La Jolla, California - The University of California San Diego Director of Men’s Rowing Zach Johnson has decided to step down from his role of head coach, according to Director of Athletics Earl Edwards. Johnson will retain his position as the Tritons’ Director of Rowing, aiding in the hiring process for the team’s new head coach.
“I am incredibly grateful for Zach Johnson’s hard work and dedication during his 15 years at UC San Diego,” said Edwards. “Zach has led the men’s rowing team to success at the national level while creating an environment of academic and athletic excellence. With Zach’s leadership and expertise, we are fortunate that he will continue to assist the program as the Director of Rowing.”
Johnson has been with the Tritons since 2004-05, when he was named an assistant coach. He took over as the program’s head coach in 2006-07, and his 13 years with the Tritons make him the longest-tenured head coach in program history.
During his time with UC San Diego, Johnson took the program to new heights. Under his leadership, the Tritons have become regular competitors at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship. UC San Diego qualified for the prestigious championship for the first time in program history in Johnson’s third year as head coach in 2009, and the team earned the right to compete again in 2011 and 2013. Currently, the Tritons have qualified in each of the past three seasons, taking part in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
UC San Diego is coming off of an immensely successful season during Johnson’s final year as head coach. Prior to competing at the national championship, the Tritons’ Varsity 8, Second Varsity 8, and Third Varsity 8 crews swept both the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships and the Western Sprints Championships. Following the sweep of the WIRA Championships, Johnson was named the WIRA Coach of the Year.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that when I took over the program, the previous goal was winning City Championships, which they had done a handful of times,” said Johnson. “Since then, the expectations have risen to sweeping our conference championships and bigger goals that the team has gone on to achieve. One thing that I have really enjoyed about UC San Diego has been the alumni, coaches, and staff I’ve worked with over my 15 years. They have been outstanding, and I’ve never worked with such a great group of people. I’m looking forward to continue working with them in my role.”