Seattle University women’s rowing head coach Portia McGee has announced that she will be leaving the university, effective February 1, 2013.

McGee’s husband, Luke, former freshman coach at the University of Washington, has accepted a position with the U.S. National Team as the Senior Men’s 8+ Coach and as Program Coordinator of the U.S. Men’s Team. With her departure, McGee has not yet pursued a new coaching opportunity but hopes to remain strong in the rowing community as the family relocates to Princeton, NJ.

“While I am sad to be departing Seattle U so abruptly, I am excited about the work we have accomplished as a team so far this year,” said McGee. “The team has made great strides in their first year as a NCAA Division I program. Judging from the enthusiasm and work ethic of the student-athletes and the quality of the coaching staff, I know they will have a fulfilling and successful spring season.”

Current assistant and former Huskies standout, Jennifer Park will assume the role of interim head coach for the spring competitive season. The university will conduct a national search for the next head coach.

“I am excited for Jenny Park to take lead of the program and bring the boats up to race speed. She is ready for the challenge and the student-athletes really enjoy her coaching. […] Seattle U women’s rowing is in great hands. I will continue to support the team and coaches in any way I can and look forward to being one of the team’s number one fans,” added McGee.

Assistant coach Helen Tilghman will remain on staff as an assistant coach, and new volunteer assistant coach Kara McKowan, a 2004 graduate of Boston University, joined the team this winter.

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