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Eleanor McElvaine
Eleanor McElvaine

Seattle, Wash.

Women's Head Coach

4th year

Washington (1985)

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A native of Everett, Wash., McElvaine is just the third women's head coach at Washington since 1980, during which time Husky women's crews have earned 22 national collegiate titles.

McElvaine was hired Aug. 13, 2003, replacing longtime head coach Jan Harville, who retired in June of 2003 after 16 years at the helm of the UW women's program.

"When I rowed here in the 1980s, I felt it was an honor to race with the Washington uniform on," McElvaine said. "I feel the same sense of honor and responsibility now as I take on the mantle of head coach, and look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that is Washington rowing."

Washington is the first collegiate head coaching position for McElvaine, who worked the previous 13 years as a women's novice coach, both at Washington and for U.S. Rowing. McElvaine's pupils formed the UW varsity four that won three-straight gold medals at the NCAA Championships from 1999-2001. McElvaine capped her final season as the novice women's coach by receiving the 2003 National Assistant Coach of the Year award from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. That marked the first year that the CRCA honored assistant coaches.

In 2005, McElvaine directed the Huskies to a seventh-place NCAA team finish and a third-place Pac-10 performance. She served, in the summer, as the coach of the gold medal U.S. women's four at the 2005 Under-23 World Championship held in Amsterdam.

In 2001, McElvaine was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame as a member of the 1983 national champion women's crew. In four years as a Husky rower from 1982-85, McElvaine helped Washington to three-consecutive varsity eight national titles, rowing in the six seat.

"Eleanor's dedication and hard work during her time at Washington, both as a rower and a coach, are what have made her so successful," UW men's head coach Bob Ernst said. "She's trained for this for a long time, and is eminently qualified to do the job."

McElvaine has also excelled as a coach on the national level. In 1994, both McElvaine and Harville were honored by U.S. Rowing with its Woman of the Year award for "outstanding service to rowing in the United States." McElvaine was named head coach of the U.S. Junior National Team in 2000, and led the United States' four-oared crew to a gold medal at the 2000 Junior World Championships - the first gold medal ever won by the U.S. junior women - and a silver medal at the event in 2001.

A 1985 graduate of Washington with a degree in history, McElvaine attended Cascade High School in Everett. She was honored as the Everett Herald's Woman of the Year in 1984, following her junior season at Washington.

Prior to assisting Washington's women's crew, McElvaine was the head rowing coach at the nationally prominent Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center from 1986 to 1990. She tutored her junior women's eight teams to three regional titles and her junior eight squads finished among the top five nationally in each of her seasons there.

McElvaine news and features:
McElvaine-Coached Four Wins Gold at World Championships - (August 1, 2005)

McElvaine & DePalma Represent U.S. at Rowing Worlds - (July 16, 2004)

Last Updated: February 13, 2007

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