Jürgen Grobler OBE
Jurgen Grobler is the GB Rowing Team's Chief Coach for Men and has personally coached gold medal crews in each of the past six Olympic Games from 1992. He came to the UK in 1991 after a successful prior coaching career in Germany. He worked at Leander Club for a year before stepping into the GB set-up.
The GB Rowing Team men's four of Andrew Triggs Hodge, Peter Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory, coached by Jurgen, took gold at Eton Dorney in the summer of 2012 – a remarkable fourth consecutive gold for GB in this boat category and another golden milestone in a 20-year history for Jurgen.
The first two golds - in Barcelona ('92) and Atlanta ('96) - were with the pair of Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent. When Jürgen arrived at Leander, Redgrave already had two Olympic titles to his name, but Pinsent was just 20 years old with two senior bronzes. Jürgen moulded them into one of the best pairs of all time and after Atlanta, presided over their move into the four which won gold in Sydney. With Tim Foster and James Cracknell this crew won world titles in '97, '98 and '99 and their race for gold in Sydney gained worldwide publicity, much of it attracted by Steve Redgrave's quest for a record fifth Olympic title.
In Athens, four years later, Jürgen also coached the four which included Pinsent and Cracknell with Steve Williams and Ed Coode. Their nail–biting final entranced millions on TV and galvanised the spectators in Athens, but they did it by just 8 hundredths of a second, Pinsent winning his 4th gold. For the first 3 years of the Olympiad Cracknell and Pinsent had raced in the pair but they finished 4th at the 2003 Worlds, forcing a rethink and a move into the four for the 2004 season.
After 2004 Jürgen worked to rebuild the men's squad, overseeing the emergence of a strong sculling track and a new four, containing just one of the Athens crew. In 2005 and 2006 they won World titles once again under Jürgen's watchful eye and at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 won gold.
Jürgen was awarded an honorary OBE for Services to Rowing in 2006. He won BBC TV's Coach of the Year Award in 2000 and lives with his wife, Angela, in Henley on Thames.