WORCESTER – WPI's Jason Steele has been named as the 2019 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Division III National Head Coach of the Year.
In all, the varsity eight was 33-0 in the spring regular season, including an upset of eventual national champion Bates, and was ranked No. 1 for three weeks. The NEWMAC Champions and runner up at the New England Rowing Championships went on to finish 59-4 overall and 22-4 versus fellow NCAA championship participants. During the fall season, the Engineers were third at the Head of the Charles, behind Bates and Williams. The second varsity eight, who also won its NEWMAC Championship race and earned silver at the NCAA regatta, went 28-4 in April and placed third at the NERC.
No stranger to national accolades, the 2018 Joy of Sculling Women's Collegiate Coach of the Year collected his third NEWMAC Coach of the Year honor in 2019, boasted 10 CRCA National Scholar Athletes, featuring the NCAA Division III Elite 90 award winner Sarah St. Pierre, and two CRCA All-Americans, including Kinsey McNamara who is set to row for Team USA at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships July 24-28 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL.
It is the third time a coach from the NEWMAC has been recognized as Wellesley's Tessa Spillane was honored in 2011 and 2016. Bates, meanwhile, claimed Staff of the Year accolades for the third consecutive season.
The National Coach of the Year Awards are voted on by the membership of the CRCA and are intended to recognize head coaches whose teams have had outstanding success throughout the current season and who have demonstrated a high level of professionalism and integrity as a coach. The staff of the year awards recognizes a staff who has had a significant impact on the performance of their team, has shown outstanding commitment to their coach and has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and integrity as a staff.