Top international rowing coach Gary Hay will return to Rangi Ruru Girls’ School as their head coach following the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Hay, who was named Fisa Coach of the Year at the recent International Rowing Awards in London will take over from current head of rowing, Mark Cotham, who will vacate the role at the conclusion of Aprils Maadi Cup.
Hay coached at Rangi between 2004 and 2009 before starting as the head coach of the Southern Rowing Performance Centre, then as a high-performance coach at Lake Karapiro. He was named head coach of the New Zealand Women’s rowing programme in 2016 where he became the current coach of double world champions Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast who were also named female crew of the year at the same Fisa awards in November.
At the 2015 world champs in France, Hay guided three boats to gold medals – the lightweight women’s double sculls crew of Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie, lightweight women’s single sculler Zoe McBride and lightweight men’s single sculler Adam Ling.
Rangi Ruru rowing manager, Olivia Ling, says the appointment of Hay, will add to the talented and skilled coaching team at the school however she pays tribute to the achievements under Mark Cotham, which have been significant.
“In his tenure with the school from when he took the helm in 2012, Mark has successfully built a solid rowing programme, both regarding numbers and performance,” she says. “The culture that Mark has created at Rangi, through his enthusiasm for the sport and his passion to see the girls succeed, is going to be greatly missed.” she says. “We look forward to that continuing in 2019/2020 with Mark at the helm.”
Director of Sport, Mandy Anderson also acknowledges Mark Cotham’s work with Rangi.
“Mark’s drive and professionalism have really paid dividends for our rowers,” she says. “The regattas are a focus but at Rangi we also take a look long-term view, and the number of girls who have achieved when they leave school, is definitely linked to the talent and dedication of our coaches.”
Image: Rowing NZ