∙ Veteran College Coach with 25 Years of Experience
∙ Most Recently Served as Head Women's and Men's Coach at Johnson & Wales
∙ Led Johnson & Wales to Second-Place MARC Finishes in Team's Third & Fourth Seasons
∙ Has Also Coached at SMU, Murray State, Rochester, and Ohio State
CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Bill McLean, a veteran coach with 25 years of experience at the collegiate level, has been named the new head men's rowing coach at Washington College. McLean has served as the head women's coach and head men's club coach at fellow Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) school Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island since August 2014.
"Washington College has a fantastic infrastructure for building a competitive rowing team and a campus that is in an idyllic setting," remarks McLean. "I hope to build on the strong foundation that my predecessor Scott [Wisniewski] established for the program and to build on the energy that the campus climate provides."
"We are excited to welcome a Bill to our athletic family," notes Washington College Director of Athletics Thad Moore. "Throughout the interview process, Bill's passion for the sport and student-athlete experience was evident. His history as a successful coach on the collegiate level speaks for itself. Bill's vision of the program aligns with ours and we are looking forward to watching him achieve his goals."
McLean was hired at Johnson & Wales one year before the debut of women's rowing as a varsity sport at the school. By the team's third season, at the 2018 MARC Championships, the Wildcats finished second in the league, a feat they would repeat again the following spring. During his tenure at Johnson & Wales, McLean also developed the team's men's rowing program, which competed at the club level. He held various additional duties in the Johnson & Wales athletic department, serving as an advisor to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and as a game-day supervisor for various other sporting events as well as assisting in the renovation and development of the school's Sailing and Rowing Center.
"I was given a wonderful opportunity to build a championship program from the ground up and, within four years, the team has taken second place at the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Championships," McLean reflects. "Thank you to Mel Graf, ,Associate Dean of Student Development, for taking a chance on me to build the program and Dana Miller, Athletic Director, for supporting the team to achieve our goals."
Johnson & Wales was the most recent stop in McLean's long and impressive career as a collegiate rowing coach, a journey which started with a one-year stint as the freshman coach for Ohio State's club women's team beginning in 1994. He moved on from Ohio State to serve eight years as the head coach of the club men's and women's program at the University of Rochester, where he tripled program participation and created the Friends of Rochester Rowing, a fundraising group comprised of alumni and parents.
In August of 2003, McLean began a five-year stop at Murray State University in Kentucky, serving as the head coach of the school's Division I varsity women's program and club men's program, heading up a varsity program for the first time. He again created a fundraising-support group and assisted in the renovation and construction of the Murray State Boathouse.
In August 2008, McLean moved on to Southern Methodist University (SMU), serving as an assistant coach for the varsity women's program. While there, he helped recruit successively faster recruiting classes and created a team academic action plan which resulted in the team having the highest grade-point average in Conference USA during the 2010-11 academic year. He remained at SMU until taking the position at Johnson & Wales.
Prior to his first college coaching position, McLean worked as a coach and boathouse caretaker at Three Rivers Rowing Association in Pittsburgh and as the head boys and girls rowing coach at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pa. During his collegiate coaching career, he has also had various stints as the Director of Learn to Row at Pittsford (N.Y.) Rowing Club, an assistant coach at Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association in Philadelphia, and as an assistant coach for White Rock Rowing Club in Dallas, Texas.
McLean has served on the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisory Committee and as treasurer of the MARC. He is a United States Rowing Association Level III Certified Coach. He was named the Joy of Sculling Head Coach of the Year in 1998 and has had both an ergometer training facility at Murray State and an eight at Rochester named in his honor.
McLean earned a B.A. in History in 1992 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. It was at that school where he first discovered rowing, joining the club team as a walk-on.
"To my fellow coaches and support staff at JWU, thank you for keeping your door open to me when I needed help or just to talk," adds McLean. "To my athletes there, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to coach and counsel you. It is an important part of my life and I take with me all the incredible experiences we have had together. To my new team, I look forward ito meeting you all and learning from you and building a strong foundation of success."
McLean's first day on the job at the College will be Monday, November 18th.