Charley Sullivan

TITLE Assistant Coach
PHONE 864-5507


Charley Sullivan is in his second year as an assistant coach with Kansas rowing after being hired in July of 2018. At KU, he works along with head coach Carrie Cook-Callen to prepare the team’s highest level rowers. In the spring season, he has principal responsibility for the Second Varsity Eight.

Sullivan has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including stops at Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Temple and UC Santa Barbara. Sullivan served as an assistant coach for U.S. Rowing during the World University Games in 2015, where the Men’s Eight won a gold medal. In addition to coaching at the collegiate and national levels, Sullivan also spent time at the club and high school levels.

“Charley brings a wealth of outside experience to Kansas and a holistic approach to developing student-athletes,” said Cook-Callen. “He has been instrumental in working with me and our top-level athletes, and in moving the team’s training plan to a new level.”

Sullivan developed significant expertise in writing training plans and managing training data during his 20 seasons at Michigan, where he helped head coach Gregg Harstuff develop the Wolverines men’s rowing team into a national power. From 2008-15, the Wolverines earned nine consecutive American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships under Sullivan’s guidance. During his tenure, the Wolverine’s First Varsity and Second Varsity claimed the ACRA Championship six times each.

At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Sullivan was named the U.S. Rowing Collegiate Coach of the Year and twice chosen as the ACRA Assistant Coach of the Year. During his time at Michigan, Sullivan mentored 12 national team athletes, six World Cup competitors and four Olympians.

More recently, Sullivan served as the head coach of the men’s rowing team at UC Santa Barbara. While at the helm of the Gauchos program, Sullivan led the Varsity Eight to an ACRA National Championship, while the Freshmen Eight earned a silver medal. The Gauchos’ First Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Four also brought home medals from the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Sullivan was named the Men’s Head Coach of the Year by both the ACRA and WIRA.

In 2000, Sullivan became the first head coach in program history at Eastern Michigan. He led the Eagles for three seasons. During its inaugural season, the Eagles Second Novice won the South-Central Regional Title.

Sullivan was a four-year member of the Princeton rowing team. He graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Sullivan also earned a master’s degree in history from Michigan in 1993 and is expected to earn his Ph.D. in history from Michigan in the fall of 2019.

Alma Mater: Princeton, 1986
Hometown: Washington, D.C.

2018-Present, Kansas (Assistant Coach)
2016-17, UC Santa Barbara (Head Coach)
2004-15, Michigan (Associate Head Coach)
2000-2003, Eastern Michigan (Head Coach)
1990-94, Michigan (Associate Head Coach)

1982-86, Princeton