June 13, 2007
SEATTLE - The University of Washington has decided to terminate the contract of head women's rowing coach Eleanor McElvaine and will immediately begin a national search for her replacement, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Todd Turner announced today.
"The women's rowing program at Washington has a history of great success on a national level," said Turner. "Being among the country's top programs presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is maintaining our ability to compete for national championships. I have the utmost respect for Eleanor, who has put an indelible stamp on the Husky program both as a student-athlete and coach.
"However, our program has not been able to maintain its position for the last several years and I feel that it is in the best interests of the long-term direction for the Husky women's crew to make a change. Eleanor will always be a valued member of the Washington athletics community and I wish her nothing but the best moving forward."
Executive Associate Athletic Director Jeff Compher and Director of Rowing Bob Ernst will immediately launch a national search for a new coach to lead the Washington program.
The Washington women's crew program is one of only three schools - along with Brown University and Princeton University - to receive team invitations to all 11 championships since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997. UW won national team championships in 1997, 1998 and 2001. A total of 60 different former Huskies have represented their home country in national team competition, while 18 have been selected to row in the Olympic Games.
A 1985 graduate of UW, McElvaine began her tenure as the Husky head coach in 2003. This past season, Washington finished 10th as an at-large participant among the 12 teams invited to compete in this year's NCAA championships. UW finished third in the Pacific-10 Conference championships.