SEATTLE - Nine-time Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year Jan Harville, who directed the Washington rowing team to three NCAA team championships, announced that she is resigning her position as the women's crew coach.
Harville, 51, recently completed her 16th season as head coach of the Washington women's program. She was on the Husky coaching staff for 23 years. Harville will step down in September to pursue other interests.
"I've been thinking about it for a couple of years. I never dreamed that I would even coach this long," Harville explained. "Coaching for me is something that has been a full-time passion. Lately it takes more and more energy to create the passion needed to be 100 percent. I look around and I have interests other places that I want to put some of my energy in. I'm interested in doing other things right now. It's time to pass it on to someone else."
Harville's teams claimed Washington's only NCAA championships in any sport, winning national team titles in 1997, 1998 and 2001. The Huskies placed among the top three at the championship regatta every year since the NCAA began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997, including a third-place performance this season.
Washington's varsity crew competed at the Henley Royal Regatta in England during July of 2000. The Huskies won the open eight event and received the Henley Prize, the first women's trophy awarded since the regatta began in 1839.
"I was proud to be a part of putting Washington rowing on the map in a couple areas," Harville remarked. "One is winning the first NCAA team title for Washington in 1997. Certainly UW won a lot of rowing titles before it was NCAA, but to be around for the first team title was a fun thing to do. Also, winning the Henley Prize. To have 'Washington' on the first line of the trophy was a great accomplishment."
A graduate of Seattle's Roosevelt High School, Harville rowed at Washington from 1970-73. After graduating in 1974 with a medical technology degree, she continued to row as a member of the U.S. National Team from 1978-84. Harville was selected to the Olympic Team in 1980 and 1984 and rowed on eight-oared crews that medaled at three separate World Championship regattas. She was inducted into the U.S. Rowing Hall of Fame in 1991.
Harville returned to Washington in 1980 as the assistant women's coach under Bob Ernst. She assumed the head coaching post in the 1987-88 season when Ernst took over the same position with the UW men's team.
"I've been fortunate to be associated with rowing at the University of Washington," said Harville. "We celebrated the centennial of rowing at Washington this year and I really appreciate the tradition and history of the program. Coaches at Washington feel that we're kind of caretakers for the program for a period of time. That's a lot of responsibility."
In 2002, Harville was the recipient of the national Coach of the Year award and was named the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year. She was also recognized as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the ninth time. Harville's varsity eight crew won 13 Pac-10 titles, including a streak of 11 straight from 1992-2002.
In her 16 seasons as the head coach, Harville produced 11 national championship boats and 41 UW crews captured conference titles.
"The career of Jan Harville at the University of Washington has been exceptional," said UW Director of Athletics Barbara Hedges. "The success of the women's rowing program at Washington is unparalleled across the country. She will be very difficult to replace."
A national search for Harville's successor will begin immediately. The process will be conducted by Hedges, Ernst and Gary Barta, the senior associate athletic director for external relations and sports programs.