UW's Bob Ernst is Rowing News Coach of the Year

Dec. 13, 2007

LEBANON, N.H. - Bob Ernst, who led Washington to the 2007 men's national rowing championship, was named the Coach of the Year in the January 2008 edition of Rowing News magazine that was recently released. The publication's awards were international in scope.

Ernst directed the Huskies' varsity eight crew to an undefeated season in 2007, capped by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship. UW's top men's crew also won the Pac-10 title and beat a field that included Cambridge, Oxford and Moscow State University on Sept. 1 to win the Moscow Race of Champions in Russia.

Washington's other men's boats excelled in 2007 as the second varsity eight and open four crews won their respective national championships. Washington took home the Ten Eyck trophy as the overall points winner at the IRA Regatta.

Ernst was honored in May with his 11th Pac-10 Coach of the Year award.

The Rowing News article cited Ernst elevating the Husky crew into an internationally recognized team.

'Under Ernst, UW is regarded as one of the world's premier collegiate rowing programs, one blessed with strong alumni and athletic department support and hard-to-beat natural resources,' the story stated.

In July, UW announced that Ernst would return to his former position as head coach of the women's team while handing over the reigns of the men's crew to Husky freshman coach Michael Callahan. Ernst continues to oversee both the men's and women's crew programs in his position as Director of Rowing.

Rowing News expressed confidence that Ernst would return the UW women to championship-contender status.

'The question isn't whether he'll be able to turn things around on the women's side, it's how long will it take.'

Ernst served as the UW men's coach the last 20 years, winning national championships with the varsity eight crew in 1997 and 2007. He led the Huskies to 11 conference championships.

Ernst returns to the UW women's head coaching post that he occupied from 1980-87. During his seven seasons, the Huskies won every Pacific Coast championship and captured six titles at the National Collegiate Rowing Championships. UW won five consecutive varsity eight national titles between 1981-85.

Ernst coached the women's United States National Team from 1976-88, mentoring them during four Olympic Games appearances. He directed the U.S. women's eight-oared crew to a gold-medal performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

A 1963 graduate of Costa Mesa (Calif.) High School, Ernst attended Orange Coast College for two years, where he played center on the 1963 national championship junior college football team and competed in swimming and water polo. He transferred to UC Irvine and continued his swimming and water polo career. Ernst was also a member of Irvine's rowing program in 1966 and 1967 and was team captain as a senior.

Ernst, who began his coaching career at his alma mater, earned a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Irvine in 1967 and his master's degree in sports administration from the University of Washington in 1979. He served as the UW men's freshman coach from 1974-80. Ernst was inducted into Irvine's athletic hall of fame in 1984 and the national rowing hall of fame in 1994.

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