New Zealand rowing coach Dick Tonks has been named World Rowing's coach of the year for the third time.
Gold medals for Mahé Drysdale and the men's pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, and the overseeing of a programme which also included a gold for the heavyweight double scull and two bronze medals, were enough to secure Tonks' the prestigious title at the world governing body's annual awards last night in Europe.
Tonks also won the award - the greatest coaching accolade available in rowing - in 2005 and 2010.
"When New Zealand picked up an unprecedented five medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games it was clear that their head coach Dick Tonks was behind this success," World Rowing said in a statement.
"Tonks has been the brains and sweat behind the amazing success of New Zealand rowing. In London, the men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray completed a perfect Olympic cycle by remaining unbeaten since forming a crew in 2009.
"Tonks is also the coach behind Olympic champion in the men's single sculls, Mahé Drysdale. As a five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medallist Drysdale is New Zealand's most successful single sculler."
Tonks was also the architect behind the two gold medals of the Evers-Swindell twins and Rob Waddell. An Olympic medallist from the 1972 Munich Games, Tonks began as a volunteer coach in his home town of Wanganui where he worked night shift at a factory so that he could coach during the day.
- © Fairfax NZ News