Aug. 17, 2007
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson Head Rowing Coach Richard Ruggieri announced that Corrie McGrath, Sarah Donaldson and Barbi Breimann have joined the Tiger staff as assistant coaches Friday afternoon.
This group will join Coach Ruggieri as Clemson Rowing prepares for the future with a great deal of excitement and commitment to excellence.
“I am very fortunate to have a group of women who have experienced success in so many areas. They will lead by example while challenging our athletes to reach new heights both as team members and individuals. It is this level of excellence that will move us forward,” said Ruggieri.
Corrie McGrath will be the Novice Head Coach and assist with the varsity. She will also serve as the Director of Recruiting and oversee our graduate assistant and volunteer staff. Coach McGrath starting rowing as a junior with the Everett Rowing Association in Washington. From there she went on to row at Washington State University where she was a four year letter-winner, team captain and two-time NCAA Championship participant. She was also a four-time All-West First-Team honoree, Second-Team All-American, two-time First-Team PAC-10 member and a First-Team PAC-10 All-American. Coach McGrath also succeeded in the classroom being named two-times to the PAC-10 All-Academic Team while receiving her degree in Psychology. Coach McGrath succeeded in rowing outside of University as a member of the 2000 and 2002 U.S. National Pre-Elite Team. She also rowed for Lake Washington winning at the 2004 Head of the Charles while also coaching at her former club Everett from 2003-2005. Most recently Coach McGrath was an assistant rowing coach Central Florida which finished 16th at the NCAA Rowing Championships. Previously she was the Varsity Lightweight coach at Central Florida who finished fifth in the nation.
“Coach McGrath’s brings a wealth of success at all levels. She has been coached and mentored by some of the best and it is this knowledge and experience which will serve her well at Clemson. Her work ethic and dedication will go far as a coach, role-model and recruiter of Clemson University.” said Ruggieri.
Sarah Jones Donaldson will be the Varsity Assistant Coach and serve as Director of Operations. Coach Donaldson will also spearhead recruiting in South Carolina enhancing our walk-on base. Coaching duties includes increasing small-boat skills thus preparing athletes for selection and racing. Coach Donaldson graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1997 and also attended and rowed for Pacific Lutheran and the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in University, she was invited to the 1995 U23 World Championship Camp. Here she earned her first National Team spot representing the United States in the women’s 2-. Coached by Richard Ruggieri she went on to earn a bronze medal in that event and thus started her Olympic quest while also continuing University. As a two year rower at Massachusetts she helped the Varsity 8+ finish second at the 1997 NCAA Championships. With University completed she continued rowing at the Elite level and embarked upon an amazing rowing career. Coach Donaldson represented the United States from 1997 to 2004. During this time she participated in two Olympics and six World Championships. The results were impressive as she finished with three World Championship medals and was a five-time finalist. She also finished 6th and 9th at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the 8+ and 2-. After completing her rowing career Coach Donaldson continued her passion in art while also coaching at Lake Stevens and Lake Sammamish both in Washington.
“Coach Donaldson is someone I have known for many years and whose success gave me great happiness. She has always been an incredible athlete, hard worker and technician but her humbleness is what sets her apart. She will be an amazing role model who will help set us apart in the world of collegiate rowing,” said Ruggieri.
Barbi Breimann will be the Graduate Assistant for the novice team. She will assist Coach McGrath in the coaching, training and administration of the novice team. Further duties will include assisting in operations, recruiting on-campus and organizing our alumni and parents as they continue to support our Tiger Rowers. Coach Breimann graduated from Clemson University in the spring of 2007 with a degree in Finance. At Clemson she was a four-year letter winner in rowing from 2003-2007. As a walk-on she rowed with the novice 8+ her first year and the 2nd varsity 8+ her second. For her junior and seniors years she rowed in the varsity 8+ and was ranked as high as 12th in the nation. Coach Breimann also succeeded in the classroom being named a four-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
“Coach Breimann will be a great asset for our walk-on program and will represent Clemson University and its Rowing program with great pride. As a Clemson grad she knows first hand why it is a special place and will certainly display this each and every day,” said Ruggieri.
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