April 15, 2011
SEATTLE - University of Washington women's crew novice coach Nicole Minett announced her resignation from the program recently, citing a desire to spend more time with her growing family.
Minett will coach through the Pac-10 Championships, but the Huskies will immediately begin a nationwide search to bring in her successor. The Toronto native is a former Washington student-athlete and is in her third season as the rowing program's novice coach. Minett also spent five years as an assistant/novice coach at Wisconsin.
During her Husky tenure, Minett's accomplishments were almost unmatched around the country. She's undefeated in novice competition, having won a pair of Pac-10 titles in the process. Her novice teams were off to another stellar start for the 2011 season, having won at the San Diego Crew Classic and UW/WSU Dual.
"She made the decision to be a full-time mom," Ernst said. "I couldn't support that idea more. It's a great family decision."
While Ernst is happy to see Minett (née Borges) begin a new and exciting phase in her life, he was saddened to lose a friend and protégé who the long-time UW coach has known since she was a recruit. Minett was an accomplished oarswoman during her time on Montlake (1998-2001), winning four Pac-10 crowns, two NCAA Championships and a Henley title in addition to time spent rowing with the Canadian national team.
"I recruited her to come here and be a coach," Ernst said. "She's been everything that I hoped she would be and a whole lot more. Above everything else, she's a really wonderful young woman."
What made Minett so successful at UW was her ability to imprint the demands and expectations of Washington rowing on freshmen student-athletes. Her attention to detail, communication skills and patience allowed the novice rowers to grow into strong oarswomen.
Ernst will spend the time between now and the end of the season to compile a pool of candidates. He wants to bring in the "best fit" for the program, which is why the search will include candidates from around the country.
"We're opening it up immediately," Ernst said. "I just know that there's someone out there who will be perfect. We just want the best for Washington rowing."
Minett is married to Husky men's rowing alum Charles Minett, who was a captain in 2002. The couple has one child and is expecting another this summer.