June 4, 2010
CLEMSON, SC – Richard Ruggieri, Clemson’s Rowing Coach for the past three seasons has resigned effective immediately as announced by Clemson University Director of Athletics, Terry Don Phillips Friday afternoon.
Ruggieri had led Clemson to an ACC Championship and three top 20 finishes since he took over the coaching duties in 2008.
“We greatly appreciate Coach Ruggieri’s hard work, dedication, and effort, and the fact that under his leadership Clemson Rowing has become a strong national presence,” said Phillips. “We wish Richard much success as he pursues other opportunities.”
In 2010, he led the Tigers to a second place finish in the ACC Championships and a 15th place finish at the NCAA National Rowing Championships. Three rowers, Brittany Cummings, and Grace Wolff were named All-ACC. Five rowers, Cummings, Nance, Zsofia Bende, Becca Brown, and Katie Bruggeling were named to the All-South Region team. He also led Clemson to a second-place finish in the South region at the Aramark South/Central Sprints for the third consecutive season.
Nine Tigers were honored by being named CRCA Scholar Athletes. Clemson finished the 2010 season ranked #12 in the CRCA/USRowing poll, which tied the 2009 squad for the highest final ranking in program history.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to coach at a place like Clemson under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Phillips and Barbara Kennedy-Dixon,” said Ruggieri. “The accomplishments achieved by Clemson Rowing in the past three years are truly amazing and give me great pride. To experience the sport at the highest level and achieve is what makes it special.”
In 2009, Ruggieri led Clemson to its first ACC Championship in school history. Two Tiger crews brought home ACC titles and five rowers earned All-ACC honors. He also led Clemson to a second-place finish in the South region at the Aramark South/Central Sprints for the second consecutive season. Ruggieri garnered both ACC Coach of the Year and South Region Coach of the Year honors.
In just his second year at the helm of the Tigers, Clemson advanced to the NCAA National Rowing Championships as a team for the first time in school history. The Tigers finished 12th overall, missing a top-ten finish by just three points. The Varsity 4+ captured the first national championship in program history at the regatta.
Under Ruggieri’s guidance, three Tigers were named to the Division One Pocock All-America team in 2009, marking the most All-America selections from Clemson in a season. Senior Brittany Cummings and senior Hilary Cumbest earned second-team honors. In addition, the trio earned All-South region honors along with Stefanie Kozuszek. Clemson finished the 2009 season ranked #12 in the CRCA/USRowing poll, which marks the highest final ranking in program history. The Varsity 8+ crew was ranked as high as #10 during the season, which is the highest ranking Clemson has ever achieved.
In his first season at Clemson in 2008, Ruggieri led the Varsity 8+ crew to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history. The Tigers finished the season 14th in the nation, which was the highest final ranking in the history of the program. At the conclusion of the season, Ruggieri was named the South Region Head Coach of the Year by the CRCA. Ruggieri led the Tigers to a variety of both individual and team accolades in 2008.
Clemson finished runner-up at the ACC Championships as a team, and the Novice 8+ came in first in its race.
Ruggieri led the Tigers to a second-place finish in the South region at the Aramark South/Central Sprints. He coached Suzanne Van Fleet and Leidecker to All-America honors, and five Tiger rowers were named to the CRCA All-South Region team. Under Ruggieri’s guidance, Liz Robb became the first Clemson rower to be named the ACC¹s Freshman-of-the-Year. In addition, Leidecker, Van Fleet and Robb were named to the All-ACC team. Also in 2008, 11 rowers received CRCA National Scholar Athlete accolades. Ruggieri¹s 2008 squad earned the ACC Sportsmanship Award for exhibiting a high degree of character and good sportsmanship.
Prior to his tenure at Clemson, Ruggieri was the head coach at Louisville for seven seasons. During his time at the school, the Cardinals steadily climbed the ranks in the South Region and on the national scene as well.
Ruggieri is 43-years old and graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1992.
Ruggieri at Clemson
2008: ACC – 2nd South Region – 2nd NCAA – Varsity 8+ Participated; 14th in Final Poll
2009: ACC – 1st South Region – 2nd NCAA – 12th
2010: ACC – 2nd South Region – 2nd NCAA – 15th
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