With nearly nine combined years of Ivy League coaching experience, Emerson Curry has been named Columbia University’s Head Women’s Rowing Coach, Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Pilling announced on Monday. In addition, Columbia also announced that it has retained both Colleen Irby and Samantha Warren as assistant coaches with the women’s rowing program.
“For the past nine years, Emerson has prepared for an Ivy League head coaching opportunity,” Pilling said. “In his four years with our rowing program, Emerson has proved to be a tireless and dedicated worker. His enthusiasm for our program, dedication to our student-athletes and the advancement of our heavyweight program has been impressive. We are confident that Emerson’s leadership will enable the women’s program to obtain greater competitive success.”
Curry’s vision for the Columbia women’s rowing program includes recruiting student-athletes that are hardworking, balanced academically and athletically and fundamentally sound in skill development. He seeks student-athletes that understand and are able to execute team tactics and are accountable to themselves and to each other. These student-athletes are prepared to excel on and off the water.
“I couldn’t be more excited to become Columbia’s head women’s rowing coach,” Curry said. “I'd like to thank Peter Pilling, Matthew Scally and Scott Alwin for the opportunity. Rowing for Columbia is an incredibly unique and empowering experience. I'm excited to get started with the team and also grateful that I'm inheriting two exceptional coaches in Colleen Irby and Samantha Warren.”
Curry, has been instrumental in assisting head coach and director of rowing Scott Alwin with the Columbia heavyweight rowing program. His many duties with the Lions have included serving as the recruiting coordinator, working with student-athletes on academic matters, assisting with the coaching of all varsity boats and preparation of team training programs along with overseeing the management and selection of its walk-on program. During his four years with the heavyweights, Columbia has been ranked among the nation’s top-20 each year with two top-10 finishes at the IRA Championships in both 2015 and 2016. Columbia’s ninth place finish in 2016 marked the program’s best showing in the event since 2008.
Prior to his arrival in Morningside Heights as Columbia’s assistant heavyweight coach in August 2013, Curry served a successful stint as an assistant lightweight coach and head coach of the freshman boats at his alma mater Dartmouth from 2010-13. Under his collegiate head coach Dan Roock at Dartmouth, he helped guide the Big Green lightweight eights to five medals in championship regattas including back-to-back second place showings at the Eastern Sprints (2011 and 2012) and a second place finish (2012) and two third place finishes (2011 and 2013) at the IRA Championships.
From 2008-10, Curry served as lightweight assistant at Harvard under coach Charley Butt, the Crimson’s longtime lightweight skipper who now oversees Harvard’s heavyweights. During Curry’s tenure in Cambridge, Harvard’s top lightweight crew medaled four times at championship regattas including back-to-back second place finishes at the Eastern Sprints (2009 and 2010) and back-to-back third place showings at the IRA Championships (2009 and 2010). He also coached the third varsity boat at the Eastern Sprints, guiding them to a first place finish.
“Emerson has been a tremendous asset to our Columbia rowing family and is well-deserving of this opportunity,” Columbia Director of Rowing/Heavyweight Head Coach Scott Alwin said. “His familiarity with all of our programs and the University makes him a great fit to lead our women’s rowing program. I have seen first-hand the promise he has and am excited to see what the future has in store.”
“Emerson’s experience as an Ivy League rower and assistant coach, coupled with his knowledge and understanding of Columbia makes him a perfect fit to lead our women’s program,” Associate Athletics Director for Intercollegiate Sports Programs Matthew Scally said. “For the past four years, Emerson has been a valuable and important member of our rowing staff and we now look forward to the leadership he will bring to our women’s program.”
A 2009 Dartmouth Wearers of the Big Green inductee, Curry earned his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 2008. As a lightweight oarsman for the Big Green, Curry won the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League Championships, while setting a course record in the varsity lightweight eight race in 2007. He served as team captain of the 2008 squad and earned All-Ivy League accolades as a senior. He was the recipient of the Thaddeus Seymor Rowing Award as the most valuable oarsman, making the greatest contribution to rowing at Dartmouth College. He also won the Louis C. Breer Cup for leadership and sportsmanship of the varsity lightweight crew and the Class of 1991 award for leadership, competence and friendship on and off the water.
Following his collegiate career, Curry trained with the high performance men’s lightweight eight team at the Riverside Boat Club.
Curry is a Princeton, N.J. native who began his rowing career at the Kent School in Kent, Conn.