Terhaar Back for Four More Years
September 17, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. – With two Olympic medals, including a second consecutive gold for U.S. women’s coach Tom Terhaar, USRowing is pleased to announce that Terhaar has committed to lead the effort for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“Tom is one of the most sought after coaches in the world following the huge success of the women in London last month,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Glenn Merry. “After seven gold medals in the eight and an Olympic medal for the women’s quad, I am very pleased that he will be staying in the United States and coaching for USRowing.
“I have tremendous respect for Tom as a human being and his abilities as a head coach. I have known Tom for more than 15 years and we share some common USRowing history and observations about the growth of the sport and the development of women’s rowing in America. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Coach Terhaar to return for another Olympic cycle.”
This will be Terhaar’s fourth Olympic quadrennial. He coached the eight to silver in 2004, gold in 2008 and gold again this year at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In addition, the women’s quad won a bronze medal, the first for the U.S. in the event. The women won in the quad in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games, but it was a coxed boat at the time.
“It’s exciting,” Terhaar said. “It’s good to know that we will be able to continue working toward getting some medals at the Olympics.”
Following the London Olympics, the athletes on Terhaar’s roster have been resting and recuperating and Terhaar is now beginning to identify who will continue on with him and who will not.
He said he has heard from three athletes from the eight who will not be returning and has just sent out a message to the rest to let him know what they plan on doing. Terhaar said he is expecting that the next few years will be a rebuilding process.
“We’re still trying to figure out who’s rowing,” he said “Technically, we’re not on the water yet. We’ll have three from the eight and maybe one or two from the quad (who will retire),” he said.
“It will be more like in was in 2005, when we had very few returnees. We’ll be starting from scratch. It will be like it was in 2005 and 2006 where we had a small group and just built from there.”
Terhaar, however, does not view coaching a new group to be a negative. He’s done it before and has a string of seven world titles to show that the system he draws from – the colleges and the junior and under 23 national teams – is deep and well coached.
“It’s absolutely a challenge,” he said. “But it’s good. There’s new enthusiasm and it’s exciting. And it’s stimulating as far coaching goes, because you have to get creative all over again.
“(The past three cycles) have been rewarding. They’ve had their challenges, but it’s been a lot of fun to work through them. I’ve had the best athletes in the country and it’s a lot fun seeing erg records drop and boat records drop. It’s been a lot of fun. Hopefully we can continue it.”