PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND - Head Men's Crew Coach Paul Cooke has been named the 2012 Fan's Choice Collegiate Coach of the Year, an award decided upon by the rowing community. According to the US Rowing website, nearly 33,000 votes were cast for the seven different categories in the poll, sponsored by the sport's national governing body and Row2K Media. Cooke is the second consecutive Brown coach to win this award, as Head Women's Coach John Murphy was honored with the same title last year.
A tremendously successful 2012 spring season, Cooke's eleventh at the helm of the varsity squad, cemented his status among the coaching elite. A 1989 graduate of Brown, he led his team to the Ivy League Championship title before claiming top honors at the Eastern Championship. From there, the Bears went on to row to a second place finish at the IRA Championship, proving their dominance among the best teams in the country. Brown capped off the season with an appearance at the Henley Royal Regatta in July, qualifying for two finals at the prestigious competition and claiming runner-up honors in both the Grand and Temple Challenge Cups.
"I was surprised to receive the award," says Cooke. "We had an amazing group of athletes last year who believed in the team and who loved to race for Brown. We had great captains and terrific assistant coaches who all created a strong team spirit. Alumni and parents also played a big role in supporting the crews. I was really happy to be a part of it and, in receiving this award, I'd like to recognize all of the people who played a role in the success of the team."
Cooke, along with the recipients of the six other awards, will be honored at the Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Wednesday, November 14th at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. Just three days later, the 2012-2013 team will take to the water for the Tail of the Charles, Brown's last race of the fall season.