Dan Robinson ’79 will retire as head coach of the Ithaca College men’s crew team at the end of the 2022 season after 47 years on South Hill, including his time as a student-athlete and coach.
A March 9 statement from the college stated that Robinson was named the head coach of the men’s team in 1988, following four campaigns as the head coach of the women’s program. He competed on the men’s team during his four years as a student and also served as an assistant coach for the four years following his graduation. Robinson has helped lead the team to over 200 regatta victories, three lightweight New York State Small School Championships and three such titles for the heavyweight crew as head coach. Robinson also played a key role in advancing both the men’s and women’s crew programs on campus, helping the teams reach varsity status, the statement said.
“Rowing as an undergrad was so exciting that I stuck around,” Robinson said in the announcement. “Coaching covered everything that I was seeking — fun, competition, my own team. I stayed young for a long time. I’ve now participated in 47 straight years of Ithaca rowing seasons. I’m still fired up to watch the crews race, but I’m a bit worn out. Ithaca College crew is a great opportunity, and I am excited to see what a new coach can do.”
The statement said the college will begin its search for the next head coach of the program in April. Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics, said she is grateful for Robinson’s efforts as a head coach and for the impact he made on the program.
“I congratulate Dan Robinson for his exemplary career and thank him for all he has done and meant to IC crew and the Department of Athletics,” Bassett said in the announcement. “In my time working with Dan, I have known him as a wonderful department teammate, excellent instructor and highly committed coach. … He will be missed within our department and of course among our IC crew family, both current students and alumni. We know he will remain engaged with the program and with IC. We wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”
Junior rower Jake Lentz said he believes Robinson has been integral in building the successful tradition of the crew program on South Hill.
“I think he means a tremendous amount to the program,” Lentz said. “He’s been around it for so many years, and he’s had so many successful crews and so much experience. And then to go on top of his experience, he’s such a great person and very kind and loves to just chat it up with anyone. So I think really his character and personality, to go with his coaching, are truly incredible.”
Robinson said in an interview that he is grateful for his time at the college and has greatly enjoyed the experience of coaching both of the crew programs.
“I was blessed that I could always do something that I wanted to do,” Robinson said. “I was the guy that loved going to work. So if anybody can get that in life when they love their job and they love going to work, then that’s heaven.”