O'Neill Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year
May 27, 2010
BERKELEY - California women's crew head coach Dave O'Neill was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, while Golden Bear coxswain senior Jill Costello was named Athlete of the Year and her teammate freshman Kara Kohler was named Newcomer of the Year for a Cal sweep of the 2010 Pac-10 women's rowing honors, as announced by the conference on Thursday. Four Bears were also selected to the Pac-10 all-conference team.
O'Neill earned his fifth Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Bears to their third-consecutive Pac-10 title back on May 16. The 12th year head coach has coached the varsity 8+ to two victories over rival and reigning NCAA Champion Stanford this year, including a close win to solidify this year's Pac-10 title.
A native of San Francisco, Calif., Costello, who has been battling lung cancer since last June, coxed the varsity 8+ for the first time this season at the Pac-10 Championships and led the squad to a narrow victory over Stanford to clinch the conference crown. She has been an inspiration for the Bears all season. At the annual Big Row against rival Stanford, Cal competed as 'Team Jill' in support of Costello. The team uniforms and oars were navy blue and aquamarine green, Costello's favorite color. The Stanford women also raced in special uniforms to honor Costello. The Bears swept the Cardinal in the dual meet.
Kohler has been rowing consistently from the four or six seat in the varsity 8+ boat this season, helping the third-ranked squad earn wins over Pac-10-rivals Washington and Stanford. The Clayton, Calif., native was in the six seat at the Pac-10 Championships when the varsity 8+ boat edged Stanford by less than a minute to clinch the Pac-10 title by half a point overall. Kohler, an avid swimmer and triathlete, chose to compete in rowing instead of swimming in college.
The four Bears who were selected to the Pac-10 all-conference squad were seniors Iva Obradovic and Taryn O'Connell, junior Mary Jeghers and sophomore Kristina Lofman. For Obradovic, it was her third time receiving this honor.
The Bears next compete in the NCAA Championships from May 28-30 at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif, as they vie for their third NCAA team title. For more information on the national meet, please click here.