Bison and Tigers Met Monday in New Jersey
Varsity Eight Wins Gold Medal at Event for First Time Since 2008
Bison Varsity Eight Also Defeats Drexel
Bison Have Won Seven Consecutive Patriot League Titles
Community Athletic Award Given by SAAC for Most Involved Team in the Community
The 2012-13 campaign is the 17th for Stephen Kish as head coach of the Bucknell women's rowing team. A 1992 Bucknell graduate and native of Miami, Fla. (Palmetto High School), Kish served as president of Bucknell rowing his senior year and received the Most Valuable Rower award, as well. After graduation, Kish remained in Lewisburg to serve as an assistant coach under Jimmy King `90.
In 1993 Kish relocated to New England, where he served as head coach at the University of Rhode Island, supervising three assistant coaches and over 70 rowers in the men's and women's programs. Kish led three crews to medals at the New England Championships in 1995, and the men's novice eight placed fourth at the Champion International Collegiate Regatta.
Since Kish returned to lead the Bison program in 1996, the women's rowing team has made a name for itself. The team has had unmatched success in recent years, winning seven consecutive Patriot League Championships, earning the ECAC Metro Championship three times, winning the 2012 Dad Vail Regatta team titleand claiming the 2007 IRA Lightweight National Championship, the first national title in school history.
In 2007, Kish led the Bison rowing team to its best year yet. The squad swept all three events at the Patriot League Championship for the first time and went on the following weekend to sweep the varsity events at the ECAC Metro Championship and win the Overall Points Trophy. Coaching primarily the varsity eight, Kish helped the boat to an impressive 8-1 record, including a season-opening victory at the Murphy Cup Regatta. Additionally, the lightweight eight won the IRA National Championship Regatta.
The 2008 campaign featured additional success as Kish led Bucknell to its third consecutive Patriot League title, another ECAC Metro Championship, a second straight Murphy Cup title, a victory at the Knecht Cup and a fourth-place showing at the IRA Regatta, the lightweight boat's third consecutive berth in the grand final at the event. The Bison faced their most challenging schedule during Kish's tenure and the varsity eight posted a strong 9-2 record, going more than two months between losses. Among the most impressive feats of the 2008 campaign was a berth in the Eastern Sprints for the first time in program history. Kish led the team to an eighth-place finish out of 18 teams, including three that ended the year nationally ranked.
More success followed in 2009 as Kish upgraded the Bison's schedule. During the regular season alone the squad faced five of the top-10 teams from the NCAA Championships. A productive postseason followed as Bucknell won another Patriot League title, finished second to Princeton at the ECAC Metro Championship and posted the second-best showing in program history at the IRA Lightweight National Championships with a runner-up finish.
The foundation Kish has laid continued in 2010 as the Bison won a fifth consecutive Patriot League title, had another strong showing at Eastern Sprints, faced three NCAA Championship teams, sent two boats to the IRA National Championship Regatta and claimed the New England/Mid-Atlantic Regional (ECAC) title. Additonally, the Bison had continued success at the Murphy Cup, adding a fourth title. Among the teams Bucknell rowed against were Virginia, Kansas, Princeton, Penn, Dartmouth and Radcliffe.
In 2011 Kish continued to set the bar at an even higher level for the Bison. Not only did Bucknell claim a sixth consecutive Patriot League title, it also managed to continue to grow the rowing presence out of the water. The team had 45 members selected to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and 10 members selected as CRCA National Scholar Athletes.
The 2012 campaign was perhaps the most successful in the history of the program. A seventh consecutive Patriot League title, a first-ever Dad Vail Regatta team championship and another silver medal at the IRA Regatta highlighted the year that was capped by the program's fourth trip to the Henley Women's Regatta (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012).
Kish has also overseen the program's 18 varsity medals (seven gold,eight silver,three bronze) at the Dad Vail Regatta.
Kish's achievements as head coach have not gone unnoticed. The veteran mentor has claimednine coach of the year awards since 2006. He was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and earned the CRCA Lightweight Coach of the Year trophy in 2007. Additionally, Kish, who has seen the varsity eight named the league's Boat of the Year seven times, has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year six times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
Recent program developments under Kish include the construction of a boathouse; a much-improved equipment inventory, including quadruple sculls and singles; a full-time, four-person coaching staff and an ever-increasing number of opportunities for Bucknell student-athletes to develop as leaders, along with the completion of the newly designed Ergometrics Room located in Kenneth Langone Athletics and Recreation Center.