SEATTLE - Michael Callahan, head coach of the men’s rowing team, announced his Huskies staff today for the 2014-2015 season, including the addition of Matt Rung as first assistant coach and the departure of Rick Gherst from the position. Maxwell Weaver will remain on staff for a third year as second assistant coach and Niles Garratt will fill a new graduate assistant position after serving as a volunteer coach for the 2013-14 season.
“I am very excited about our staff,” Callahan commented. “We have a great mix of experience and enthusiasm. Matt brings an incredible work ethic and an eye for the technical aspects of rowing.
“He knows how to build a team and win championships."
Rung returns to Washington, where he was assistant freshmen coach for the ’11-’12 season, after serving as first assistant coach for the Cornell men’s lightweight crew for the past two seasons. Since Rung joined the Big Red staff, the Cornell lightweight varsity eight won 2014 IRA National Championships, and his freshmen eight took silver at 2013 Eastern Sprints.
“Helping bring national championship success back to my alma mater was an awesome experience,” Rung said.
“I am really looking forward to being back at Washington and continuing to build on what coaches Gherst and Callahan have built. The Conibear Shellhouse is the center for elite rowing in the United States."
Rung was captain of Cornell’s 2010 lightweight men’s crew and is currently helping coach the U.S. women’s under-23 team.
Coach Gherst’s departure, owed to his desire to spend time with his wife and newborn daughter, after over seventeen years of coaching, came as a surprise.
“We will miss Rick but I know his wife and daughter are much more fun than me!,” Callahan joked. “In all seriousness, he was a great coach and I am sad to see him go.
"I would probably be a lot more upset if we weren’t able to hire someone like Matt so quickly.”
Callahan furthered that there will be some shuffling of responsibilities amongst the staff. Rung will serve as recruiting coordinator with responsibility for the freshmen rowers. Weaver will handle operations and development of varsity rowers in the third and fourth varsity.
“Max is the guy who gets things done,” Callahan said. "He was responsible for our new race course and has done an excellent job of ensuring that our third and fourth varsity rowers develop on pace. He is key to our program’s success.”
Garratt also steps into a new role of graduate assistant coach after serving as a volunteer coach last season. Callahan is particularly excited about this new position and hopes that Garratt will be the first of many coaches who can earn tuition and room and board as a graduate assistant after serving as a volunteer coach for a year.
Garratt, who graduated from Washington in 2011, went on to the stroke Cambridge’s eight for The Boat Race at Henley in England in 2012. He has already started working towards a masters degree in Washington’s prestigious Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership program.
In addition to helping coach the freshmen, Garratt is responsible for collecting and tracking biomechanical and technical data on the athletes.
“Niles is studious and is a natural teacher,” Callahan said. “He keeps us on the cutting edge of technology and makes sure our use of that technology translates to speed on the water.”
The Huskies will kick off the 2014–15 season with the Head of the Charles Regatta Oct. 19 in Cambridge, Mass.