The MSU Crew Club has taken another exciting step forward this summer with the hiring of its first full-time Head Novice Coach. At the end of the 2017 Spring Season, the club prioritized both the role and the funding for a full time Novice Coach. The club sought stability after years of part-time novice coaches ultimately leaving the position to focus on full-time careers. Bringing on a second full-time coach will mean that the novice squad – the life blood of any club rowing program – will receive the same amount of attention and focus as the varsity athletes, without sacrificing the quality of the Varsity coaching. A second full time person around the boathouse also means that the various projects needed to maintain the club can be done twice as fast, and allows the two coaches to lean into their specialties rather than needing to undertake all tasks themselves. Executive Board President Benjamin Friman stated: "Hiring a full time novice coach was a big step for the club. We are all very excited to have a coach who is fully dedicated to the program and can put significant effort into growing the team and developing quality athletes."
After a thorough candidate search, the club hired Todd Gocken to be the new Head Novice Coach. Todd joins the MSU Crew Club after time as the Program Director and Head Coach at Northampton Community Rowing in Northampton, MA, as well as extensive coaching experience at several high school and college programs in his native Illinois. “I am very pleased to be back in the Midwest Collegiate rowing community. I am looking forward to having a successful novice group, and growing the MSU program through consecutive quality novice classes.”
Todd brings an array of unique skillsets to this position. In addition to his coaching skills, he has a background in graphic design, marketing and website development. You can already see his influence in the updated and improved website. Todd also brings his knowledge of targeted marketing to help the club refine its recruitment methods. Recruitment chair Ryan Eisley has already begun working closely with Todd on the website and recruiting projects. Ryan states "He's got a ton of really great ideas that I would never have thought of. He's very enthusiastic about the club. I'm really excited to see what else he has in store."
With a centralized and well-planned recruiting campaign, the club is excited by the prospect of recruiting a quality novice class more effectively and at lower cost. With Todd on board, the growth and improvement the club has seen over the past two years promises to kick into overdrive.
Welcome to the MSU Crew Club family, Todd!
MSU Crew Club Head Coach