PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania Athletics Director, Steve Bilsky, has announced Fred Honebein as Penn's new head coach for men's heavyweight crew.
A highly regarded recruiter, motivator and innovator as a coach, Honebein comes to Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill River after a two-year stint as head coach at Oregon State. Prior to that, he was the men's assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Washington from 1998-2004.
“More than anything else, we were looking for someone with distinct leadership qualities, who would motivate our rowers both as students and athletes," said Bilsky. “Fred’s experience in coaching at the highest level, his selection by his peers as captain of the U.S. Olympic rowing team, along with his personal qualities of sincerity and dedication, convinced us that we found the right man.”
“I am honored to be named the head coach at Penn,” said Honebein. “It is a program with a rich and illustrious tradition. Penn Rowing has the support of the athletics administration, and a proud and impressive group of alumni with whom I look forward to working. I am excited to coach such a strong group of returning rowers and taking them to the next competitive level.”
Honebein brings an impressive rowing history to Philadelphia, one that includes more than three years as the team captain for the U.S. Olympic Team as a member of the eight from 1993-96. His eight finished fifth in the 1996 Olympics and won the 1994 World Championships as well as the 1993 and 1995 U.S. National Championships.
In 1995, Honebein earned the distinction of USRowing Athlete of the Year.
In addition to his collegiate coaching stints, Honebein was an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior National Team in 2001, when his four with coxswain finished eighth at the Junior World Championships in Germany.
During his time at Washington-one of the preeminent collegiate rowing programs in the nation-Honebein guided his novice crews to several major wins at regattas across the nation. Among the wins were the 2001 and 2002 IRA Regatta and Pac-10 Championships, three Pac-10 dual race championships from 2000-02, and victories at the Opening Day Regatta and San Diego Crew Classic.
Honebein was named the 2002 Northwest Coach of the Year after his novice eight won the Pac-10 and IRA Regattas.
Most recently, as head coach at Oregon State, Honebein led his team to a third-place finish overall at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships behind traditional powers California and Washington. His varsity eight placed fourth in its grand final behind Cal, Stanford and Washington, and his second varsity met the same fate. At the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships held earlier this month in Camden, N.J., the Beavers' varsity eight placed 14th overall while the second varsity eight was 12th.
However, it was Honebein's freshman crews that opened eyes this year. His first recruiting class at OSU yielded a freshman four boat that took fourth place overall at IRAs, as well as a freshman eight that placed third at the Pac-10 Championships.
Prior to coaching at Washington, Honebein served one year as the women’s novice coach at California, where his team earned a second-place finish at the 1998 Pac-10 Championships.
As a rower at the University of California from 1989-90, Honebein helped the varsity eight to third place at the 1989 Pac-10 Championships. Honebein rowed at Orange Coast College from 1987-88 before transferring to Cal. He earned a Bachelor's degree in History from Cal in 1991.
A native of San Francisco, Honebein is married to current OSU assistant women’s rowing coach Anne Kakela, also a former U.S. Olympian and National Team member. They have a son, Beck.