Kansas Rowing Hires New Assistant
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas rowing head coach Rob Catloth recently announced the hiring of new assistant coach Kelsey Arnold, who comes to Lawrence after spending three years as an assistant coach at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
“I was looking for coaches and calling around and her name kept coming up,” Catloth said. “A rowing friend of mine, who knew I was looking for a coach, called me to say that Kelsey was working at a junior camp that he was teaching. He said, ‘Man you need to look at this gal, she’s really good.’ So I got in touch with her, brought her in and really liked her. She’s relatively young, but has three years of experience coaching freshmen andhas had some good success.”
Arnold arrives with a decorated rowing career, both competing and coaching. As a rower at GVSU, she competed in top regattas such as the Henley Women’s Regatta in England and the San Diego Regatta against prestigious teams like Harvard and Virginia. From the coaching side, Arnold worked primarily with the novice teams at GVSU. In her second season her novice boat went undefeated, claiming the club national championship.
Arnold admits the role of novice coach is unique, balancing between among a coach, mentor and friend.
“I think the first part of the season is really just teaching them and transitioning them from whatever they were doing in high school and getting them used to college,” Arnold stated. “Sometimes it’s being more of a mentor than a coach; if they’re having trouble with anything, I can help them just get used to college first and then introduce them into the rowing family.”
As Kansas rowing continues to grow and build on its history, Arnold hopes to bring her experiences at GVSU to Lawrence. KU took first place in the Conference USA Championship with its Novice Eight boat in May and earned the First Varsity Four title in the Big 12 Championship.
KU has several factors contributing to its success, including the second-to-none Kansas Boathouse that opened in 2006. Catloth, the only rowing coach in Kansas history, and his staff have resources available to student-athletes that Arnold truly appreciates.
“It’s beautiful,” Arnold said of the boathouse. “We’re very fortunate to have such nice facilities. I think that everything I could possibly want is here. Coaching at Grand Valley, you have to really love the sport. There aren’t nearly as many resources there, but my love for the sport is why I stayed for so long. I had such a good experience my freshman year that I want to give other people that same experience.”
For Arnold, the move to Lawrence will be a learning experience and a chance to soak up new coaching styles and philosophies, something she’s excited about.
“I was really fortunate to have learned rowing from John Bancheri, who’s big in the rowing community, everyone knows him,” Arnold stated. “I was able to get a really sound technical base to build off of from him. I learned a lot from him and will definitely carry what I learned to Kansas. I’ll also look to adopt Rob’s technical aspect. I’m excited to see how Rob runs things and to adopt his coaching style.”
Arnold fills the vacancy left by 14-year veteran associate head coach Jennifer Myers, who helped the KU rowing program reach new heights. Myers’ hard work will make the transition for Arnold a little easier.
“If she can continue to build off of what Jen has built here, that’s all we could ask,” Catloth said. “Kelsey has the opportunity to come in and run with it, add some younger enthusiasm to it and hopefully have some fun with it.”
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