The ECAC recently announced that Brown's Paul Cooke is the league's 2009 Coach of the Year, as selected in a vote by the ECAC's head coaches. Cooke led the Bears to an extraordinary season in 2008-09, sweeping the heavyweight events at Eastern Sprints before going on to capture third overall and fourth in the varsity eight at the IRA National Championship Regatta.
After an impressive 2008 fall season, Bruno kicked off the spring by wracking up a 4-2 record in dual meets, including a one-second loss against Harvard. The Bears truly rounded into form at the EARC Sprints, however, sweeping all five heavyweight events, and winning both the EARC and Ivy League titles.
Brown continued the momentum at the IRA Regatta, placing third in the team standings and fourth in the varsity eight, which is used to determine the national champion. Bruno's finish was the highest by an East Coast school, as only Washington, Cal, and Stanford crossed the line ahead of them.
In the finale to the 2009 season, Brown traveled overseas to compete at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, an event which annually draws some of the best competition in the world. Cooke and the Bears again rose to the occasion, turning in a series of impressive races as the varsity 8 won the Ladies Plate Challenge Cup. The freshmen also performed beyond their years, finishing second in the Temple Cup.