2011, 2013, 2019 NEWMAC Coach of the Year
Jason Steele begins his 20th year at the helm of the Women's Rowing team.
Bolstered by a third-place showing by the varsity eight, as well as a fifth-place row by the second varsity eight, the 2017-18 team placed third in its first-ever NCAA Division III Championship appearance. WPI was tested early and often in the regular season and was second at the NEWMAC Championship. The varsity eight then finished second at the New England Championships and third in what proved to be a preview of the NCAA top 3 at the National Invitation Rowing Championships. The team also excelled in the classroom, leading the NEWMAC with 14 Academic All-Conference honorees and touting 16 NIRC selections. Both lists included nine student-athletes that achieved a 3.5 GPA or better and rowed at the national regatta.
As the first head coach of women’s rowing after its inception as a varsity sport in 1999, WPI's rise to prominence began immediately upon his arrival. WPI has consistently ranked amongst the nation’s top DIII Rowing teams. In 2004, WPI was ranked second in the nation, missing the country’s top slot by less than one second. The WPI varsity eight was ranked seventh and ninth in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The Engineers have been the runner up at the NEWMAC Championship five of the last six years to go along with a second-place finish in 2004. The 2016-17 varsity eight was ranked ninth a majority of the season while the varsity eight and second varsity eight were regionally-ranked by the NCAA in the final public release. The varsity eight also won the Quinsigamond Snake Regatta and was second at the Textile River Regatta.
Corre Steele (no relation) was selected as a CoSIDA Academic All-America three times (2013, 2014, 2015) to go with Jessica McAlear's 2002 nod. At the conference level, the program is poised to exceed 100 Academic All-NEWMAC laurels following the 2018-19 season.
Steele began his rowing career in 1987 as a member of Lake Quinsigamond's own St. John's High School. During his years at St. John's, he developed a passion for rowing which he carried forward into college. A founding member of Emory University's Crew Club (Atlanta, GA), he maintained his affiliation with Emory until 1999.
Notable non-collegiate coaching experience has come as a part of the United States National Team where Steele coached at the USA Lightweight Men's Pair at the 2001 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. Continuing his interest in elite rowing, Steele spent time during the summers of 2002 and 2003 assisting the Canadian Women's National Team in London, Ontario, and the summers of 2004 and 2005 working with the United States Junior Women's National Team in New London, CT.