Jimmy King enters his ninth season at the helm of the West Virginia University rowing program. King has made tremendous strides with the team since taking over leadership responsibility during the 2007-08 season.
The highlight of his tenure came in the 2011-12 season, as he oversaw all four crews advance to the Grand Finals, with two boats finishing in the top-10, at the Knecht Cup Regatta for the fourth time in program history. Each season has seen steady improvement since then as King continues to build WVU’s collegiate rowing program legacy.
At West Virginia 2014-15
West Virginia opened its spring slate with a series of races against Georgetown and North Carolina in Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River. The Mountaineers earned a first-place finish, a runner-up finish and a pair of third-place finishes behind Georgetown and North Carolina with their four crews at the event. The highlight of the day was the first-place finish by the Varsity 4+ boat, crossing the line four seconds ahead of North Carolina.
West Virginia then traveled to West Windsor, New Jersey, to compete at the Knecht Cup. The two-day event featured crews from 70 different schools across the country. The Women’s Second Varsity Eight boat posted a time of 7:02.19 to take home a win in the Petite Final, after placing third in its heat the day before. The Mountaineers held off Alabama’s boat by less than .77 seconds to place seventh overall out of 18 boats throughout the course of the two day event.
After a two-week hiatus, the squad finished the 2015 regular season schedule at the EAWRC Sprints. The Mountaineers’ top finishes came from the Second and Third Varsity Eight boats. The Second Varsity Eight crew finished eighth overall out of 13 crews (7:06.876), and the Third Varsity Eight boat finished eighth overall and second in the Petite Final in front of Holy Cross, Rutgers and Buffalo with a time of 7:31.231.
Come championship season, WVU amassed 52 points for a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The First Varsity Four continued its strong season, crossing the line in 7:58.13 to place fifth out of eight boats in the Grand Final, just one second shy of Tennessee’s boat. Senior Elizabeth Duarte was named to the All-Big 12 Rowing First Team.
At West Virginia 2013-14
During the 2013-14 campaign, the Mountaineers opened their season at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A couple weeks later, WVU tallied four second-place finishes against Indiana on Lake Lemon in Bloomington, Indiana. The Mountaineers “A” Varsity 8+ completed the 2,000-meter course shortly behind the Hoosiers’ shell with a time of 7:10.02.
At the Knecht Cup, the Novice Varsity 8+ finished third behind Buffalo and Drexel, and crossed the line with a mark of 7:17.02, earning a bronze medal. In addition, the Varsity 8+ crew posted a fourth-place finish in its opening heat at the Knecht Cup. The Mountaineers’ posted its fastest time of the day, claiming sixth in the semifinal heats in front of Alabama, Colgate and George Mason with a time of 6:57.21.
WVU earned 50 points for a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, with Courtney Schrand named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Karen Verwey named to the All-Big 12 Second Team. The Mountaineers season ended with a 10th-place finish at the Conference USA Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Courtney Schrand earned All-Conference USA honors as WVU missed out on the Grand Finals in the Varsity 8+ by .87 seconds with a fourth-place finish.
At West Virginia 2012-13
The 2012-13 season began at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Mountaineers secured a third-place finish in the Varsity 8+ “A” race, and second and first place honors in the “B” and “C” heats, respectively. A week later, the Varsity 8+ crew secured a first-place finish against Alabama and UCF, with a time of 7:41.5. At the Knecht Cup, WVU tallied two more top-10 finishes out of 34 crews in the Varsity 8+, as the Mountaineers top-boat finished fifth with a mark of 6:49.14.
Come championship season, WVU amassed 75 points for a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Kansas. The Varsity 8+ crew continued its strong season, and posted a third-place finish, boasting two All-Big 12 selections. The Mountaineers season ended at the Conference USA Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where WVU finished in sixth place, just one point behind Kansas.
At West Virginia 2011-12
During the 2011-12 season, King guided multiple crews to top-10 finishes, as well as medal finishes, during the fall and spring seasons. Four medals were earned at the Head of Ohio in Pittsburgh, including first-place finishes by the Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ crews. At the Head of the Kanawha, King guided two shells to first-place finishes.
