Colin Sykes is in his second year as an assistant coach for the Washington women's rowing team. He joined coach Bob Ernst's staff on a full-time basis after a remarkable run as an intern coach with the Husky men from 2003 to 2007.
In his first season as the varsity assistant coach, Sykes helped lead the Huskies to a second-place team finish at the NCAA Championship. Sykes coached the varsity four to a perfect, undefeated 2008 season, capturing the Pac-10 title along the way. The four's perfect season culminated in Washington's victory for the national title. The gold medal performance marked the first Washington NCAA title since the 2002.
Prior to joining the staff full-time, Sykes annually worked part-time with the UW men's fours under Ernst's tutelage. He coached the fours at the IRA Championships, directing them to gold-medal performances each of his five seasons. Sykes collected six gold medals at the IRA Championships, winning open four national titles in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. His Husky crews won varsity four national championships in 2003 and 2004.
He attended the University of Washington and lettered in 1990 and 1992 as a member of the varsity eight. His 1990 UW crew won the Pac-10 varsity eight crown and placed fifth at the National Rowing Championships. Washington also captured the Copley Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic in 1990, with Sykes stroking the varsity eight. In 1992, the varsity eight won another Pac-10 title and was seventh at the National Rowing Championships. Skyes was named to the All-Pac-10 team for his efforts in 1992.
Sykes also served as the head women's coach at Cincinnati Country Day School in 2001-2002 before returning to the Seattle area.
Sykes is a native of Kent, Ct. where he ran cross country and rowed at the Kent School. Sykes twice represented the Kent School at the Henley Royal Regatta. An avid fisherman, Sykes spent many of his summers on Nantucket. He worked for several years at a tackle shop and as a fishing guide. Sykes owned and operated the commercial fishing vessel "Herring Choker" for six years, off the north Atlantic coast.
In his spare time, Sykes enjoys sailing. He is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and has sailed in four International One Design (IOD) World Championships, and won gold in 2001 and silver in 2008 at the North American Championship.