CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Dr. Mike Davenport, who is in his 26th season as head coach of the Washington College women's rowing team, has announced his retirement, effective July 5th. Davenport also serves as director of the College's rowing program as well as Assistant to the Athletic Director for Professional Development and Compliance. During his first 16 years at the school, he coached the men's rowing team in addition to the women's.
"For the past 26 years, it has been a thrill and joy coaching at Washington College," remarked Davenport. "I will forever be indebted to the institution, the people, and those I coached. I will always be proud to have played a small role in being part of a wonderful place."
"It is with mixed emotions that we announce Mike's retirement," noted Dr. Bryan Matthews, the College's Director of Athletics. "He has been a tremendous asset to Washington College, the athletic department, and the rowing programs. Under his leadership, Washington College rowing has continued to grow and improve. In these last few years, as he has focused on the women's team, we have consistently been a national contender and have enjoyed great success. Mike has contributed to the Athletic Department as a leader, a mentor, and advisor, and, as our NCAA Compliance Officer, he has helped keep us in line. While we hate to see him go, we are happy for Mike and have no doubt he will find his post-coaching life rewarding. We wish him all the best."
Under Davenport's direction, the Shorewomen have competed in five NCAA Division III Championships, earning at-large eight berths in 2008 and 2009 and full-team berths in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Davenport was integral in the founding of the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) and has guided the Shorewomen to five MARC Championships over the first seven years of the conference's existence - including each of the past three. Under his direction, his student-athletes have won a total of seven first-team and eight second-team All-America honors. While serving as the school's men's rowing coach, he guided the Shoremen to three bronze medals at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships.
Davenport was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) National Coach of the Year for Division III in 2013 and was named the MARC Women's Coach of the Year in both 2013 and 2015. Under his direction, the Washington College rowing staff grew from one full-time and one part-time position to three full-time and three part-time positions.
Davenport has handled compliance duties for the athletic department since 1994 and received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Association of Athletics Compliance for the 2001-02 academic year. In 2011, he took on the additional duty of providing professional development guidance and materials for the department.
During his time at the College, Davenport also had stints as a team leader for the U.S. National and Olympic rowing teams and published six books on a variety of rowing and general sports topics.