CLEMSON, S.C. — Olympic gold medalist Amanda Polk has been named an assistant coach for the Tiger rowing program, announced Monday. Polk joined Stephen Frazier Wong’s coaching staff after a long and decorated career as a member of the United States National Team. She rowed three-seat for the Women’s 8+ gold medal boat in the Rio Olympics.
“We are fortunate to add someone with Amanda’s pedigree at Clemson,” Frazier Wong said. “Her experience at a prestigious academic institution like Notre Dame and as a professional athlete at the highest level give her pronounced credibility with our team. Having someone share an eight-year journey as a senior-level athlete with our rowers will certainly have a big impact, and we look forward to welcoming her into the Clemson Family.”
Polk helped the Americans to the gold medal in a time of 6:01.49, beating Great Britain and Romania for the third straight Olympic victory for the USA in the event. Polk also helped Team USA to victories at the World Rowing Championships in the Women’s 8+ in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2012 and 2013, she rowed in the world record-setting W8+ gold medal boats at the World Rowing Cup.
“After winning gold at the Rio Olympics, I thought my passion for rowing had peaked,” said Polk, who will receive the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswoman of the Year honor on Feb. 15. “Spending a few months away from the sport made me realize how much I love it. I am thrilled to become a part of the coaching community, but even more excited to share my experience and knowledge with Clemson Rowing!”
Her extensive experience with USRowing also included a stint with the U23 National Team, where she helped the Women’s 8+ to a gold medal in 2008.
Polk earned four CRCA All-America honors at the University of Notre Dame from 2005-08, including first-team honors each of her final three seasons with the Fighting Irish. She helped Notre Dame to its first bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships in 2006, and also led the Varsity 8+ to three straight Big East Championships in the event as well.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Polk earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Notre Dame in 2008.
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