UW Women’s Rowing Coach Bebe Bryans steps down
Bryans led UW rowing program to 15 NCAA championships appearances.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After 19 years, Wisconsin Women’s Rowing Coach Bebe Bryans announced she is stepping down.
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I have decided to step down from my position as Wisconsin’s women’s rowing coach and start a new adventure,” Bryans said. “I have lived and breathed Wisconsin rowing for the past 19 years and appreciate the effort given by every woman who walked into Porter Boathouse. I hope they are proud of what they achieved here. There is something about this place, this campus, that fills one with hope for the future and I know that the team will continue to thrive with the foundations that have been built over 50 years.”
Bryans came to Madison in 2004 and found early success, leading the program to 15 NCAA championship appearances, including two in her first two seasons.
During her time, the Badgers claimed 12 top-three finishes at the Big Ten championships, including UW’s first Big Ten title in 2010. That same season, UW placed seventh at the NCAA championships, the school’s best finish to date.
The longest-tenured head women’s rowing coach in UW history, Bryans also oversaw the Badger women’s lightweight program, which won four Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) lightweight eight national championships and 10 total IRA boat titles since her arrival in 2004.
“We want to congratulate Bebe on an incredibly successful run with Wisconsin rowing and thank her for her two decades of dedication to the Badgers,” UW Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh said.
Prior to UW, Bryans spent seven seasons as the founding coach of Michigan State rowing (1997-2004) where she was twice named Big Ten Coach of the Year. That followed five years as head coach at Georgetown (1992-97). Her collegiate rowing coaching career began at Mills College (1988-92).
“Bebe and I have been coaching colleagues and boathouse partners for nearly two decades so it was a shock when she told me,” Wisconsin men’s rowing head coach Chris Clark said. “We worked perfectly together which is so important in a shared facility. I was always genuinely happy to see Bebe every day along with her staff which can be a rare thing in a competitive environment with high stress. I told her I’m envious that she will have some freedom to do things that a D1 head coach just doesn’t have the time for. Bebe has been an exemplar of what the UW and Badger Athletics stands for and we will all miss her and wish her the best.”
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