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Paul Wilkins Returns to CSULB as Women’s Head Coach


Paul Wilkins, SW Region Programs Coordinator for US Rowing, is returning to Cal State Long Beach as the Women’s Head Coach starting Fall Semester 2012, the Beach Crew Review Panel announced on Wednesday. He replaces Daniel Harris, who had served as the head coach for the past 4 years.

This year, campus administrators have formed a new review panel, consisting of recreation staff, sports management, members of the Beach Crew Alumni Association, and team captains from their respective teams, who will be responsible for reviewing coaching operations with the rowing teams for the foreseeable future. Brandin Grams, former General Manager of Rowing, was selected as the chairman of the panel this year.

“Paul’s experience coaching both men and women at many respected institutions and his passion for rowing really made him an ideal candidate for the position,” Grams said. “We are very pleased to see him back at The Beach.”

Paul has many years of experience in coaching at the collegiate level and in program development. Wilkins started coaching at George Washington University in 1981, with a crew from a very small team to one that had almost 100 competitive athletes. As head coach, he was responsible for program management, implementing budgets and its priorities, overseeing equipment acquisition and maintenance, scheduling travel, recruiting, gathering seasonal training plans and daily practice sessions.

After GWU, Paul returned to the west coast and came to CSULB in 1996 as the Women’s Head Coach. Paul also spent time coaching with our neighbors to the south at Orange Coast College.

For ten years Paul developed Chapman University’s rowing program with remarkable strides, starting with less than ten athletes rowing in old donated equipment. During his tenure a new boathouse was built in Newport Beach. He commenced an aggressive equipment acquisition program, and grew the team by over 400%.

Paul served on the NCAA Div. III Rowing Committee in 2006-2008 helping manage the NCAA Championship Regatta. In his work with USRowing as Southwest Programs Coordinator, he teaches the coaching clinics that are the foundation of our coaching education program. The program is technical in nature, but also seeks to instill ethical standards and a positive, athlete centered approach.

Paul has coached elite athletes, beginners with much potential, and those who are just rowing to “get in shape.” He has developed a half dozen national team rowers, all but one of whom had never rowed prior to college, and several of whom also became members of their country’s Olympic teams.

“I encourage my athletes to do their best in all facets of their life. I make it a point to have frequent meetings with each individual on my team to foster communication, set individual goals, and to monitor classroom performance. My teams train hard on and off the water, work diligently at their academics, and graduate to become successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. I count among my alumni professors, attorneys, doctors, successful business people, public servants, artists, and coaches. For all the success that I have been able to achieve on the water, I think ultimately the greatest reward I get from coaching is the success my student athletes have in their lives after their collegiate experience is over. I believe that there are many life lessons that rowing instills in my athletes is responsible in no small measure for their success.”

Paul resides here in Long Beach with his wife and two children. He will be working closely with the Women’s Novice Coach, Meghan Mandell, this season.