Molly Konopka Named Women's Crew Assistant Coach

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's head coach of women's rowing, Mike Lane, has announced the addition of Molly Konopka to his staff. Konopka replaces Briana Schulte, who left to take a job at the Pocock Rowing Center in Seattle, Wash.

"With both of our programs being on Boathouse Row, I have been able to watch Molly and her crews during my entire time here, and I have always been really impressed with the job they do," said Lane, who enters his sixth season as the program's head coach. "To get a coach of her caliber into our boathouse is a real steal for our program, and I couldn't be happier to have her on board. As a Penn alum, Molly understands what kind of commitment is needed to be a part of this program, and I hope that perspective will help our current athletes as we strive to take the next step and make our program one of the elite not just within the Ivy League but nationally."

Konopka returns to her alma mater after serving as the head coach of the Episcopal Academy boys' and girls' rowing programs since 1996. Among many highlights for both programs, Konopka has overseen nine Inter-Ac championships in the girls' varsity eight and a host of Stotesbury Cup Regatta championships and medals. In the spring of 2010, her girls' quad swept to wins at the Inter-Ac, City Championships, Stotesbury, and Scholastic National Championships. In 2009, her girls' quadruple sculls swept all four and was also a semifinalist at the prestigious Women's Henley Regatta in England. In 2008, her girls' varsity four and boys' senior four won gold at the National Championship Regatta, with the boys also taking fourth at the USRowing Youth National Championships.

Konopka also has spent every summer since 2000 as Head Junior Coach of the Fairmount Rowing Association, which is based out of Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. The high school-age association has enjoyed national and international success during her tenure, including a gold medal for the women's junior double at the 2009 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, second for the women's junior four at the 2010 Royal Canadian Henley, and a bronze medal for the women's junior four at the 2008 USRowing Club National Championships.

Prior to her arrival at Episcopal, Konopka spent four years as the varsity women's rowing coach at Saint Joseph's University, from 1992-96. Her stint with the Hawks included bronze medals at the Dad Vail Regatta in three straight years, at the time SJU's best finish in the prestigious event. Konopka was an assistant coach with Fordham's men's and women's novice crews from 1990-92, leading the Rams' men's lightweight freshman eight to gold at the 1992 Dad Vails. Konopka's first coaching job out of college came at the Hun School in Princeton, N.J., where she was the boys' head coach as well as a Latin teacher.

Konopka graduated from Penn in 1988 with a degree in Latin. She also holds a master's degree in Latin from Fordham University.