Cambridge, Massachusetts – Liz O’LearyWomen’s heavyweight crew head coach Radcliffe Boat Head Coach Friends has announced that she will be retiring at the end of her campaign in the spring of 2023.
“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach such outstanding student-athletes for 37 years here at Harvard,” O’Leary said. “Their determination and dedication over the years has inspired us. Their ability to combine academic excellence with athletic excellence never ceases to amaze me. I believe they are models of what to be and most importantly their spirit and enthusiasm.” Off the River was contagious and created both a positive culture and a competitive program. .
“I have also been surrounded by amazing assistant coaches who share the same passion and goals. They are integrally responsible for our success and building our program. I am so grateful for the energy you give me.”
In his 37th season under the Black & White helm, O’Leary led Radcliffe to 18 NCAA championships and the 2003 team won a national title. In dual-race competition, blacks and whites have a record of 229-134 during their time at Cambridge.
“Harvard Athletics and Radcliffe Rowing are losing giants,” said Erin McDermott, director of athletics for the John D. Nichols ’53 Family. “Liz O’Leary During his incredible tenure, he has guided crews to championships and valiant performances. But her greatest achievement is that she has had a transformative impact on countless women as a mentor and leader. Liz will always be a part of Weld Boathouse through the legacy she left behind. “
O’Leary’s tenure at Harvard began in 1986, and her influence was quickly felt when blacks and whites won the 1987 Eastern Sprint Championship. This was the first of her two titles in three years. Radcliffe then went on to win five more Eastern Sprint titles, including four straight from 2015-2018.
When the NCAA became the first U.S. Championship host in 1997, Radcliffe qualified for it, winning the Petit Finals and finishing seventh. This appearance laid the groundwork for his 2003, when Radcliffe won the Collegiate Race 8 and his NCAA team championship. for her efforts Liz O’Leary In 2003, he was named CRCA Division I Coach of the Year.
Radcliffe had two top 10 finishes in subsequent seasons, finishing ninth in 2004 and winning the bronze medal in 2005. The Black & White remained a mainstay in the Nationals, earning 17 appearances over the next 19 seasons. (1997-2015). Meanwhile, his 2012 campaign has been memorable as Radcliffe won his 1st Ivy League championship he won the regatta and then the team finished his 13th place in the NCAA.
The Black & White, the final team to the 2019 NCAA Championship, is also producing world-class talent under O’Leary’s leadership. During his tenure at Weld Boathouse, 14 Radcliffe players made appearances for the United States national team.
A rower himself for the US Olympic Team in 1976 and 1980, O’Leary coached the US Olympic Team in 1988 and seven World Championship teams from 1985-1997. In June 2019, while still a student at Harvard, she was given the position of head coach, and her title was renamed “Friends of Radcliffe Rowing Head Coach for Women’s Heavyweight Crew.” This made him the 24th endowed head coach position at Harvard University.
“Our success on the racetrack over the years has been very rewarding,” said O’Leary. “We are so grateful for the support of our athletic department, the Harvard University Varsity Club, and our friends at Harvard Radcliffe Rowing. From every angle, we thank them for their incredible leadership, generous support, and loyal alumni. Thank you!”