PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN ATHLETICS
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MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin’s men’s rowing, which dates back to 1874 as UW’s oldest sport, welcomes its first new head coach since 1996, Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh has announced.
Olympic champion, National Rowing and UW Athletics Hall of Famer and 12-year UW men’s assistant rowing coach Beau Hoopman takes over as just the program’s fourth head coach since 1946.
“Beau has been a passionate Badger since the day he walked onto our rowing program,” McIntosh said. “An Olympic champion and UW Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, he clearly knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level. I have great confidence in the future of our storied men’s rowing program under Beau’s leadership.”
A 2003 UW graduate, Hoopman rejoined the nine-time, national-champion Badgers as a volunteer coach for the 2010-11 school year, before becoming an assistant coach beginning with the 2011-12 season.
“First off, I’d like to thank Chris McIntosh, Marija Pientka and Coach Chris Clark for this unbelievable opportunity,” Hoopman said. “Rowing and coaching here has never felt like a job, more like a journey in which you meet incredible people that play a vital role in your development.
“My entire coaching tenure here at Wisconsin has been collaborative; our staff was consulted on every significant decision. A premium is placed on communication and discourse, and I will not change that at all. Being only the fourth head coach since 1946, I am honored to be the next one in line and I am absolutely ready for the new challenges ahead.”
Inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame in March 2010 and a 2014 Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Hoopman spent four years on the Wisconsin rowing team from 1999-2003 and nine years on the U.S. National Team from 2001-09, where he won Olympic gold and bronze medals.
Before coming to Wisconsin as a walk-on freshman in 1999, Hoopman played golf at Plymouth High School (Wis.) and had no experience in rowing.
During his collegiate career, however, Hoopman was named captain and led the Badgers to the 2002 Eastern Sprints varsity eight title, Wisconsin’s first since 1946. He also helped UW win its fourth consecutive Ten Eyck Trophy as team champion at the 2002 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships with his varsity eight finishing as national runners-up.
After graduating from UW-Madison with a degree in biological aspects of conservation in 2003, Hoopman participated in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He was a member of the men’s eight boat that won the gold medal and set a world record in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, becoming the first UW men’s rower to win gold. Hoopman was also a bronze medalist in the men’s eight at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Hoopman started a nine-year stint on the U.S. National Team in 2001 on the under-23 team before moving up to the senior squad in 2002. In addition to his two Olympic trips, Hoopman won gold at the 2005 world championships and bronze at the 2006 Worlds in the men’s eight as part of multiple medals in national and international events.
Hoopman’s addition gives Wisconsin two Olympic champion head coaches, joining women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson in the select club.
“This is perfect timing for Beau,” Director of Rowing Chris Clark said. “Years of rowing and coaching have given him unparalleled exposure to Wisconsin rowing: how things are done here, like how to manage in a harsh winter environment, along with some great new ideas to execute to push us forward in the sport.
“Never in our nearly 150-year history have we had a candidate so uniquely qualified. He’s a Wisconsin native, he had a championship collegiate career, was a world champion, a world record holder and Olympic champ. Beau is exactly the perfect guy at the perfect time.”