Rowing head coach Jim Dietz was formally inducted into the Women’s Collegiate Rowing Coaches Hall of Fame Dec. 4 during the USRowing annual conference in Philadelphia.
The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) inducted Dietz and two others at its general membership meeting during the conference.
The Women’s Collegiate Rowing Coaches Hall of Fame aims to provide a forum to honor coaches who have achieved competitive excellence over their careers, and individuals who have had a major impact on Collegiate Women’s Rowing. “It is always gratifying to be recognized by your peers,” Dietz said. “I am very appreciative and humbled by the award.”
Over his 22 years with the rowing team, Dietz has left a lasting impression on the Division I program, shaping it into what the CRCA boasts as “one of the nation’s finest” rowing programs, and a “powerhouse across all New England region schools.”
The only rowing coach in UMass Amherst history, Dietz has crafted an impressive resume at the helm of the program. The former U.S. Rowing Olympic coach has tallied 15 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, 65 Atlantic 10 gold medals in 12 separate league championship events, and nine Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year recognitions, with his most recent recognitions in back-to-back 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Under Dietz’s direction, the rowing team defended its Dad Vail Regatta Women’s Title and its Atlantic 10 Conference Championship victory in 2015. The A-10 win qualified the maroon and white yet again for an automatic invitation back to the NCAA Championships in 2015.
Dietz’s accolades extend far into his coaching and competitive rowing years. Most notably, in March of 2010 Dietz was inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame and was also elected as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of USRowing in February of 2010.
As an athlete, Dietz won 45 U.S. and 37 Canadian National Championship titles. He was a member of almost every U.S. National Team from 1967-1983, including U.S. Olympic entries in 1972, 1976 and 1980. In addition, Dietz captured medals at the Pan American Games in 1967, 1975, 1979 and 1983. He was also a member of seven World Championship teams.
Dietz’s Olympic involvement reaches into coaching as well; he has been involved with the United States Olympic Committee, and coached the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team in Sydney Australia, taking bronze in the Women’s Lightweight Double. Then in both 1988 and 1992 Dietz served as the U.S. Olympic Quad coach in Seoul, South Korea, and Barcelona, Spain.
Dietz graduated from Northeastern University in 1972 with a marketing degree and has been inducted into the Northeastern University Hall of Fame, as well as the New York City Hall of Fame.
Now in his 22nd season head coaching the rowing team, Dietz intends to defend the team’s 2014 and 2015 Dad Vail and Atlantic 10 Conference victories, and has his sights set on an NCAA Championship. The Minutewomen return to action this season on Saturday, April 2 on the heels of a successful fall season to host Connecticut for a dual meet in Hadley.