Isabelle Jacobs is USRowing New High Performance Sculling Coach

Isabelle Jacobs, in 2021. Photo: nlroei

16 May 2023

USRowing has appointed Isabelle Jacobs as its new High Performance Coach Sculling, the organization announced yesterday in a press release.

Isabelle Jacobs, who assisted with the U.S. men’s and women’s sculling teams last summer ahead of the 2022 World Rowing Championships, brings a wealth of experience to the high-performance program. A native of Bilthoven, Netherlands, she coached D.S.R.V. Laga in Delft, Netherlands, from 2012 to 2016. During 2017-2021, she was member of the coaching staff of the Dutch women’s rowing team, primarily focused on the sculling program. During that period, the team won eight medals at the world championships and three medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  
Jacobs is proud of how the Dutch team managed the last two years leading up to Tokyo, with the team doing its best week-by-week, supporting each other, and adapting to the continuously changing circumstances.  
“I am especially proud of the women’s double sculls crew of Roos de Jong and Lisa Scheenaard, who performed consistently amongst all the craziness and in the end were rewarded for that with a bronze medal in Tokyo,” Jacobs said. 
In her role with the USRowing, Jacobs will focus on the growth and success of the high-performance sculling program, including providing technical supervision to the athletes for the sculling program, communicating with coaches to ensure understanding of the pathway to the Olympic team, and providing input into high-level strategic planning to ensure long-term results for the organization. 
“I am sure Isabelle is the right person at the right moment,” said Chief High Performance Officer Josy Verdonkschot. “We are building a new sustainable system with a great and enthusiastic team, and I am thrilled that she has decided to join us.”
Jacobs played field hockey and sailed growing up. She discovered rowing during middle school and fully switched from field hockey to rowing after going to university. While Jacobs said that it didn’t really go well, someone convinced her to try coaching after learning that she had already taught sailing for some years. Jacobs began teaching sailing when she was 16, which was where she noticed how one can make a difference by better teaching. 
Jacobs graduated with a bachelor’s degree in maritime engineering from Delft University of Technology and is finishing up her Masters in maritime engineering from Delft later this year.

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