2 September 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
Peter Graves has been appointed interim coach for women’s rowing at Trinity College, Hartford.
Drew Galbraith, Trinity College, Hartford, Athletic Director, announced this week that Peter Graves had been hired as the interim Women’s Head Rowing Coach for the 2021-22 season. Graves replaces Heather Barney, who resigned in August to pursue other opportunities.
Peter Graves, 36, has extensive experience both as a rowing coach and an elite rower, including his previous stint with the Bantams as Men’s Novice Coach and Recruiting Coordinator in 2009-10. Trinity’s Head Coach for Men’s Rowing, Kevin MacDermott, will assume additional duties as Interim Director of Rowing for the 2021-22 academic year, including responsibility for the Friends of Trinity Rowing Boathouse, Trinity writes in a press release.
“We are thrilled to welcome Peter Graves home,” said Galbraith. “In a challenging set of circumstances, we are grateful for his willingness to step up for Trinity Rowing and guide the team for the coming year. His experience as a Bantam rower, as well as expertise in coaching, will be a benefit to all the members of our team and we look forward to seeing them on the Connecticut River soon.”
Graves ‘07 is one of the most accomplished oarsmen in Trinity history, having powered Trinity crews to as high as a No. 10 nationally among all collegiate divisions and to four New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) titles and the program’s first ever Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship during his career. He has victories at the Head of the Charles Regatta and rowed in the Trinity Varsity Eight who won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2005, when the Bantam heavyweight crew beat Yale lightweights in the final. The Trinity crew was coached by Larry Gluckman, who died earlier this year, on 30 March.
Here is a short video showing Trinity crossing the finish line at Henley ahead of Yale. Peter Graves, in the stroke seat, is giving his brother Tom, in the bow, a salute. In fairness it has to be said that the Trinity crew were heavyweights and Yale lightweights.
Peter Graves is from a famous rowing Bantam family, which also includes his brothers Tom ‘05 and John ‘10 and their father, Harry ’78. Harry Graves was in the 4-seat in the legendary Martini Achter crew who won the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at Henley in 1976.
Peter Graves is a six-time member of Team USA in the double sculls and quadruple sculls and competed in the 2012 London Olympics in the latter boat class. He fell one second short of qualifying to compete in both the Beijing and Rio Olympic Games. He has coached the Team USA in the single sculls and double sculls.
A 2007 graduate of Trinity with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Graves has coached with Long Beach Junior Crew in California since 2010 and has served as the Head Women’s Rowing Coach and Program Manager for the last five years. As Head Men’s Novice Coach at Trinity, Graves helped the Bantams win both the New England Rowing Championship (NERC) and ECAC National Invitational Championship (NIRC) titles in 2010. He has volunteered as an assistant with Trinity’s men’s program and locally in Connecticut at the high school level over the last couple of years as well. Graves received Trinity’s George Sheldon McCook Trophy as the college’s senior male Athlete of the Year in 2007. He will be the first male rower inducted into the Trinity Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The Trinity Athletics Hall of Fame was founded in 2019.
“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to continue Trinity women’s rowing’s tremendous tradition of success. I have been able to coach some amazing athletes at all levels of the sport around the country,” said Graves in a statement. “Now that my international rowing career is behind me, I have been looking for a chance to pursue coaching in a more permanent setting. I care deeply about Trinity College and its rowing program, so when this position became available, I expressed my interest immediately. All the ingredients for success are in place and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Trinity College women’s rowing has been one of the best NCAA Division III women’s rowing programs over the last 20 years, winning more than 70 percent of its dual races since 2004, three Varsity Eight National titles since 2008, the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championship crown and the G.P. Jeffries Cup at the Henley Women’s Regatta in 2008.