Former USC assistant coach to helm men’s rowing

The founder, former executive director and head coach of Nashville Rowing will head the men’s rowing team, according to a release Tuesday.

Eric Gehrke will replace former head coach Mark Davis, who left the team last month to work for a private rowing organization. Gehrke, a D.C.-native, inherits a men’s team that saw its Varsity 8 boat take a program-best No. 13 finish at the 2018-19 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.

“I am born and bred to have complete buy-in to continue the elevation of GW Men’s Rowing to the top of the national rankings,” Gehrke said in the release. “I took my first rowing strokes on the Potomac, and I’m steeped in the tradition of this rowing program that our esteemed alumni built.”

Gehrke last served as the varsity girls coach at the Saratoga Rowing Association beginning in July 2018.

His last stint at the collegiate level was at USC, where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the women’s program in 2017 and 2018. He also worked with US Rowing, serving as the head CanAmMex coach since 2012.

Athletic director Tanya Vogel said Gehrke’s “analytical approach” to the sport will help the team bolster its performance.

“Eric struck me with his genuine care and compassion for people, combined with an insatiable desire to lead young people to achieve excellence in their sport and their lives,” Vogel said in the release. “He has coached many rowers who have achieved a high level of success and has worked and studied at institutions that have strong academic rigor like ours.”

The squad will take a spring break training trip to Woodbridge, Va. March 16-21 before opening the season April 4 against Cornell and Harvard.

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