Freshmen of the Y150 will find themselves coached by Colin Farrell this year.
No, not that Colin Farrell. But the three-time national team oarsman and 2008 world champion in the lightweight eight, who was named freshman coach Aug. 3, may be more famous in the rowing world than the movie star of the same name.
Farrell was a three-time member of the Cornell lightweight varsity crew team and stroked back-to-back 8–1 regular seasons as captain. Before coming to Yale, Farrell was a member of the U.S. National Team and competed at three World Championships and two World Cups. He won a gold medal at the 2008 World Championships in the lightweight 8. Afterwards, he spent a year as the men’s heavyweight crew intern at Cornell.
Y150 head coach Andy Card said Farrell’s excellent rowing record and history of coaching in the Ivy League was what landed him the job.
“The combination of high achievement on the water and success coaching in the Ivy League proved irresistible,” he said.
The position of freshman coach, Card said, was unique because men’s crew is the only sport in the country which has a separate freshman competition.
“Freshman year is a special time to form a class identity,” he said. “The coach plays a big part of that, both in terms of developing athletes and integrating them in with the rest of the team. It’s a vitally important role.”
Assistant coach Ryan Sparks said he expects Farrell’s expertise to assist the freshmen in placing at the sprints.
“He was a captain at Cornell, and that says a lot,” he said. “We’ve got a very talented recruit class and I think it’s a perfect situation for him to come into a program on the freshman coach level and really enjoy his first year while realistically seeking to medal at the sprints.”
When asked about what expectations he had for himself, Farrell would only say that he was “honored” to join Yale’s program and “humbled” to be a part of the tradition. He added that he was enthusiastic about joining the Elis, and that he has personally known many Y150 rowers and seen their devotion and competitiveness over the years.
“I hope to bring a level of experience, enthusiasm and success to the frosh,” he said. “I look forward to a year of hard work, intensity and fun.”
The rowers, who have yet to train under the new coach, already have high expectations for him.
“[He’s] an experienced rower who I think will help lead the freshmen to a sprints title,” said Chad Bailey ’12.
The Y150 will have their debut race along with the heavyweight’s and women’s crews on Oct. 3 at the Head of the Housatonic in Derby, Conn.