Eliza Dickson will take over as the Sammamish Rowing Association Head Men's Coach for the junior program, SRA Executive Director Steven Freygang announced Tuesday. Eliza will join Sammamish following four years with Oklahoma City University where the team saw best-ever finishes at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Regatta (SIRA) and Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA). Prior to Okla., Dickson led Sarasota Crew to several state and regional championships as the varsity boy's coach, and a national championship in 2013.
"I am thrilled to have Eliza joining our team," Freygang said. "Her passion for the sport and commitment to developing successful student-athletes is really impressive. Eliza's resume speaks for itself, but it was really her alignment with our core values that made it clear she was the right fit for Sammamish. I was coaching in Fla. against Eliza while she was at Sarasota Crew. I saw the program rising first hand. It was really amazing. Sarasota pioneered a new way of doing things, and I think Eliza will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Sammamish."
Eliza was hired following a national search for a permanent head coach. Eliza rowed at Washington College under legendary coach Mike Davenport where she earned a degree in Political Science in 1996. Just after graduating, Eliza began coaching at Annapolis Rowing Club, followed by coaching positions at Miami Rowing Center, the Pine Crest School, and Sarasota Crew. Sarasota saw explosive growth and success under Eliza's direction, leading to multiple state and regional championships. From 2010 to 2013, the Sarasota Varsity 8+ placed 9th, 4th, 2nd, and 1st at the USRowing Youth National Championships.
"I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity and excited to lead the junior boys, as well as assist with our masters program and work to develop future programming with our senior-leadership staff. After four years learning and growing as a collegiate coach, and wonderful opportunities provided to me by the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, I realized I truly missed both the challenges and rewards of coaching and developing junior rowers," Dickson said. "In just a brief visit to Sammamish, I saw a professional organization with supportive leadership from its board and senior staff who all share the same values, commitment, and passion that I have for rowing and coaching."
Dickson's background also includes High Performance and Development coaching at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center, in addition to coaching masters and junior rowers at the Craftsbury Sculling Center in Vt. In 2015, she was named the Women's Coach for the US Team at the World University Games in South Korea.