Men's crew assistant coach Lucas McGee will join the US National Rowing Team coaching staff at the end of the month.
Husky assistant will help identify and select athletes for the U-23 program
McGee Highlights: Has lead the Husky freshmen to a pair of IRA Gold Medals (2009-10) and Silver Medals (2008 and 2011) finishes. During this time Huskies have won three Pac-10 Championships. In 2010, the Huskies went over to the Royal Henley Regatta in England and won the first Temple Cup in the program's history. Team went undefeated from the beginning of the 2009 season to midway through the 2011 season. In addition, 21 of the freshmen rowers McGee has coached at Washington have gone on to win IRA gold in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four/open four boats.
As the freshmen coach at the University of Washington, Lucas McGee has two primary responsibilities: prepare rowers for the rigors of collegiate rowing and help them effectively transition to the team's varsity program.
In both regards, McGee's level of success has been above reproach.
A former world champion with the United States National Team, McGee concluded his fourth season as the men's freshman coach with a silver medal at the 2011 IRA Championships, which saw the Grunties walkthrough a fast Harvard crew in the race's waning moments.
During his tenure at Conibear, McGee has either finished first or second at the IRA Grand Finals, including back-to-back gold medals in 2009-10. At the Pac-10 Championships, McGee has won three conference titles. His work in 2010 was a defining moment for a program that's had more than its share of them.
The Huskies freshmen eight went undefeated throughout the year, including a dominating win at the IRA Championships. It was one of the most historic sweeps for a boat in the program's history. The run started with a win at the Class Day Regatta, and then continued with an open-water victory over archrival Cal. His freshmen eight then cruised at the Pac-10's before capping the season with an open-water win at the IRAs. The Grunties then headed off to England, where they captured the Temple Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta by downing ASR Nereus in the Grand Final on the River Thames.
In his first season as the novice coach, McGee's crew set the tone early, winning the annual Class Day regatta, edging the seniors and juniors.
McGee then led his freshman rowers to victory over California in the annual Cal dual and wins over California and Stanford at the San Diego Crew Classic. The freshmen earned their first taste of Pac-10 gold, coasting to an open-water victory over California, Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA. McGee then led his freshman crews to the medal stand at the IRA Championships. His freshman four earned gold while his freshman eight picked up silver. The frosh four set a course record en route to their open-water victory over California and Wisconsin.
McGee's crew also won the Cal dual last year and defeated both California and Stanford at the San Diego Crew Classic to win the freshman race. It was in McGee's second season at Washington in 2008-09 where he helped lead his crew to championship hardware. The Grunties were never tested throughout the season, putting forth one of the more dominant performances in Washington history. Prior to his arrival at Washington, McGee served for three seasons as the freshman coach at his alma mater, Brown. He directed the Bears' frosh to a silver medal at the 2007 IRA Championships.
"Luke McGee has shown for years his personal commitment to oarsmanship. This is a value we honor here at the University of Washington, and we couldn't be more pleased to have Luke continue the Husky traditions at the Conibear Shellhouse," said men's crew coach Michael Callahan, explaining that "the program's definition of oarsmanship is the student-athlete's pursuit of academic, athletic and personal excellence."
McGee replaces Callahan who was elevated from freshman coach to head coach at Washington on July 13, 2007. A 2001 Brown graduate, McGee trained with the Oxford University and U.S. National Team crews before joining the staff at his alma mater in the summer of 2004. He led the Brown freshmen to an undefeated dual season in 2005, capped by a first-place performance at the Eastern Sprints. The Bears again won the Eastern Sprints in 2007 followed by a runner-up national finish.
"Washington is currently at the top of collegiate rowing in the United States and is one of the country's premier rowing programs," said McGee. "The team has a tremendous history of success and a constant drive toward winning future national championships on every level."
McGee trained with the U.S. National Team from 2001-2004, rowing in the men's eight and straight four crews his first two years. The highlight of his national team experience came in the summer of 2003, as McGee stroked the men's coxed four to a world championship in Milan, Italy. During the 2001-2002 academic year, McGee moved to England and attended Oxford where he competed in the oldest intercollegiate sporting event in the world.
He rowed in the Oxford Blue boat in the 149th edition of the annual match-race against Cambridge University. McGee rowed in the five seat, helping Oxford triumph in the prestigious race. He began his undergraduate career at Yale before transferring to Brown in the fall of 1998. As an undergraduate at Brown, McGee rowed in the varsity boat all three years. He won an Eastern Sprints silver medal in 1999, an IRA silver medal in 2000, an Eastern Sprints title in 2000, and a Royal Henley Regatta championship in 2000.
McGee was a two-time captain of Brown men's crew (2000, 2001), earning second team All-Ivy League honors in 1999, first team All-Ivy honors in 2000 and Academic All-Ivy honors in 2000 and 2001. While attending Brown, McGee won a gold medal at the Under-23 World Championships.
McGee is married to Portia McGee, a Seattle native who attended The Bush School and rowed with the Mt. Baker Crew. Portia is also a world champion, winning the women's four without coxswain at the 2007 World Championships while doubling up to earn a seventh-place finish in the women's pair. Portia competed for the U.S. in the 2008 Olympic Games. The couple has one daughter, Nora.