Former Olympian and world champion rower Fred Honebein is in his sixth year as the men's freshman coach and recruiting coordinator for the Huskies. He brings an impressive resume to Washington, as both an athlete and coach.
Honebein's freshman eights recently won back-to-back titles at the IRA National Championships in New Jersey. The 2002 gold medal performance marked the 11th time a Washington crew had captured the Steward's Cup, the freshman award that was first presented by the IRA in 1900.
The 2001 freshman eight championship was Washington's first national title since 1997, a year that saw the Huskies sweep all three grand finals.
The year-end national championships in 2001 and 2002 capped seasons that saw the freshmen win gold medals at the Pac-10 Championships, the Windermere Cup Regatta and the San Diego Crew Classic. It was also the fourth straight win for the first-year rowers over rival California in 2002. Both classes finished their seasons undefeated.
In 2000, Honebein's freshman eight won the San Diego Crew Classic and captured a silver medal at the IRA Championships. In 1999, Honebein's first year, he coached the freshmen to victories at the San Diego Crew Classic and Opening Day Regatta as the crew finished fourth at the IRA Championships.
Prior to his tenure at Washington, Honebein coached the California freshman women's team in 1998. His crew placed second that year, behind Washington, at the Crew Classic and the Pac-10 Championships.
Honebein's coaching talents extend beyond the collegiate ranks. He recently served as an assistant coach with the U.S. Junior National Team, coaching the men's four with coxswain that competed at the 2001 championships in Duisberg, Germany.
As an athlete, Honebein was captain of the United States Olympic men's eight-oared crew from 1993 to 1996 and led his boat to a fifth-place finish at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He was a part of crews that won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships and bronze medals at the 1993 and 1995 championships. Honebein was the U.S. Rowing Athlete of the Year in 1995.
"We are lucky to have a person with Fred's athletic background and character join our program," UW head coach Bob Ernst at the time of Honebein's hiring. "His knowledge and experience offer a significant contribution to the tradition of outstanding freshman crews at Washington."
A native of San Francisco, Honebein graduated from California in 1991 with a degree in Eastern European history. He is married to former Dartmouth and Olympic rower Annie Kakela. The couple resides in Seattle.