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Rowing to coach the team

September 22, 2014

Rowing to coach the team
Western’s rowing team will row its way to success, thanks to gifts from Heather Cartwright, BA’93, and other donors. Their generosity supports the addition of a full-time assistant coach for Mustangs rowing.

A gift from a former Mustangs rower has made it possible to add another alumnus to the part-time coaching staff of the Western rowing team.

In 2014, the Mustangs Rowing Program created the Heather Cartwright Coaching Excellence Fund, when Heather Cartwright, BA’93, donated $100,000 to support a dedicated assistant coach and to further build the coaching team.

An accomplished Mustangs rower, Ms. Cartwright coached the women’s rowing program while at Western and led the team to gold medals at the Ontario University Championships and the Dad Vail Regatta in 1997 (the largest regular intercollegiate rowing event in the U.S.). She went on to coach women’s teams at Harvard University, Princeton University and Boston University as well as provincial and national teams in Canada.

"I believe an excellent coach can make a big difference not only in an athlete's performance, but in life as well,” says Ms. Cartwright. “I am happy to support a great program and a terrific rowing team with this gift."

Her donation, together with other contributions, has enabled the team to hire Dan Bechard, BA’04, MSc’06, PhD’11. A Mustangs rower from 1999 to 2005, he volunteered as assistant coach from 2006 to 2010.

He served as coach for Rowing Canada’s Row to Podium program for four years, and as assistant coach for Canada’s under-23 women’s team, earning a bronze medal with the women’s eight at the 2010 world championship. Bechard has been recognized twice as ‘coach of the year’ through the Canadian University Rowing Association.

“Dan came through our program and obviously bleeds purple,” says Volker Nolte, head coach. “His return to Western is a major step for the team. With Dan’s experience, our program will be stronger than ever.”

“I am absolutely grateful to receive the support of Heather and other partners,” adds Nolte. “Our alumni and donors once again are showing their pride and determination to support student-athletes and coaches.”


This article appeared in the Fall 2014 edition of Impact Western
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