After four years of serving as Georgetown’s assistant coach for the women’s rowing program, Stephen Full will be stepping into the interim head coaching position following the departure of former Head Coach Miranda Paris.
Fortunately for the Hoyas, Full has extensive experience as a rower, recruiter, coach and trainer. While rowing at the University of Washington for four years, Full helped lead the Huskies to two Pac-10 Championships. After graduation, Full served as a volunteer coach for the program.
“I was a volunteer assistant for the freshman rowing program [at the University of Washington] under Luke McGee, who is now the men’s national team coach,” Full said. “That was two years after I graduated, so I was pretty young, coaching for one year prior to that. So really it was my second full year of coaching.”
Full began his career on the coaching staff at Georgetown in 2011. Though he served as an assistant coach for the whole program, Full’s primary focus was on developing freshman rowers and recruiting high school athletes.
“Generally speaking, I was in charge of working with admissions, making sure that our recruits were academically viable for admissions, calling coaches, all that good stuff,” Full said.
The first-year head coach’s experience at Georgetown works to his advantage, as he already has a solid grasp of the team’s dynamic, work ethic, training schedule, talent level and ability as a unit. One of his main goals as head coach is to keep the program unified, regardless of weight class or grade level.
“We are Georgetown rowing, and regardless of weight class, this is Georgetown rowing,” Full said. “To separate the teams out, that will happen later, but we definitely want to be an inclusive group. We don’t want to be exclusive. I think the girls are all really good friends with each other so we might as well just keep everyone together. It makes it a little bit simpler in terms of coaching people and balancing the training schedules because we all know what needs to be done when we’re all together.”
Because not all Big East teams have rowing programs, Georgetown is a member of the Patriot League. This season, the team is hoping to win its conference. Even though Full and Paris are different individuals with different coaching styles, that goal remains the same.
“I think that the one thing that Miranda and I really shared was our vision and what the team could be and how to get it there,” Full said. “How we get there is probably going to be a little different, but like I’ve said to the girls, we’ve changed the way we’ve trained every single year to adapt to the level that we’re striving for. … We want to win our conference championship. We want to get the lightweights on the podium at the IRA.”
The rowing program will likely kick off its season this fall with iconic races such as the Head of the Potomac, the Head of the Charles and the Princeton Chase. Competing well in these races is just the first step toward achieving Full’s ultimate goal for the women’s rowing program this year.
“The team goal this year is to put one boat on the podium for the open weights at the Patriot League Championship,” Full said. “There’s this stigma that gets attached to rowing because there’s the first eight, there’s the second eight and there’s the four. There’s this very clear hierarchy of who’s in what boat and why. But, what gets lost sometimes is the level of effort that’s needed from everybody on the team to make it a strong team, not just a strong boat.”