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Announcing the 2023 IRCA Specialty Award Winners and Coach/Staff of the Year

PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY IRCA

The Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association is excited to announce the 2023 winners of our Individual and Team Specialty Awards, which honor several exceptional student-athletes, in addition to our well-deserving colleagues and fellow coaches. This year’s awards include:

Jack R. Robinson Inspiration Award – Given to an athlete or coach who has demonstrated the drive and motivation to overcome adversity or make a major impact on their team or community. This award is named in honor of Cornell Heavyweight Commodore and coxswain, Jack Robinson.

Leadership Award – Given to a coach or administrator who has shown great leadership and become a role model for men’s collegiate rowing.

Comeback Athlete of the Year – Given to an athlete who has shown significant improvement with their perseverance, determination, and dedication.

Comeback Team of the Year – Given to a team that has shown significant improvement with their perseverance, determination and dedication.

Novice Award – Given to an athlete (oarsman or coxswain) who started their rowing career in college and has become a top tier athlete within their program and in the sport of men’s collegiate rowing.

Scholar Athlete Award – Given to the athlete with the strongest combination of academic and athletic accomplishments as determined through a combination of GPA, major field of study, academic achievements, athletic performance, etc.

Coxswain of the Year – Given to a coxswain who has demonstrated great leadership and skill to motivate their team to compete at the best of their ability.

Nominations for each award were submitted by IRCA member coaches, along with their comments and recommendations, and were then voted on by the IRCA Board of Directors to select a winner.

In addition to the awards listed above, the IRCA is pleased to honor our colleagues with the following awards:

Div 1, Div 3, and Lightweight Coach of the Year – Nominated by and voted on by their peers, the Coach of the Year from each division represents the highest ideals of coaching in men’s collegiate rowing. They lead by example through demonstrated mentorship, integrity, performance, and love of the sport while upholding the values of the IRCA and men’s collegiate rowing.

Div 1, Div 3, and Lightweight Staff of the Year – Nominated by the head coaches and voted on by the membership, this award recognizes the outstanding work done by the assistant coach(es), volunteer coach(es), boatmen, etc. from each division in service to their team and in support of the head coach.

Any IRCA member coach could submit a nomination for Coach of the Year, whereas Staff of the Year nominations came from that program’s head coach or another head coach in their league. Comments/recommendations were submitted alongside the nomination before being voted on by the IRCA membership.

In addition to these awards, we’re excited to introduce “The Gladstone Award”, named in honor of Steve Gladstone who will also be its inaugural recipient. When we reflected on the impact that Steve has had on our sport, we knew we had to honor him in a manner befitting his many years of service to men’s collegiate rowing. Rather than signifying a “lifetime achievement”, The Gladstone Award recognizes “extraordinary, sustained contributions and stewardship to men’s collegiate rowing”, of which there is no better honoree than Steve.

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