Scottish Athletics is set to bring Stephen Maguire back from UK Athletics to become their new director of performance and coaching in a major coup for the governing body.
With a final deal understood to be all but done, the Northern Irishman is primed for a second spell in a role he vacated following the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in favour of a switch to Loughborough to oversee the country’s sprints and hurdles squads.
His tenure at UKA coincided with the emergence of a wave of promising British sprinters, including European 200 metres champion Dina Asher-Smith, but it was his decision to upgrade the ecosystem around Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s relay squads which paid the greatest dividends.
Following 4x100 and 4x400 relay bronzes for Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s women at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the British men struck 4x100 gold at last summer’s IAAF world championships in London with two silvers and a bronze by the other three relay quartets on show.
UK Athletics’ performance director Neil Black’s regard for Maguire is such that he will likely retain overall insight of the relay programme, even when he relinquishes his day-to-day involvement in Loughborough following this summer’s European Championships in Berlin.
Maguire is expected to immediately resume a hands-on approach to pushing for further improvements to a grassroots system whose ability to product top-level talent has created a blueprint which is now being copied across the rest of the UK.
Meanwhile Scots prospects Alisha Rees, Erin Wallace and Michael Olsen have been included in a 40-strong British squad for next month’s World Junior Championships in Tampere.