Josh makes the Olympic team!!! Murray would have been so proud!!

Leela D'Cruz

Dear NYAC Community,

It is with great pleasure that we inform you that Joshua Liendo, a North York Aquatic Club (NYAC) alumni who was coached by Murray Drudge, has made the Canadian team for the Tokyo Olympics.  We wish Joshua and all Canadian swimmers and athletes the very best of luck in the upcoming Olympic Games.

We are saddened that Murray is not here to witness this moment, but are certain that he would be exceptionally proud that Joshua, the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Ontario, his and NYAC’s efforts have culminated in this wonderful achievement. This continues a long history of NYAC’s success for Murray, who contributed tirelessly to the Club’s success for over two decades as Head Coach.

Back in 1996, NYAC was a modest size club of about 65 swimmers. Through Murray’s vision, dedication and leadership, the club grew to its current state and is now one of the biggest and most reputable in the country. NYAC has transformed into a world class competitive swimming club, in large part to Murray’s efforts.

Murray’s proven coaching methods identified, motivated, and maximized high performance talent, and he mentored countless National level swimmers and generations of coaches. Murray’s philosophy has become the cornerstone of NYAC’s culture and values: Pride, Discipline, and Loyalty.

Murray’s successes, and contributions to NYAC and the greater Canadian swim community, include:

  • Contributing to NYAC’s success at the Junior Canada Games, Junior Pan Pacific, Youth Olympics, Junior World Championships;
  • Contributing to NYAC’s success at the Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific, World  Championships and the Olympics.
  • 2018 – 2020 National High Performance Centre Ontario – High Performance Coach - Olympics Qualifier – Men’s 100 Butterfly - Joshua Liendo
  • 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championship - Budapest Team Official Coach
  • 2017 NYAC Outstanding Stewardship – 20 Year Recognition Award
  • 2016/2017 Swim Ontario - Olympic Medalist – Michelle Williams
  • 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games – Women’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay – Pan-Am Games and Canadian Record
  • 2014 Swimming Canada - Canadian Swimming Trials, Coach
  • 2013 Swimming Canada – Coach of the Year (Male Swimmer)
  • 2013 Swimming Canada - World Trials Barcelona, Coach
  • 2013 FINA National Federation – 4th FINA World Junior Swimming Championship, Dubai (UAE) – Canadian Swimming Federation Coach
  • 2012 Canadian Age Group Championships Coach
  • 2012 Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC)
  • 2011 ASA Swim for Life – England Talent vs. Canada Award
  • 2011 North America Challenger Cup Mexico
  • 2010 Pan Pacific team and Head Coach
  • 2008 British Grand Prix – Team Canada Coach
  • 2008 Canadian Swimming Coaches& Teachers Association - Speedo Domestic Excellence Award National Event Winner
  • 2007 Canadian Swimming Coaches& Teachers Association Speedo Domestic Excellence Award National Event Winner
  • 2006 Canadian Swimming Coaches & Teachers Association
  • 2006 – Speedo International Team Award
  • 2006 – Canadian FINA LC World Aquatic Championship Team
  • 2006 – Speedo Excellence Award - Coach of National Event Winner
  • 2006 – Speedo Domestic Excellence Award National Event Winner
  • 2005 – 2006 Ontario Swimming Coaching Association (OSCA)
  • 2005 – Ontario High Performance Coach of the Year
  • 2005 – Single highest score on FINA long course point charts in an Olympic event, Julia Wilkinson
  • 2005 – Canadian Swimming Coaches & Teachers Association
  • 2005 – Speedo Domestic Excellence Award National Event Winner

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament, said it best, when he stated the following in the House of Commons in 2020: Swimming Canada lost one of its best coaches, and the families whose kids swim for the North York Aquatic Club lost a friend and a mentor, someone who helped propel a generation of Canadians toward Olympic glory and well beyond. Murray Drudge's sudden passing has broken hearts and shocked the swim community, but the dreams he has given shape to, the dreams of Olympic gold and the scholarship opportunities that live on through the young athletes he trained are his legacy.”

With sincere thanks and gratitude for Murray’s lifetime contributions to NYAC’s past and continued success.

North York Aquatic Club, Board of Directors

More photos: