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Sarah Trowbridge
Sarah  Trowbridge

Washington, D.C.

Last College:
University of Michigan

Head Coach (1st Season)


Sarah Trowbridge, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has been named head coach for the women’s rowing program at the University of San Diego for the 2017-18 season, it was announced by Bill McGillis, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Athletics. Trowbridge replaces Kim Cupini who accepted the head coach position at Southern Methodist University.

Trowbridge comes to San Diego with an outstanding resume filled with both international coaching experience and elite rowing experience on the U.S. national team. She most recently was with Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was head coach of the high-performance rowing program that includes six 2017 World Championship athletes and twenty elite rowers. Sarah’s experience — both as a club rower and as an athlete at the USRowing Training Center — will provide invaluable insights in directing USD’s student-athletes to continued success.

“I am very pleased that Sarah Trowbridge has joined the Torero family as our Head Women's Rowing Coach,” stated Bill McGillis. “She brings an incredible profile with elite coaching experience at the collegiate, national and international levels, and the personal pedigree of a world-class rower and Olympian. More importantly, Sarah brings to USD a value system that aligns with our university and the fierce determination, unbridled optimism and positive, inspirational leadership that we are seeking to provide the student-athletes in our women's rowing program. She will be an outstanding role model for the women in our program, and, I believe, she will facilitate an amazing student-athlete experience for each of them.”

Prior to joining Vesper, Sarah’s most recent international coaching experience was with the United States women’s double sculls, of Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary, who took 6th place at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In 2015, Sarah coached the men’s pair, of Michael DiSanto and Dariush Aghai, at the World Championships to a 9th place finish, securing the boat’s Olympic qualification.

As a competitor, Sarah represented the United States in the W2x (2011, 2012), and the W4x (2009, 2010). With six Senior National Teams, her accomplishments include being an A finalist in the Women’s Double at the London Olympics, winning a World Championship silver medal in the Women’s Quad, and a World Championship silver medal in the Women’s Four. With partner Margot Shumway, they finished 6th in the 2012 Olympic finals of the Women’s Double Sculls in London.

Added McGillis, “Our alumnae and former coaches have built a very strong foundation for future success at USD, and our expectation is to continue to elevate the program on a national level. When you combine Sarah's leadership with the extraordinary natural resources of San Diego, Mission Bay and the Elite Athlete Training Center; the academic quality and excellence of the most beautiful campus in America and a very supportive local rowing community, you have a formula for great success. There is no ceiling for USD women's rowing.”

Prior to working with international-level crews, Sarah spent three years as the first assistant coach at Yale University (September 2012 to June 2015). At the 2015 NCAA Championships, Trowbridge coached the Varsity 4+ that took a second place finish, the highest event finish in Bulldog history. In that same NCAA championship, she helped the Second Varsity 8+ to a 4th place finish. Prior to Yale she was Freshman Lightweight Women’s Coach at Georgetown University (September 2006 to June 2008).

“The opportunity that Bill McGillis and the USD family have given me is an honor and I couldn’t be more eager to join the leadership in creating an amazing experience for our student athletes,” said Sarah Trowbridge. “I am excited to lead the USD rowers as they strive for wins on and off the water and as with any athletic endeavor, I’m thankful I get the chance to compete. I feel well prepared for this opportunity from my time with Will Porter and the great team at Yale, working with the elite athletes striving for Olympic gold at Vesper Boat Club, and having such an impactful experience with Mark Rothstein and Emily Ford as an athlete at the University of Michigan. My predecessor, Kim Cupini, has built the USD program into a powerhouse in the West Coast Conference and I am lucky to have the torch passed by such a relentless proponent of the program.”

Sarah grew up in Washington, D.C. before moving to Guilford, Connecticut in high school. She began rowing as a senior in high school at the Blood Street Sculls in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Trowbridge would go on to graduate from the University of Michigan in 2006 with a degree in English. While competing with the Michigan women’s rowing team (2002-2005), she helped the Michigan rowing team to back-to-back Big Ten championships and top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2003 (4th) and 2004 (3rd). After U-M, Trowbridge began her elite training at Potomac Boat Club in Washington, D.C., led by Matt Madigan and Cam Kiosoglous, and joined the U.S. national team in 2007.

Her husband Bryan Volpenhein is a current head coach of the U.S. men's national team. Volpenhein is a three-time Olympian and 2004 gold medalist in the men’s eight. Sarah and Bryan have a one-year-old son named Otto.

Trowbridge Highlights

International Results: Finished sixth in the double sculls at the 2012 Olympic Games...Won the double sculls at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta...Finished ninth in the double sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships...Finished eighth in the double sculls at the 2011 Rowing World Cup stop in Lucerne...Took silver in the double sculls at the 2011 Rowing World Cup stop in Munich...Finished fifth in the quadruple sculls at the 2010 World Rowing Championships...Took silver in the quadruple sculls at the 2009 World Rowing Championships…Won silver in the four at the 2008 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships…Won gold in the double sculls and silver in the quadruple sculls at the 2007 Pan American Games…Won gold in the single sculls dash at the 2006 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.

National Results: Finished third in the double sculls at the 2012 National Selection Regatta #2...Won the double sculls at the 2011 National Selection Regatta #2...Finished fourth in the single sculls at the 2011 National Selection Regatta #1...Won the double sculls at the 2010 National Selection Regatta #3…Finished second in the double sculls at the 2010 National Selection Regatta #2… Won gold in the double sculls at the 2009 USRowing National Championships…Won the four at the 2008 World Rowing Senior and Junior Championship Trials…Won gold in the quadruple sculls, gold in the four and silver in the eight at the 2006 USRowing National Championships.

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