After serving as the Head Women’s Rowing Coach for the past two years, Carrie Davis will pass the title along to Sara Nevin.
Nevin joins the Cyclones after leading the Cal Golden Bears as Assistant Coach for the past 10 years. Nevin lead the Cal 2008 novice eight to capture the Pac-10 crown for the first time since 1989 and followed that victory with an undefeated title and an open-water win at the Pac-10 Championships: a college athletic conference on the West Coast. That year, Nevin was also honored as the Collegiate Rowing Coaching Association’s (CRCA) Assistant Coach of the Year and the CRCA West Region’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
“She’s a real gem,” said Themy Adachi, Director of Athletics. “We’re very fortunate to have her.”
According to Adachi, Nevin is highly regarded among crew coaches across the county.
Nevin not only has an extensive background in coaching crew, but in rowing as well. During her collegiate rowing career at the University of Washington, Nevin won three varsity eight national championships while also holding an undefeated title in the U.S collegiate competition. She was also a member of the U.S national team in 1985 and 1986 and then led the team as Assistant Coach from 1989 to 1992.
Despite her vast experience, Nevin is really excited to add “Head Women’s Rowing Coach at Mills College” to her resume.
“Everyone I know who has been at Mills has very good things to say about their experiences as students or staff, which was certainly a factor,” Nevin said.
There were several reasons why Nevin wanted to be a part of the Mills community, but she said, “the biggest reason was seeing the progress that Carrie Davis made with the team and to see that the team responds well to challenges in a well structured environment. To have that coaching opportunity in such a positive environment made it feel like a great fit.”
Senior Kate Smith has been on the crew team since her first year at Mills College in 2008. Although she said she’ll miss Davis, who she said was not only a great coach but also a good friend to her, she’s excited that Nevin is leading the team this year.
“Nevin is very qualified and I’m excited to work with her,” Smith said.
Smith hopes that Nevin will bring the knowledge and skills that she has from coaching Olympics and Division 1 teams to Mills’ Division 3 team. Smith remembers seeing Nevin in action once when the Cyclones and Cal Golden Bears practiced on the same reservoir out in Briones. Smith also shared that Nevin would wish the Cyclones luck at competitions, something that not a lot of coaches from other competitors do.
And Nevin will now be rooting for the Cylones as Head Coach. She has big plans for advancing the team forward.
“I have several goals for the team this year, ranging from having a quality learning experience every day to getting invited to the NCAA Championships in May,” Nevin said. “We may not get invited to NCAA’s this year, but the way to reach the peak of collegiate sports is by setting high standards and goals, and then every day making the most of the challenges to learn all of life’s lessons.”
Jess LaFrank, a Mills alumane who graduated in Spring 2011 and was also on the Crew team during her time at Mills, will serve as Assistant Coach to the team. According to Smith, having LaFrank back and the team pumped for a fresh season, it’s bound to be an exciting and interesting season for the Crew team with Nevin leading the way.