Scott Alwin has taken major steps in his first three seasons at Columbia, in restoring lightweight rowing to the success it had enjoyed during the past dozen years. Under his direction, the varsity lightweight crew narrowly missed a win in the Petite Final at Eastern Sprints, coming within six-tenths of a second of Georgetown.
In 2010, Nick LaCava ‘09CC won the USRowing National Selection Regatta in the lightweight pair and three rowers from the Class of 2010 – Jake Cushnie ‘10CC, Bob Duff ‘10CC and Mike Nucci ‘10CC – all competed for slots on their respective countries (Cushnie - Canada, Duff and Nucci - United States) national teams.
In 2009, Columbia won its first Cup race since 2006 as it defeated Dartmouth to earn the Subin Cup. And for the second consecutive season, the varsity eight earned a trip to the IRA Nationals where it closed in seventh place.
The Lions came within three seconds of defending national champion Cornell in 2008, while defeating MIT in the Geiger Cup, then just missed a victory over Dartmouth in the Subin Cup, losing by 6/10 of a second. Two weeks later, Columbia defied its seed and made the Grand Final of the Eastern Sprints. They just missed a second Grand Final in the National Lightweight Championship, but bounced back to win the Petite Final.
Alwin had also known success before coming to Columbia in the summer of 2007. He was a highly successful assistant and freshman men’s rowing coach at both Princeton and Wisconsin. Alwin had been at Princeton since September 2004, initially as a men’s rowing intern. He was named freshman lightweight coach in January 2005.
Alwin’s crews compiled an excellent record of accomplishment. His freshman eight won the gold medal at the 2006 Eastern Sprints, and took silver medals in both 2005 and 2007. The eights won 21 of 25 regular-season spring races. He coached the Tigers’ Open Four to a silver medal at the 2007 IRA Regatta.
Mike Zimmer, Columbia’s Director of Rowing, was enthusiastic about Alwin’s appointment as the Columbia head lightweight coach.
am very excited that Scott has joined the Columbia staff,” he said.
“Scott brings excellent experience and a record of success. His crews at
Princeton were quite sharp and finished in the medals all three years
he was there.”
Alwin came to Princeton from his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. He initially served as assistant varsity heavyweight coach, from February 2002 to August 2003, working with all aspects of the program, but with sole responsibility for the Badgers’ third and fourth boats. He helped Wisconsin earn three IRA and two Eastern Sprints gold medals during his two spring seasons; in 2002, the Badgers’ varsity eight won the Eastern Sprints.
Alwin was named head freshman heavyweight coach for the 2003-2004 season. His crew was undefeated in all dual races, and he developed a novice recruiting system for high school athletes.
He also spent two summers as Pre-Elite Coach and administrator of the Camp Randall Rowing Club, coaching the club’s eights to two gold medals each at the 2002 and 2003 Royal Canadian Henley. At Princeton, Alwin coached the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association.
Like many collegiate oarsmen, Alwin never rowed until entering college. A native of Middleton, Wisc., he competed in track and cross country at Middleton High, then began rowing as a freshman heavyweight at Wisconsin.
Undefeated in dual races, he earned a gold medal at the 1999 IRA Regatta in a varsity four with coxswain, and another gold in the Badgers’ second varsity eight at the 2001 Eastern Sprints. He graduated from the University in 2002 with a B.A. in a double major, political science and history.
He and his wife, Alice Kearney, live in Manhattan.