Head coach John Murphy begins his 18th season as head coach of the nationally renowned women's crew program in 2002. With national titles in 1999 and 2000 to their credit, the Bears have built a strong tradition of success from their base at Marston Boathouse. Last season the women's varsity eight finished third in the NCAA Championships at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA. The team compiled an 11-1 overall record and captured its fourth straight Eastern Championship on Cooper River in Camden, New Jersey. Although the Bears lost five members of the varsity eight from last year's squad, Murphy aims to have Brown in the chase for its third NCAA title in the last four years this season.
Women's crew had an exceptional fall season, winning the Head of the Connecticut and Foot of the Charles races and finishing sixth at the Head of the Charles. The Bears also recently completed an intense winter training session in Florida.
In 2002, Murphy will look to the senior leadership of tri-captains Jessica Lanning (Atlanta, GA), Lucy Lueders-Booth (Cambridge, MA) and Rosie Branson-Gill (Medford, MA). Other contributors moving up from junior varsity competition will include senior Kate Coward (Wayzata, MN), juniors Sarah Broadhead (North Andover, MA), Frances Betancourt (Philadelphia, PA) and Abby Thomas (Salt Lake City, UT), and sophomore Karen Prazar (Exeter, NH).
Murphy acknowledges that this will be a tough and challenging season as each of the Ivy League teams have become much stronger.
"We know it will be tough because we've seen the opponents," said Murphy. "But I think we have a good chance to have a great year."
Murphy and his wife Phoebe, who is also the women's crew associate head coach, will lead the Bears into action on March-29-30 at Princeton with Michigan State.