Jon Douglas is in his sixth year coaching the freshmen heavyweights and recruiting oarsmen for Columbia. Douglas has been an integral part of the heavyweights’ recent successes, including 15 Cup wins since he joined the staff and three top-12 finishes for all three boats that entered the IRA National Regatta in 2010. His freshmen capped off the 2010 season with a berth in the Grand Final of the Eastern Sprints Regatta. Douglas has revamped the Columbia Heavyweight recruiting process in his time here, landing top recruits and Junior or U23 National Team rowers every year. For the summer of 2013, Douglas has founded the US Rowing U23 Development Camp at Columbia University.
Douglas came to Columbia from the Rutgers, where he served as freshman heavyweight coach and led the Rutgers freshmen to impressive regular-season and Eastern Sprints showings while heading a productive recruiting effort. Prior to Rutgers, Douglas had been assistant coach of the varsity heavyweights at Cornell from 2003-04.
Douglas served as head coach at Brookline (Mass.) High, leading the Warriors to the 2002 and 2003 Massachusetts Public School Championship titles. Under his guidance, Brookline qualified for the US Rowing Youth Invitational for the first time in the school’s history while winning Northeast and Mass Public Championships.
During the summers of 2003 and 2004, Douglas served as the assistant coach for the USA Junior National Rowing Team. He led the Junior Men’s Coxed Four to a fourth-place finish at the Junior World Rowing Championships the same year he assisted the US eight to a silver medal. Douglas also coached the USA eight, four and pair to CanAmMex gold medals where he developed Charlie Cole and Henrik Rummel who both went on to win bronze medals at the 2012 Olympics.
A varsity heavyweight letterman at Cornell, Douglas went on to row for the U.S. National Team during the summer of 2002. Coached by present Columbia heavyweight head coach and director of rowing Mike Zimmer, Douglas earned a bronze medal with the U.S.A. Lightweight Eight at the 2002 Senior World Rowing Championships. He also placed sixth in the International Lightweight Final at the CRASH-B Championships.
“I’m very excited to have Jon Douglas on the Columbia heavyweight coaching staff,” Zimmer said. “Jon and I worked very well together when he rowed on the 2002 National Team. He and I share philosophies on the efficacy of hard work and preparation. Jon has been an incredibly diligent recruiter and has instilled the work ethic in the Columbia freshmen that they need to succeed at the varsity level.”
Douglas entered the coaching profession after his stint with the National Team. He received a B.S. in environmental engineering from Cornell University, his Business Certificate from Columbia University and currently resides in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.