Steve Hargis ('80) and the Coast Guard Academy have a special connection to several of the U.S. women's rowers at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
In fact, over 25 future U-23 team athletes, 15 future senior team athletes and ten future Olympians trained at the Coast Guard Academy.
Three of the rowers from the U.S. women's eight which won gold on Saturday, Tessa Gobbo (Brown), Eleanor Logan (Stanford) and Amanda Polk (Notre Dame) as well as both Grace Luczak (Stanford) and Felice Mueller (Michigan), who placed fourth in the pairs trained on the Thames River as part of the US Junior Women's National team development camp, which is for two and a half weeks each summer and has been held here each year since 1999. The camp consists of athletes that are indentified and invited throughout the year.
The U.S. women's eight won its 11th consecutive major title Saturday, claiming its third Olympic gold medal in a row. The Americans haven't been beaten since 2006, winning every world championships and Olympic title since then.
Hargis, a 2011 inductee into the Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, lettered three times and was a team captain, led the Bears intermediate 8 to a win at the Head of the Charles in 1977, represented the Academy at the Henley Royal Regatta in England and his Varsity 8 boat won the Dad Vail Regatta in both 1978 and 1979.
Coach Hargis served as the Director of Rowing and Head Women's Coach at the US Coast Guard Academy. Under his direction, the women's team made five out of six NCAA DIII appearances, won two NEWMAC conference championships and produced three DIII First Boat All-Americans. He was honored as the NEWMAC Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2007, as well as the DIII National Coach of the Year in 2003.
He is entering his fifth year as Junior Men's National Team Head Coach in addition to his role of Head Coach for Junior National Team Development responsible for the growth, programmatic changes, coach mentoring and long-term planning for the Jr teams that he was appointed to in 2008. From 1999 to 2008, Hargis served as the Head Coach for the USJWNT Development Camp and from 2004 to 2008, Hargis also served as the U.S. Junior Women's National Team Head Coach.
In 2006, under the direction of Coach Hargis, the US 8+ raced to a silver medal finish at the Junior World Championships in Amsterdam. In 2007, they won a bronze medal in Beijing and in 2008, they won a gold medal in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria – the first gold in this event in the 25 year history of the US Women's participation in Junior Worlds, defeating the defending Junior World Champion, Romania. That same year, Coach Hargis was presented with the United States Olympic Committee's Development Coach of the Year Award for his contributions to US Rowing.
Hargis is off the Rotterdam this weekend for the junior national championships which begin on Tuesday.