Tom Paradiso C'02 Resigns from Men's Heavyweight Rowing Staff to Pursue Olympic Team Spot

PHILADELPHIA - Nicholas B. Paumgarten Head Coach of Men's Heavyweight Rowing Greg Myhr announced the resignation of assistant coach Tom Paradiso C'02 in order to focus on his efforts on making the United States Olympic Team at the 2012 Summer Games in London today.

"When Tom came on board two years ago, I knew that in some ways he viewed his Olympic rowing career as 'unfinished business' and that if he could rehabilitate his back, he would likely want to make another run at it. Nevertheless, Tom poured everything he had into Penn Rowing as the freshman coach here, and has made a significant impact on the team," Myhr said. "While we miss him already, Tom is an incredibly loyal and supportive Penn Alum, and I have no doubt that he will continue to play a role in the improving fortunes of the program. Moreover, I'm truly excited to see him chase this opportunity and look forward to seeing him hopefully competing in London next year - all of us wish him the very best."

Paradiso will get back to work quickly at the 2011 World Team Trials this week, competing for a spot on the men's lightweight double team. He is excited to get back to competing and thankful for his time at Penn.

"The decision to move forward with my competitive career and step away from coaching was difficult," he said. "I know that making it back to the elite level will not be easy, but with my health back to form and the prospect of another trip to the Olympics out there, this is a step I am ready to take. I am very appreciative of the support given to me from coach Myhr, the current team members, the alumni and the entire athletic department."

An eight-year veteran of the U.S. national team, Paradiso competed for his country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, sitting in the stroke seat of the men's 4-. While competing as a collegian at Penn, Paradiso won a bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. After his trip to the Olympics, a back injury forced Paradiso to put his competitive plans on hold, but also gave him an opportunity to return to his alma mater and coach a new generation of Quaker rowers.

In his first season as not only assistant varsity coach but head novice coach, Paradiso saw his freshmen crew win three races and finish the season undefeated on home waters of the Schuylkill River, including wins over Ivy League rivals Yale and Columbia. In 2011, Paradiso's novice crew again qualified for the IRA Championships.

In his heat race on Tuesday morning, Paradiso's boat was third in a fast heat of three boats, finishing 2.33 seconds behind the first-place boat. His boat did advance to Thursday's final which is schedule to go off at 8:10 a.m. and will be streamed live here.