St. Mary’s College of Maryland makes a double announcement Wednesday. The College reveals the addition of men’s and women’s rowing to the list of Seahawk varsity sport offerings while Director of Athletics and Recreation Scott Devine appoints Daniel Hagelberg as the rowing program’s first varsity head coach.
Hagelberg, who begins work on August 15th, will lead the charge as rowing makes the transition from club status to a full-fledge varsity program. Rowing will not conduct a varsity schedule until the 2016-17 academic year. Women’s rowing will be affiliated with NCAA Division III and the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) while the men’s team will compete as part of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association and the MARC.
“It is not every day that a college or university offers a new varsity athletic program, so this is big news for St. Mary’s College. We have long talked about adding rowing as a varsity sport for all of the obvious reasons … our beautiful and unique waterfront location, the amazing James P. Muldoon River Center and Waterfront, and our Mid-Atlantic location,” reflected Devine.
“With a full-time head coach in place, this will allow us to target and attract talented high school student-athletes from Maryland and other states who may not have considered us otherwise. We are excited to see how women’s and men’s rowing can develop over the next several years given our natural resources to support this sport.”
Hagelberg stated, “I’ve worked with club teams and I’ve worked with varsity teams so I feel confident that I can see through this transition smoothly. In particular, my favorite team to work with though is those that want to get fast.”
A Pittsford, N.Y. native, Hagelberg comes to St. Mary’s following a two-year stint as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Washington College men’s rowing program. He rowed collegiately at the University of Delaware. His coaching experience includes time at both his alma mater and with Penn AC.
Hagelberg added, “I could not be more excited about becoming part of Seahawk athletics. Rowing is such a natural fit for St. Mary’s, the college is right on the water and it’s so clear that the student body loves being out on the river. I really looked into the way the athletic department is approaching this transition and it’s clear they want to do everything right and are committed to the success of varsity level rowing for both men and women. To elevate men and women together is a bold statement, and I think it speaks to St. Mary’s commitment to the sport.”
He served as an assistant coach for the Delaware men’s team during the 2012-13 academic year. During the spring of 2012, Hagelberg assisted the women’s team, working primarily with the varsity four. He started as a lightweight assistant coach with Penn AC before becoming the head coach of the heavyweight intermediate summer program during the summer of 2012 and later named the Director of Summer Programs in February 2013. His coaching experience also includes time as the head of the recreational program and head novice boys coach at Newport Rowing Club in Delaware.
While rowing for the Blue Hens, Hagelberg competed all four years at the Eastern Sprints, winning the lightweight four in 2007. He earned his B.A. in political science and history from Delaware in 2008. Hagelberg went on to earn a Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law in 2011.
Devine continued, “We are also excited to welcome Dan Hagelberg to the St. Mary’s College community as our first head men’s and women’s varsity rowing coach. We spoke with many talented individuals during the search process but in the end, Dan was just very impressive all the way around. He brings the proper mixture of drive, passion, knowledge, and experience as well as an appreciation of both club and intercollegiate rowing.”
“Dan will be the right coach and mentor to come in here ready to go to work and oversee the transition from club to varsity, and help provide us with a strategic vision for rowing. This is really an exciting time for our students, for athletics, and for the waterfront, as we prepare to welcome Dan Hagelberg to the College.”
Director of the Waterfront/Head Sailing Coach Adam Werblow echoed Devine’s sentiments, saying “Dan will be an exceptional leader to help guide our student-athletes to excellence on and off the water. The search committee landed a coach who will connect with our student-athletes.”
The rowing club came into existence in the mid-1980s as Jennifer Garvey Berger started the club with four members and one erg. After several years of fundraising, the club gathered enough funds to purchase a 4+ shell. Under the guidance and support of former waterfront director, Mike Ironmonger, the team grew slowly until the early 2000s when the team gained their first non-student coach. Shortly after, the team gained its first paid coaching staff and was able to keep its best and dedicated rowers in the boat.
Last season at the Seventh Annual MARC Championships, St. Mary’s women won the varsity four while the men’s novice eight finished second.
“I would like to congratulate our amazing club coach, Kristin Conlin, and her husband, Paul, for more than a decade of their combined energies and passion to build our rowing program to the point that it could become a varsity sport. St. Mary’s student leaders built the crew club. As undergraduates, Kristin and Paul were motivated athletes who dedicated themselves to continuing to improve the team long after the ink on their sheepskin dried. We hope to honor their efforts (and all our student leaders) by increasing the resources provided to the rowing program – especially in the form of a full-time coach,” expressed Werblow.
Press release from www.smcmathletics.com.