Olympic gold medalist Peter Cipollone has been named president of the USRowing Board of Directors, succeeding Don Langford, who held the position for the past eight years, the organization announced Thursday.
"It is very exciting," said Cipollone, who has served on the board for seven years and was the organization's treasurer. "With Don as chairman, the board re-established the fiscal soundness of USRowing and improved governance. Now, we have the opportunity to do some new and exciting things.
"I don't know if it is possible to thank Don Langford enough. It is clearly a labor of love for Don. Don and the board members from the early 2000s saved the organization. It was definitely at risk of going bankrupt. They brought it back."
Cipollone was named president at the Board of Director's meeting last weekend. Langford has one more year left on his term as a board member and will remain the Midwest region representative until his term expires. He will assist Cipollone in the transition.
"I want to thank Don Langford for the leadership and stability he brought to USRowing during the past eight years," said USRowing CEO Glenn Merry. "Looking ahead, USRowing is poised to make large advances towards a better future for rowers, and I am excited to work with Peter and the board in achieving those goals."
Taking over as treasurer will be Mid-Atlantic representative, Paul Horvat.
Cipollone, a resident of San Francisco and the Southwest representative, coxed medal-winning crews on the senior team at eight world championships and Olympics, including the eight that won Olympic gold in 2004 in Athens, Greece.
He coxed his eight to three consecutive world championships from 1997 to 1999. Cipollone also won gold at the world championships in the four with coxswain in 1995, silver in the pair with coxswain in 1994, silver in the eight in 2003 and bronze in the eight in 2002.
As the new president, Cipollone said the board would focus on several ongoing initiatives.
"We'll be focused on streamlining the referee experience, bringing rowing to new communities and providing more and better member benefits from youth to Olympians and masters," he said.
Cipollone takes over just four months before the 2012 Olympics and said he is excited for USRowing.
"With the Olympics, this part of the cycle was very exhilarating," Cipollone said. "It was also the most trying time because you are so close, but you do not know if you are going to make it. And then, if you do, there is a brief moment of ecstasy. You are going to the Olympics. I am a little jealous of our current athletes. Our team is going to be outstanding in London, and I look forward to going over and cheering for all of them."