Notre Dame College will be adding Men's and Women's Rowing in 2011, the College announced today. The women's team will become the first varsity rowing program in northeast Ohio, and the men's team will be a club team. The college also announced the hiring of Russell Eckles as the head coach for both teams.
"The addition of both Men's and Women's Rowing is exciting for NDC. We view this as a tremendous opportunity to become the first varsity program in the area, and Russell is the right coach to recruit talented student-athletes and build a quality program," said Director of Athletics Susan Hlavacek. "We view this as a tremendous opportunity to become the first women's varsity program in Northeast Ohio. Athletic programs are an important aspect of the total college experience and, like other extracurricular activities, serve as a means of recruiting and retaining high-quality students." Eckles has been in the Cleveland area as an instructor for over 25 years. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1975 and coaches for both Saint Ignatius and the Western Reserve Rowing Association.
"The development of a high quality men's club and women's varsity rowing program at NDC is an exciting opportunity, for the school, its student athletes, and the growing rowing community of Cleveland," said Eckles. "I am deeply honored to be involved in this process."
The Falcons will begin recruiting immediately for the inaugural season, which is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012. In Ohio, rowing is a club sport at approximately 12 universities including Case Western, Cleveland State, John Carroll and Baldwin Wallace. The three varsity women's programs in Ohio include Ohio State, Dayton and Marietta. Collegiate rowing at many universities is a club sport for both men and women. While men's rowing is strictly a club program, women's rowing has become a women's varsity sport at 144 universities. (87 Division-I, 17 Division-II, 40 Division-III) Russ Eckles can be contacted at Reckles@ndc.edu (216) 533-2441 cell