Additionally, King coached the Varsity 4+ to a top-five finish at the Head of the Schuylkill, and earned three medals at the Frostbite Regatta. During the course of the spring season, King oversaw the advancement of all four crews to the Knecht Cup Regatta Grand Finals for only the fourth time in program history, including two top-10 finishes.
At West Virginia 2010-11
King guided the team to several medals and top-10 finishes in the 2010-11 season. At the Head of Ohio season opener in Pittsburgh, King led the Varsity 8+ and one doubles shell to a Gold medal as well as a second doubles shell to a silver medal. In addition, he coached the Mountaineers to top-10 finishes in the Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ events at the prestigious Head of the Schuylkill.
Furthermore, he saw the Varsity 4+ ‘A’ crew improve from previous years to earn a silver medal for the third year in a row at the Head of the Occoquan.
Other notable performances included a silver medal finish by the Varsity 8+ at the Occoquan Sprints, a fifth-place finish at the Knecht Cup Regatta (only the second time in program history the Mountaineers have qualified for the Grand Finals), and a sixth-place finish at the Big East Championships (the first time since 2005 the Varsity 8+ has reached the Grand Finals at Big East).
King’s success with the team was not only limited to the water, but the program also saw its second All-American, as senior Rachel Viglianco earned the honor twice. Viglianco was named the CoSIDA Capital One All-America Women’s At-Large Second Team, and to the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s All-America team.
In addition, five rowers were honored by the CRCA as National Scholar-Athletes, with junior Shannon Gribbons named to the All Mid-Atlantic Region First Team. Gribbons became the first rower from WVU to earn this honor.
At West Virginia 2009-10
The 2009-10 season served as the foundation for success, as King developed the athletes that led the team the following season. Notable results included a third-place finish from the Varsity 8+ at the Head of the Ohio, and a first-place finish at the second annual Head of the Mon in the fall season.
In the spring season, the Varsity 8+ crew finished first at North Carolina, and recorded a second-place finish at George Mason. The crew also rowed to a first-place finish in the petite finals at the Big East Championships, and a second-place finish in the petite finals at the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship.
King was also instrumental in implementing the second-ever Head of the Mon in the spring of 2009. The Head of the Mon was a home regatta for the Mountaineers that included competition from Dayton, Duquesne and George Mason.
Additionally, four members of the team were honored as CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
At West Virginia 2007-09
In his first two seasons as head coach, King saw great success with the Varsity 4+. King coached the Varsity 4+ to a second-place finish at the Head of the Ohio, respectively, as well as a first-place finish at the Head of the Occoquan and a first-place finish at Dayton. The Varsity 4+ also earned a second-place finish at the Knecht Cup, and a first-place finish in the petite finals at the Big East Championship. In addition, the crew placed fourth at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta.
Prior to WVU
Prior to his time with WVU, King spent 10 years as the assistant rowing coach at Georgetown, where he was responsible for directing the men’s heavyweight squad, and for the day-to-day running of the women’s heavyweight program.
While at Georgetown, King also provided administrative support to the part-time coaches of the women’s lightweight program, as he helped institute the lightweight program for the Hoyas in 1999.
In 2001, King served as coach of the U.S. National Team Lightweight Women’s Pair, which won the gold medal at the U.S. Rowing Championships in the Elite 2- and Lightweight 2-, and a silver medal at the FISA World Rowing Championship in the Women’s L2-.
Prior to Georgetown, King served as coach for the men’s varsity crew squad at George Washington during 1996-97. He also served as the assistant coach and head coach of the men’s and women’s crew teams at Bucknell from 1990-96.
King has also served as a coach for the Navy Rowing Camp each year since 2005. A six-day summer camp for girls ages 13-18, the camp places emphasis on technique development and personal improvement.
Currently, King serves as a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Committee, the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Board of Directors and as the chair of the CRCA Division I Awards Committee.
King also served as a member of the CRCA Division I Polling Committee from 2004-2009, President of the Big East Coaches Association from 2010-11, and as Vice President of the Big East Coaches Association from April 2004 – April 2006.
King is a 1990 graduate of Bucknell, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in legal studies.