Mike Lane completed his eighth season as Penn's head coach in 2013-14. However, he has been with the Quaker women's rowing program for more than a decade, serving three years as an assistant coach before taking the reins in August 2006.
“Mike’s experience and track record at Penn, both in his coaching and recruiting, gives us great confidence toward our goal of developing a top-flight women’s rowing program,” said Penn Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky at the time of Lane’s appointment. “We did an extensive search, interviewed quality people, and in the end concluded that we had the best candidate right here at Penn.”
Lane's first eight years have certainly seen an uptick in the program's success. In 2008, the varsity eight advanced to the Grand Final at EAWRC Sprints for the first time since 1991, and the Quakers' fifth-place finish was its best since 1982. They repeated that finish at the 2010 Sprints. In addition, Penn's varsity eight won the petite final at Sprints in both 2007 and 2009.
The 2010-11 varsity eight took the Orange Challenge Cup for the first time since 1995, defeating Northeastern and Syracuse on the Charles River in Boston. That feat was repeated in 2012, marking the first time Penn had won the race two years in a row since 1988 and 1989.
In addition, the varsity 4 finished fourth at the 2011 Eastern Sprints, while the second varsity won the petite final at Sprints. As a team, Penn finished sixth in the Willing Points Trophy standings at Sprints for the fourth straight year.
Lane oversaw winning records with his varsity, junior varsity and novice eights in 2006-07. The varsity eight won the Raritan Cup over Cornell and Rutgers for the first time since 2000 -- successfully defending it in both 2008 and 2009 -- while overall the Quakers won the Class of ’89 Plate for the first time since 1994, tallying the most team points against the Big Red and Scarlet Knights. Lane’s success did not end there, as he saw his team have one of the most successful showings at EAWRC Sprints in school history. The Quakers finished fourth in the Willing Team Trophy standings with 45 points, qualified for three Grand Finals, won two medals and had three first-place finishes.
The second freshman 8 became the first Penn boat to win an Eastern Sprints championship since 1983 by taking the gold in their Grand Final. The freshman 8 also experienced great success, winning the silver medal. The varsity 8 capped off its season by winning the Petite Final and finishing seventh out of 18 varsity boats at Sprints. Lane’s biggest surprise at Sprints came from his unranked third varsity 4 “B” boat, which upset Rhode Island to win the Petite Final.
In 2013-14, Penn improved upon its overall Ivy League Championships finish, taking sixth in the overall points standings. In addition, the Varsity 4 C boat became the program's first Ivy champions, defeating four other boats in its final to win gold.
Prior to his appointment at Penn, Lane built an impressive coaching resume. Before arriving in Philadelphia, he served as the men’s freshman heavyweight rowing coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his responsibilities included organization and management of the freshman team, alumni relations, and recruiting.
Before joining the staff at MIT, Lane served as program director and head coach for the Everett (Wash.) Rowing Association from 1997 to 2000. Under Lane’s guidance, the junior men’s crews finished second and fourth at Junior Nationals in three-consecutive seasons from 1998-2000. During his tenure, Lane’s crews also won nine regional championships.
In addition to his responsibilities with the Everett Rowing Association, Lane established the women’s rowing team at Everett Community College in 1998, where he coached for two years. Lane has also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Rowing Junior Women’s Development Camp and the Lake Lanier Rowing Club.
Lane graduated from Suffolk University (Mass.) with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. In the spring of 2009, he completed his master's degree in education at Penn.