Long-Time Crew Coach Tony Johnson to Retire After 28 Years at Georgetown

Tony Johnson

May 12, 2014

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WASHINGTON - Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced today that distinguished Men's Crew Head Coach Tony Johnson will relinquish his coaching duties at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season and will serve as Coach Emeritus.

Johnson is in his 25th season directing Georgetown's rowing program and has coached on the Hilltop for 28 years total, including his first stint from 1967-69.

"It has been an honor to work with Tony Johnson since I arrived at Georgetown and we're grateful for his service not only to our crew program and student-athletes, but to our University and the community," Reed said. "He is a wonderful teacher and inspirational figure for our rowers. Tony is a national leader in his sport and he will always have a home on the Hilltop."

Johnson first coached the Georgetown crew from 1967-69 before moving on to Yale University, where he coached for 20 years. He returned to the Hoyas in 1990 to manage the rowing program and to guide the varsity heavyweight men.

"It's been marvelous," Johnson said. "The first few years were just a wonderful beginning to my career. It was a tremendous opportunity to deal with motivated young men. It was fun, we had success and it set the stage for a great career and a great life. Coming back to Georgetown was a terrific opportunity for my wife and my family and it was an honor to coach here and to help grow our sport. I've been extremely grateful for all of the support from the athletic department, the University and its community and our student-athletes."

As Director of Rowing on the Hilltop, Johnson has overseen significant growth of the program, strengthening the foundation for even greater success in the future. He has helped to secure more than $18 million in financial support over the past 15 years.

Johnson was the only full-time crew coach in 1990 when he returned to Georgetown. Today, four full-time coaches and four part-time coaches oversee four varsity programs and four novice teams. The Hoya crews have all upgraded their competitive level from Dad Vail to Eastern Sprint competition. Equipment and training facilities have continued to expand during his tenure. Johnson has served as a leading proponent for a new boathouse, a goal that the University is continuing to pursue. He will continue to assist with this project as Coach Emeritus.

Johnson's rowers earned gold for three-straight years at the Champion Regatta in the mid-1990s. In 1993, his heavyweight four earned a national championship medal at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Regatta. Several have earned post-collegiate accolades on a national level.

His coaching achievements at Yale include the 1982 national championship, several Eastern Sprint titles, and two junior varsity titles at the Henley Royal Regatta. He was named Eastern Coach of the Year in 1982.

Johnson began his rowing career under the legendary Charlie Butt at Washington-Lee High School and continued to row at Syracuse University and Potomac Boat Club. Johnson earned a silver medal in the pairs at the 1968 Olympics and gold medals at the 1967 and 1969 European championships. He served as an assistant U.S. Olympic rowing coach in 1972.



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