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Heather Weisel, a former United States national team rowing coach and collegiate head coach, who also helped lay the foundation of the Old Dominion University rowing club as a former coach, has been named head coach for the University's first intercollegiate women's rowing team, announced Athletic Director Jim Jarrett.

Women's rowing will become ODU's 17th intercollegiate sport when it begins competing in the fall of 2008. Rowing has existed as a club program at the University since 1979. The varsity schedule will include a regional schedule of opponents, including CAA schools.

"Heather brings a vast knowledge of rowing and an enthusiasm level that I feel confident will be the catalyst to creating a solid foundation for our women's intercollegiate rowing program, and directing us to regional and national recognition," says Jarrett.

Weisel served as head coach for the men's and women's teams at The College of New Jersey (2005), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Lafayette College (1999-2000). In two stints at WPI (1995-99 and 2000-02), Weisel led her crew to first place finishes at the City Championships in Worcester, the Donahue Cup in Boston and the New England Rowing Championships.

No stranger to international competition, Weisel was a member of the United States Rowing coaching staff that competed in Seville, Spain and Milan, Italy, where her women's double team finished ninth at the FISA World Rowing Championships in September of 2003.

She served as the rowing coach for Old Dominion's men's and women's club team from 1988-1994, guiding the club from six members to 60 during her tenure. She served as an advisor to the ODU club team this past year in addition to her work as a speech language pathologist.

As a competitor at Purdue University, Weisel competed three years for the Boilermakers, winning a gold medal at the 1986 Mid-West Championships.

"I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to direct the first varsity women's rowing program at ODU," says Weisel. "My goal is to develop the program into an integral part of the tradition of athletic excellence at ODU and to have our student athletes compete at the highest level, both athletically and academically. I can't wait to get started."

Weisel is a 1988 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in audio/speech science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She holds an MS degree in speech pathology from Old Dominion. She and her family reside in Virginia Beach and her appointment at ODU is effective Aug. 10.

For more information, please contact the ODU sports information office at 757-683-3372.

This article was posted on: August 1, 2007

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.