Varsity Eight Pushes Top-10 Crews; Novices Score Impressive Wins Over Big Ten Foes
No experience necessary.
Top novice entry wins all five pieces
Former club hockey player finds new home in MSU Rowing Program
Spartans line up with seven top-20 teams.
"Katie has great knowledge of our sport and a leadership style that instills great energy into our novice program," said head coach Matt Weise at the time of her hiring. "As a coxswain, there's a lot of things she can bring from that experience that will help both the coxswains and the rowers who will be getting their first experiences in collegiate rowing. She has experience at our sport's highest level, and it helps our program immensely that she brings that to our novice rowers."
Bitz, a 2008 MSU graduate and native of San Francisco, Calif., spent the previous four years in Princeton as an assistant coach with the US National Team. She also served as the assistant coach for the Princeton lightweight program in 2010-11 and coached the Mercer Junior Rowing program in 2009 and 2012.
As an undergrad, Bitz was a member of the Spartan program for four seasons, helping the squad to Big Ten team titles in both 2005 and 2008. She was the Spartans' senior coxswain in the varsity eight in 2008 when the boat won its first of four consecutive gold medals in the event. With a Grand Finals appearance at NCAA's that season, Bitz helped bring MSU its highest-ever finish at the National Championship regatta. Bitz was in the varsity eight as a junior and senior, in the second varsity as a sophomore, and a novice in 2005 as a freshman.