Sept. 21, 1998
NOTRE DAME. Ind. – Kerry O’Keefe, a former women’s assistant rowing coach at Ohio State and Yale, has been named assistant women’s rowing coach at the University of Notre Dame. She is the first assistant named to Irish head coach Martin Stone’s staff.
Rowing becomes Notre Dame’s 26th varsity sport this year, and is now one of 13 women’s varsity sports offered by the University.
O’Keefe brings a wealth of experience as both a coach and rower to Notre Dame. The Lima, Ohio native began competing for the Ohio State University Crew Club in 1987, where she was a four-year member and two-time captain. From July of 1991 through August of 1992, she competed for the Community Rowing, Inc. in Boston, Mass where she stroked the first eight in summer competitions. O’Keefe also participated as an open and lightweight rower fro the Potomac Boat Club in Washington, D.C. from 1994-97.
A seven-year veteran coaching at both the high school and collegiate levels, O’Keefe, served this past school year as an assistant at Ohio State where she coached the second varsity eight and varsity four and also coordinated the Buckeye recruiting efforts. Prior to her appointment at Ohio State, she was an assistant during the 1996-97 school year at Yale where she helped her squad to a top five finish at the first-ever NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships.
O’Keefe began her coaching career in August of 1992 when she was appointed assistant head coach at Beaumont High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Following her coaching stint there, she served for four months beginning in May of 1993 as the men’s and women’s intermediate coach for the Capital Rowing Club in Washington, D.C. During the 1993-94 school year, she was the head women’s coach at Walt Whitman High School, and from February of 1995 until June of 1996, she served as head women’s coach at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va.
In addition to coaching at the high school level, O’Keefe also served for three years as the rowing coach for the Thompson’s Boat Center in Washington, D.C. where began a master’s rowing program.
O’Keefe earned her bachelor of arts degree in rhetorical communication from Ohio State in 1991.
“I am very pleased to have Kerry on our staff,” Stone says. “Her experience at the different levels of competitive rowing will be an asset as we develop our women’s program at Notre Dame. A large percentage of rowers and coxswains will have never participated in rowing prior to Notre Dame so Kerry’s role will be developing those walk-on athletes and teaching them to row.”