PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER, COURTESY
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Olympian and former Princeton National Rowing Association varsity women’s head coach Sarah Trowbridge has been named head coach of the women’s rowing program at the University of Oklahoma.
“To say I am excited to join the University of Oklahoma community is an understatement,” said Trowbridge. “To be part of the OU Athletics Department and the tradition of excellence Joe Castiglione has built with a culture of performing at the highest level is a dream for me. It hits you right away that the people make this a very special place to study, compete, coach and thrive.
“The people here have amazing spirit and warmth and such great energy. Starting with Coach Leeanne Crain who built a program from the first boats to the state-of-the-art rowing training center, and from the first athletes to a large team aiming to compete with the top teams in the country. I want to wish Coach Crain the best on her next chapter and to thank her for everything she’s done for OU Rowing.
“I came to OU because I believe that it offers a unique student-athlete experience where the support of the department and the culture of the campus enable rowers to reach their highest potential. I came because Sooner MAGIC is everywhere, and the core values of the athletics department are evident in all that they do. And I came because I can’t wait to work with this current team and see what they can accomplish as well as get the word out to rowers around the country and the world that you can have an amazing rowing career and have access to more academic options for long-term job success than most anywhere.”
University of Oklahoma Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione echoed Trowbridges’ enthusiasm.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah, her husband Bryan, and their children Otto and Quincy to our OU family and the Norman community,” said Castiglione. “She has competed at the highest level as an Olympian, and her experiences at the pinnacle of the sport will be an incredibly valuable asset for this program. Along with her proven track record of success, Sarah brings an incredible energy and passion that will be infectious for our student-athletes. She has a strong competitive spirit and knows the importance of doing things the right way which will help her fit right in here at Oklahoma.”
Trowbridge’s husband and fellow Olympian, Bryan Volpenhein, was the head coach of men’s heavyweight rowing at the University of Pennsylvania and announced his resignation in tandem with the announcement of Trowbridge’s appointment at the University of Oklahoma.
“I want to thank the entire Penn rowing community for all the support and encouragement they have given me, our staff and our athletes during my time here,” Volpenhein said. “I am heartbroken to leave at such an important time for Penn Rowing, but this is such an exciting opportunity for Sarah that we could not pass it up. I will forever be grateful for what this amazing group of athletes, alumni and staff have done for me and what we were able to build through some unique times in the history of this team.
“This team is poised to do great things and will continue to need your support and enthusiasm. I am confident that the momentum will continue to build and will lead to fast boats. I’m very sorry I won’t be a part of it, but I will be cheering loudly from the grandstands.” -Bryan Volpenhein
“This team is poised to do great things and will continue to need your support and enthusiasm. I am confident that the momentum will continue to build and will lead to fast boats. I’m very sorry I won’t be a part of it, but I will be cheering loudly from the grandstands. I feel lucky to have been a part of this community even if our time together was cut short. Thank you again for everything. I will miss you all more than I can say.”