Dan Robinson is retiring after the men’s 2022 crew season
ITHACA, NY – Longtime head coach of the men’s team Dan Robinson ’79 has announced that he will retire after the 2022 season is complete. After spending four years on the team as a student-athlete, he began as an assistant coach immediately after graduating from Ithaca College and has been the men’s team head coach for the past 35 seasons. He also served as the women’s head coach from 1984 to 1987, a total of 47 years in one or both programs.
“It was so exciting to row as a student that I stuck with it,” said Robinson. “The coaching covered everything I was looking for – fun, competition, my own team. I stayed young for a long time. I have now competed in Ithaca rowing seasons for 47 consecutive years. I’m still excited to watch the crews race, but I’m a bit exhausted. The Ithaca College team is a great opportunity and I’m excited to see what a new coach can do. I’ll be a happy spectator!”
An integral part of the Crew programs since enrolling at Ithaca College in 1975, Robinson helped guide the IC Crew from a start-up program to club status and then full university during his tenure. As head coach, Robinson has won more than 200 regattas in his 35 years at the helm, including a perfect 12-0 lightweight season in 1992.
“Few people have been more integral to a program, or had a greater positive impact than Dan Robinson team at Ithaca College,” said the athletic director Susan Basset ’79. “His legacy for IC rowing is profound and generations of Ithaca rowers, both men and women, will be the beneficiaries of his dedication, vision and passion to build on our humble foundation forged in the 1970’s. “
Under his leadership, the men’s lightweight team won the New York State Small School Championship in 1990, 1994 and 1996. The heavyweights won in 1993, 2009 and 2012 and finished runners-up in 1990, 1991 and 2014. From 1984-87, Robinson oversaw the transition from club to varsity status.
Ithaca has finished runners-up in three different seasons since joining the Liberty League in 2017/18. In 2018/19, Robinson was named Liberty League Coach of the Year. Robinson helped conceptualize the program’s transition from the Dad Vail Regatta, where the Bombers collected four collegiate and 14 other medals, to the CICR in 1993, renamed the Avaya Regatta in 2001 and now the National Invitational Rowing Championship ( NIRC) is known.
Crew programs are housed at the Robert B. Tallman Rowing Center at Cayuga Lake Inlet. The original boathouse was built to accommodate 16 rowers and two boats, and thanks to the work of Robinson and his wife Becky (the women’s head coach), the boathouse can now accommodate more than 100 members. The Robinsons were able to raise more than $1 million to build the current boathouse, and a brand new dock was installed in 2020.
As a participant from 1975 to 1979, Robinson was part of some of the best men’s teams in program history. By the mid-1970s, Ithaca’s crews were establishing themselves as medalists at Philadelphia’s annual Dad Vail Regatta, recognized as the national small college championship. In 1975 the Ithaca heavyweights went 12-0 and finished third in the Dad Vail. Two years later, the Bombers repeated the bronze medal feat.
“I congratulate Dan Robinson for his exemplary career and thank him for everything he did and meant for the IC crew and the athletics department,” Bassett said. Always present at other IC athletics events, Dan enjoys the work of his fellow coaches and supports our student-athletes in their achievements in football, basketball, swimming and many other sports. Dan is a gentleman, a physical education student, a dedicated community member and the first to volunteer when there is a need in the department. He will be missed in our department and of course in our IC crew family, both current students and alumni. We know he will continue to be committed to the program and IC. We wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”
The search for the next men’s team head coach begins in April.