Scottish Athletics: Stephen Maguire to return as director of performance and coaching

Stephen Maguire (right)
Stephen Maguire (right) is credited with driving the success of the British sprints and relay programme

The coach behind Britain's medal-winning relay teams is to return to Scottish Athletics in September as director of performance and coaching.

Stephen Maguire, formerly director of coaching at the Scottish governing body from 2012 to 2014, will replace the departed Rodger Harkins.

Harkins stepped down from the role after the Commonwealth Games in April.

Maguire's relay squads secured four World Championship medals for Great Britain and Northern Ireland last year.

That included gold for the men's 4x100m team, plus two silvers - including the women's 4x400m team, featuring Scotland's Eilidh Doyle and Zoey Clark - and a bronze.

Northern Irishman Maguire, in his role as head of power for sprints, hurdles and relays at British Athletics, won Coach of the Year at last year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards - alongside fellow sprint coaches Benke Blomkvist and Christian Malcolm - after the relay success at London 2017.

"It is fantastic news that Stephen will join us as the new director of performance and coaching and we're absolutely delighted," said Scottish Athletics chief executive Mark Munro.

"He is certainly recognised as having played a major part in the current success in Scotland, given his impact with coaches and athletes between 2012 and 2014.

"Since his time in Scotland, Stephen and I have maintained a strong working relationship over the last four years and his return to Scotland was a prospect we spoke about often as having potential to happen in the future.

"For this to then become a reality so soon, given his significant successes at the London 2017 World Champs and the Rio Olympics a year earlier, is good news for Scottish Athletics and indeed athletics in Scotland."

Athletes (from top, in clockwise order) Mark Dry, Jake Wightman, Eilidh Doyle, Maria Lyle and Robbie Simpson
Athletes (from top, in clockwise order) Mark Dry, Jake Wightman, Eilidh Doyle, Maria Lyle and Robbie Simpson all won Commonwealth medals for Scotland in April

Team Scotland returned from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with five athletics medals, their highest total since Auckland in 1990.

"I am delighted to be returning to Scotland and have committed for the long term," said Maguire.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time before; I love the country and the people. But the real reason for returning is the fact that I believe that there is significant talent in Scotland with a real opportunity to progress to world level.

"I do feel I have unfinished business here and know that we can make a real impact through supporting coaches, athletes and clubs to deliver on that stage."

Maguire will begin his role on 10 September, after the European Championships in Berlin and a short break.

He will also maintain a role with British Athletics, leading the successful relay programme.