UVA Head Coach Frank Biller explains what he sees as the most important aspects of coaching any rowing program.  For club programs he believes that organization and structure are key elements in the success of a program.  A strong board of directors like that which exists at UVA can be  a tremendous asset to a club program. Coach Biller’s goal is to compete at the highest level regardless of the team designation.

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Employers understand the skills required to be a college athlete and are targeting college athletes for employment.



There is no “one right path” to row in college.  We always say that anyone who wants to row in college can do it.  The issue is which college will be your place.  Many kids are successful in getting recruited to row in college while others decide to “walk on” either at the start of their college career or later on.  Either path (being recruited or being a “walk-on”) can work if the ultimate goal is to row on a college team.  Each path will offer a different experience and how far you progress on a team depends on you.   As  you start to think about the college admissions process, you should consider how you want to proceed with the rowing piece and have a plan which takes all options into consideration.

The very early scouting for sports such as soccer and lacrosse reported in the  recent NYTimes article does not occur with rowing.  Such early recruiting does not benefit either party but there is pressure on both sides to engage in this practice.    Early recruiting may result in college coaches committing  to student-athletes who don’t develop as they expect and student-athletes  may  end up on on teams and at schools that are not be right for them.  Since early recruiting is outside of NCAA guidelines, there is no regulation of the activity and therefore there is essentially no protection for either side.  This means that a college could withdraw their “informal” commitment to a student-athlete late in the game leaving the student-athlete with fewer options.


Increased financial aid within the Ivy League is “leveling the playing field” with schools offering athletics scholarship.


The strength of willpower and self-control can have an huge impact on every aspect of life from work and school to personal relationships and mental attitude.


The number of competitors at Club Nationals has increased steadily in recent years as youth rowing becomes more mainstream.  Junior rowing has exploded with many programs now attracting middle school student athletes.



Edward “Ned” Hanlan, winner of the World Professional Rowing Championship in 1880 is recognized as the first international superstar athlete.