Indian American Yasmin Farooq, a two-time Olympian as the United States coxswain, who spent the last 10 seasons as the head coach at Stanford University, has been named the head women’s rowing coach at the University of Washington.
Farooq, whose father is a native of Kashmir, India, spent eight years (1989-96) as coxswain for the U.S. national team and competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, serving as captain in 1996.
As the head coach at Stanford, 50-year-old Farooq, known as “Yaz,” won an NCAA championship in 2009. She rowed collegiately at Wisconsin, her native state, and has been named national coach of the year (2009) and Pac-12 coach of the year twice (2008 and 2014). She has been a rowing commentator for NBC at the last four Olympics.
“To be honest, it was a tough decision, because I felt that my fellow coaches and I had worked really hard to develop what we now have, from getting the right recruits, to team culture, to the way we race,” Farooq told the Seattle Times when asked about her decision to leave Stanford. “The team and the athletic department have been my home and my family. That said, UW is the most unique rowing program in the world, in my opinion.”
A 2014 inductee into the National Rowing Foundation Hall of Fame, for her eight-year career as a U.S. coxswain, the University of Wisconsin graduate has built a reputation for developing high-level rowers, according to a press release. Under her leadership, 14 of Farooq’s rowers have gone on to compete at the under-23 or senior World Championships, including two Olympians, winning 27 medals, 15 gold.
Also under Farooq, 138 Cardinal rowers have earned Academic All-Pac-12 and 74 have been named CRCA Scholar-Athletes.
“This program is a source of great pride to many people, and after spending some time with Yaz, it didn’t take long to realize she was the right fit to lead us into the future,” Jennifer Cohen, University of Washington director of athletics, said in a press release. “Her resume speaks for itself, but the further we looked into her background, the more we realized that the work she has done echoes our core objectives of positively impacting student-athletes, building a championship culture, and uniting community.”
Farooq began her career as a coxswain as a freshman at Wisconsin in 1984, winning a national championship in the JV8 in 1986 and eventually serving as captain and earning team MVP honors as a senior.
Article originally published at http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/university-of-washington-appoints-yasmin-farooq-as-women-s-rowing/article_14ae70ea-37e5-11e6-aeee-03a010bdb48c.html