No one needs to tell Greg Myhr. He’s well aware of the lofty expectations in his first-year as Marietta College men’s rowing coach.
Myhr is ready to put in the hard work to get the Pioneers back on top. He’s also asking his rowers to do the same, and he’s excited to have three 8s hitting the Muskingum and Ohio rivers daily this fall, laying the groundwork for speed in the spring season.
Myhr enjoyed meeting with alumni of the program and learning more about the storied history of men’s rowing during Homecoming festivities in October. Now he’s focused on recruiting and coaching his rowers as they prepare for the 2020 season — just one year away from celebrating 150 years of men’s rowing.
What was it about Marietta College men’s rowing that attracted you to this position?
MYHR: Everyone I met and spoke with about Marietta College and Marietta men’s rowing exuded an enthusiasm and expansiveness that I haven’t seen matched elsewhere. There is a pervasive sense here that this is a terrific place to be — and that everyone is working hard to make it even better. No one is talking about limits — only, “What can we do now, and how do we get there?” That’s a terrifically exciting environment to be a part of.
How much did you know about Marietta’s storied history in rowing before you applied for the job?
MYHR: I knew this was an old program, and I knew Marietta was a founding member of the Dad Vail. But I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t fathom the extent to which Marietta is woven into the fabric of U.S. collegiate rowing history. I also didn’t realize how many legends of rowing in this country rowed at Marietta. I keep learning more, and it’s truly astounding.
Can you talk about your immediate goals and long-term goals for the program?
MYHR: We have a mandate to get Marietta back to the grand finals, medaling and winning the Dad Vail Championship. It’s hard to say how long it will take to get back there — in some respects, that’s a tall order as there are very good programs in the league that will work very hard to stay in front of us. We were in the third-level final this past spring, so we have a way to go. But the team seems willing to work hard and the support from the College and alumni is extraordinary. We need to grow our national exposure in terms of racing and recruiting, and we need to get to a place where we are sending 8s — every year — to the IRA National Championships; sending crews to the Henley Royal Regatta when we’re fast enough; and putting our athletes back on the U.S. National and Olympic teams. I’m not so naive to think there won’t be challenges along the way, but I really do feel that the sky is the limit here at Marietta.
Maintaining a strong relationship with rowing alumni is important for sustained success. How have you been received by the alumni and do you have any plans of how you hope to develop those relationships?
MYHR: This is truly an extraordinary group of alums! I’ve only just met a handful so far, but I’ve heard from many more and everyone is being incredibly supportive. I think the more we can tie the alums and the history of Marietta Rowing to the current team, the better it is for everyone. It is such an enormous advantage to be part of a team with as much history as Marietta, and getting to know the alumni makes it all the more real. I think for the alums, connecting with the current team and seeing that we’re doing much of the same things that they did when they rowed here reconnects them to the team in a powerful and visceral way. I expect to be in regular contact with the alums with team updates, and less formally, just connecting on a personal basis.
- Tom Perry