Colin Farrell is entering his second season as head coach of the Penn lightweights in 2015-16, and his fourth year on Boathouse Row after he served as an assistant coach for the Quakers the previous two seasons.
In his first season as head coach, Penn posted its best finish at the IRA National Championships in a decade, and reached the Grand Final for just the second time since 1997 en route to a sixth-place showing. The lightweights also claimed the Callow Cup from Navy for just the second time in the last 15 years, and advanced to the IRA regatta for the second time in three seasons -- the program's best stretch since a three-year run from 2005-07.
As an assistant, Farrell coached the Penn freshmen and guided the Red and Blue to their first freshman medal in 23 years. The Quakers finished the 2012-13 regular season undefeated against the Ivy League and earned the bronze at EARC Sprints. In 2013-14, the freshmen bested that performance at Sprints and won gold for just the second time in program history -- and the first gold for any Penn boat at Sprints since the varsity in 1976.
Farrell has also coached the U-23 U.S. lightweight national team for the last five years. Most recently, he led the lightweight fours to a win in the B Final at the 2014 U-23 World Championships in Varese, Italy.
Farrell came to Philadelphia after a successful three-year stint as freshmen coach at Yale, helping the Bulldogs' frosh eight to EARC Sprints championships in 2011 and 2012. In the regular season, Farrell's freshmen 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.