Olympic Gold Medalist Jason 'J.R.' Read Named Temple Women's Rowing Coach

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Jason Read

PHILADELPHIA - Jason “J.R.” Read (SBM '03), who left an indelible mark on Temple rowing as a student-athlete and went on to a standout career with the U.S. National Team, returns to his alma mater as the head women's rowing coach, Temple University Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw announced today.

“It is rare that a you have one of your greatest athletes come back to serve as a head coach, but we are fortunate at Temple in that regard with the naming of Jason Read as the women's rowing coach,” Bradshaw said. “JR is one of the most respected rowers in the country and has a true passion for his alma mater.  It is that passion that we know he will instill in our women's program.”

“I am as ecstatic as I am humbled to be joining one of the most robust athletic departments in the NCAA,” Read said.  “To have the opportunity to work alongside an Olympic rowing coach and my college coach, the inimitable Dr. Gavin White, is nothing short of extraordinary.  I will work diligently to create an environment of athletic and academic excellence and leadership, both on and off the water. “

As perhaps the most successful rower to wear the cherry and white in school history, Read, who had a men's varsity 8 shell named after him this past spring, will seek to build on a 2011 season highlighted by a first-place finish for the Varsity 4 at the Bergen Cup and a fifth-place finish by the Varsity 8 in the Atlantic 10 Championships.

While rowing for the men's team in 1997 -2000, Read led the Varsity 8 from the stroke seat to four Murphy Cup, Big East and Dad Vail Varsity 8 championships – the only rower in Dad Vail history to accomplish such a feat.  Other accolades include victories at the Head of the Schuylkill, Navy Day, and Princeton Chase.  In 2000, with only nine men on the varsity roster, Coach White's crew was ranked 17th going into the National Collegiate Championships (IRA).  Incredibly, Read and his boat mates stunned the rowing world by placing fifth and making this only the second appearance in program history of racing in the top-level final at the IRA. 

A native of Ringoes, N.J., Read has represented the U.S. on 13 national teams since 1995.  He has won numerous international and national medals, and continues to train and compete at the pinnacle of the sport as an active USRowing Training Center /Penn AC athlete.  At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Read and his teammates won America's first rowing gold medal in 40 years, setting a world record in the heats that still stands today.  In 2008, while at the Beijing Olympics, Read was a contributor to The Wall Street Journal's first-ever Olympic coverage.  Last year, he rowed in the 7-seat of the U.S. men's eight that finished 6th at the World Championships in Karapiro New Zealand.  In October, Read will travel with the national team to the Pan American Games, a key checkpoint before next summer's 2012 London Olympics.

In 2009, Read assumed a coaching role on the national team, directing the lightweight women's sculler at the U-23 World Championships.  As a varsity girls' coach at Bishop Eustace Prep, Read helped the team to medals at the Philadelphia Cities, Stotesbury, and Scholastic National regattas.

Read is also a leader in volunteerism, having served as the Chief of Operations of his hometown EMS/Rescue department for nine years and as a first responder at Ground Zero on 9/11.  He has received national and international recognition for his contributions in that effort.  He is a former Executive Board member of the Temple Owl Club and a current Temple University Conwell Society and Hunterdon County YMCA Board member. 

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