PHILADELPHIA - Colin Farrell, who has served as an assistant coach for the past two seasons and interim head coach since the conclusion of the 2014 EARC Sprints, will officially be promoted to head coach of the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing program effective July 1.
"We are pleased to announce Colin as our new lightweight head coach," said Penn's outgoing Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky. "Colin has a great track record and has done an excellent job in his two years here at Penn. We are excited for what the future holds for this program."
“I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this search,” said Grace Calhoun, who takes over as the University’s tenth Director of Athletics on July 1. “This truly was a collaborative effort between myself, Steve Bilsky and (Senior Associate AD) Tony Vecchione who oversaw the search. Colin has proven during this process that he has the energy and the vision to move this program forward, and his relationship with the student-athletes involved in the program made him a natural choice to pick up where Nick Baker left off. Colin also has a solid reputation in the rowing world, and I am confident that he will do a great job making this program his own.”
"I am honored and excited to have this opportunity," said Farrell. "Boathouse Row has always had a special place in my heart because this is where I learned to row, and to be a part of this great rowing tradition is humbling and thrilling. It has been a pleasure to work with this group the last two years, and I am excited to take a larger role and see if we can continue the winning culture that we are starting to develop."
In his first year at Penn, 2012-13, Farrell guided the Red and Blue to their first freshman medal in 23 years -- the Quakers finished the regular season undefeated against the Ivy League before earning a bronze medal at EARC Sprints. The Quakers bested that performance at the 2014 Sprints, as the freshmen won gold at EARC Sprints for just the second time in program history. It was also the first gold for any Penn boat at Sprints since the varsity in 1976.
Just prior to settling in at Penn, Farrell coached the Under-23 lightweight four at the World Championships in Trakai, Lithuania, where they finished seventh overall with a first-place finish in the petite final. In 2011, Farrell coached that boat to a ninth-place finish at the World Championships.
Farrell came to Penn after a successful three-year stint as freshman coach at Yale, helping the Bulldogs' frosh eight to EARC Sprints championships in 2011 and 2012. In the regular season, Farrell's freshman crews went undefeated each of his last two seasons on their way to EARC Sprints gold, with a Farrell-guided third varsity eight also posting an undefeated season in 2011. Also in 2011, Farrell was part of a coaching staff that put together a national championship -- Yale's first since 2005 -- with a win at the IRA Regatta in the varsity eight.
Prior to his tenure at Yale, Farrell served as the Heavyweight Men's Rowing Intern at his alma mater, Cornell, during the 2008-09 season. Primarily responsible for the third varsity eight, Farrell guided that boat to an undefeated regular season and a third-place finish at EARC Sprints.
Before entering the coaching ranks, Farrell was a three-time U.S. National team rower, winning a gold medal at the 2008 World Championships in the lightweight eight after trips to Worlds in 2006 and 2007 in lightweight fours.
While competing for the Big Red, Farrell was a three-time letterwinner and two-time captain for a program which claimed a silver medal at the 2005 IRA Regatta following a bronze medal at Sprints that same season. In 2003, Farrell claimed bronze in the lightweight pair at IRAs after beginning his career with bronze medals in the freshman four at IRAs and freshman eights at Sprints in 2002. Farrell graduated from Cornell with a degree in psychology in 2005.
A Philadelphia native, Farrell rowed in high school at Saint Joseph's Prep, winning four Stotesbury Cup Regattas, four Catholic League titles, three SRA Regattas, and a pair of Philadelphia City championships.
Farrell and his wife, Ellie, reside in Moorestown, N.J., with their son, Kellan.