CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Washington College Director of Athletics Dr. Bryan Matthews has announced the promotion of Kari Hughes to head women's rowing coach. Hughes served as the lead assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Shorewomen during the 2015-16 season under head coach Dr. Mike Davenport. Davenport is retiring in July. Hughes is a former United States National Team member and a veteran rowing coach and instructor.
"I am delighted to announce Kari Hughes as our next head women's rowing coach," said Matthews. "In addition to her tremendous credentials in the sport of rowing, she has already shown herself to be a great fit for Washington College. She has big shoes to fill and I am sure she will do well."
"I first want to congratulate Mike Davenport on his very successful tenure at Washington College," remarked Hughes. "Over the last 26 years, he has developed the rowing program into a nationally competitive team, racing at the NCAA Championships for the past four consecutive years. In addition, he has mentored many coaches and added a great deal to coaching education in this country. I have become a better coach by working with Coach Davenport this past year."
With Hughes on the coaching staff this season, the Shorewomen won their fourth consecutive Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championship, earning their fourth consecutive NCAA Division III Championship berth. The Shorewomen improved throughout the season, turning early-season losses to conference rival Franklin & Marshall in both the first and second varsity eights into resounding victories at the MARC Championships.
Hughes competed at the 1999 Pan American Games and captured a silver medal for the United States in the women's pair. Two years earlier, she finished 12th for the U.S. in that same event at the World Championships. Among her other outstanding accomplishments on the water are a first-place finish in the women's pair at the 1998 Head of the Charles and a first-place finish in the Elite Women's pair at the 1996 Canadian Henley. She rowed collegiately at the United States Naval Academy (Navy), serving as team captain in 1990 and 1991. She received a B.S. in Oceanography from Navy in 1991.
During the fall following the conclusion of her collegiate rowing career, Hughes served as Navy's assistant novice women's rowing coach. After five and one-half years of service as a Supply Corps Officer in the United States Navy, she returned to the Academy as assistant women's rowing coach, serving in that role from 1997 to 2001. She has also worked as a coach at the Annapolis Rowing Club and as administrator of Navy Rowing Camps.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the outstanding student-athletes at Washington College," Hughes added. "The rowing team is very competitive and driven, while at the same time embodying the principles of a true student-athlete. Washington College is a special place and the rowing team mirrors the attributes that make it an amazing educational institution."