1994 World Open Water Champion
Paralympic Gold Medalist/World Record Holder: Stephanie Dixon
Olympic Finalists: Christin Petelski (1996, 2000), Nikki Dryden, and Jon Kelly
Commonwealth Games athletes: Danielle Bell, John Stamhuis, Philip Weiss, Suzanne Weckend, Dino Verbrugge and Anne Barnes
FINA Open Water Championship competitors: David Creel, Karley Stutzel, Richard Weinberger

External links