Graves Named Head Women’s Rowing Coach

    Graves transitions from the heavyweight rowing team as an assistant coach to lead the Big Green women’s program.
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    HANOVER, N.H. — Mike Harrity, Dartmouth’s Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation, announced on Monday that John Graves has been named the head coach of the Dartmouth women’s rowing program. Graves is no stranger to the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing boathouse, as he has served as an assistant coach for the Big Green’s top-10 nationally ranked men’s heavyweight rowing team for the past two seasons and served on the staff of the Texas NCAA national champion women’s rowing program in 2021.

    “John distinguished himself during our national search to become the next leader of Dartmouth women’s rowing,” Harrity said. “He has demonstrated excellence both as an athlete and a coach throughout his career. John’s coaching approach is informed by his passion for the science of rowing combined with his rare ability to connect with and make the people around him better. We are excited to support John’s vision for elevating the Dartmouth women’s rowing program.”

    Graves has extensive experience in collegiate women’s rowing. Prior to Dartmouth, he was a volunteer assistant coach on the 2020-21 University of Texas Women’s Rowing staff that was named CRCA Staff of the Year, as the Longhorns won the 2021 NCAA Championship. Graves also has experience as volunteer assistant for the University of Michigan Women’s Rowing program in 2016-17, helping the Wolverines to their best-ever finish (third place) at the 2017 NCAA Championship.

    During this past school year, Graves was the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Wyatt Allen, the Betsy and Mark Gates 1959 Head Coach of Men’s Heavyweight Rowing and a former Olympic gold medalist. As a team, the Big Green finished seventh at the 2023 IRA National Championship, which included Graves leading the second varsity eight to a fifth-place finish at IRAs and leading the third varsity eight to a bronze medal at the Eastern Sprints.

    In Graves’ first season at Dartmouth, he helped lead the Big Green to a fifth-place overall finish as a team. Specifically, Graves led the third varsity eight to fourth place at IRAs, and coached the fourth and fifth varsity eights to silver and gold medals at Eastern Sprints, respectively.

    “First of all, I want to thank Mike Harrity and his team for this opportunity and their belief in my vision for the women’s program,” said Graves. “It was particularly exciting to me to hear we were aligned in our goals for the program and I couldn’t be more excited to work with Wyatt and Trevor (Michelson, interim head coach of men’s lightweight rowing) to usher in an unprecedented era of success at the boathouse.”

    Graves is also a veteran of the United States National Rowing program. As an athlete, he was an eight-time U.S. National Team member and two-time Olympic Trials winner. He represented the U.S. at 28 international regattas, competing as a sculler, lightweight and heavyweight. Outside of the U.S. team, Graves also won the championship single and championship at the Head of the Charles. He was part of the “Great Sculling 8+,” made of the top scullers in the world. In addition, Graves was a bronze medalist in the 2014 Lucerne World Cup in the men’s quad.

    Also involved in the U.S. National program as a coach, Graves is currently serving as lead coach for the U.S. U23 Men’s National Team Camp (M8+/M4+) for the 2023 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

    John is joined in the Upper Valley by his wife, Felice Mueller, an accomplished elite rower who finished fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and is a two-time world champion, and newborn daughter Zaida.

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