This Monday, Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun announced that Bryan Volpenhein will join the Penn rowing community as head coach of Penn heavyweight rowing.
After four years with the program, former head coach Geoff Bond’s contract expired on June 30.
Volpenhein is a three-time Olympian who rowed for the US in 2000, 2004, and 2008. In Athens in 2004, the US won gold with Volpenhein in stroke. This was the first time a US eight had won gold in 40 years. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he also stroked the US eight that won bronze.
"I am incredibly honored to be chosen as the next head coach for Penn men's heavyweight rowing," Volpenhein said in a Penn Athletics statement. "This program has a long and rich history of competitive crews and has been an integral part of Philadelphia's rowing community. I want to thank Dr. M. Grace Calhoun and the rest of the Penn staff for believing in me to lead the men's heavyweight program. I am very much looking forward to working with Colin (Farrell) and Wes (Ng) and the rest of the rowing staff and alumni to create a strong team for the future."
During his career, Volpenhein was US Rowing Male Athlete of the Year twice, the only person ever to achieve this honor. He has also been a member of the United States National Team ten times.
Before coming to Penn, Volpenhein served as head coach of the men’s varsity program at the San Diego Rowing Club, working specifically with high schoolers. He also worked as the technical director of the men’s rowing program at USD for one year.
Volpenhein comes to Penn with extensive experience coaching national teams to success on international stages. He coached three boats to gold medals at the World Rowing Championship or World Rowing Cup as the national team coach.
Volpenhein coached the national men’s lightweight team from 2010-2013. From 2013-2018, Volpenhein was the coach of the men’s national team. He helped prepare boats for the Rio Olympics, as well as for World Cups and World Championships.
Volpenhein lent his skills by helping train the men’s four for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. While he was the United States National Team Coach, three boats won gold medals in international competition.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Bryan to Penn to lead our men's heavyweight rowing program," Calhoun said. "His athletic career as a gold medalist and three-time Olympian speaks for itself, and his national-level coaching experience will allow us to attract and develop outstanding student-athletes. The future of Penn men's heavyweight rowing is bright under Bryan's leadership."
Volpenhein was also a member of the US Rowing Board of Directors from 2004 to 2008.