Big Ten Rower of the Year Has Sights on Rio
Former Washington Rower, Dayton Coach Will Coach MSU
Two Spartans named to All-Region Teams
Varsity Four Wins Bronze
Former club hockey player finds new home in MSU Rowing Program
Matt Weise is in his 10th season as the head coach for the women's rowing program in 2014, and previously spent seven years as an assistant. Weise continually develops the nationally-recognized program, leading the team to its highest placing at the NCAA Championship and back-to-back Big Ten team titles (2008, 2009) and an unprecedented four straight Gold medals for the varsity eight at Big Ten Championships.
Over his eight seasons as the head coach of the Green and White, Weise has led the Spartans to seven NCAA appearances, three Big Ten championships and one Central Region Championship. Weise, a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, has also coached 11 All-Americans, five Big Ten Athletes of the Year, two Big Ten Freshmen of the Year and 12 Academic All-Americans. he has guided his crews to a bid in the NCAA regatta in each of the last five seasons.
Weise's 2011 team was the top Big Ten finisher at the NCAA Championship regatta in Gold River, Calif. The Spartans were seventh as a team (55 points), and the varsity eight was sixth, tying its program-best finish. Two MSU seniors earned All-America honors: senior Kellie LaPointe was a second team selection, while Laura Cowal capped her MSU career with First Team All-America and Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors. The Spartans have had four consecutive Big Ten Athletes of the Year in the sport of rowing, and Cowal is just the second athlete in the history of Big Ten rowing to earn both Freshman and Athlete of the Year honors (fellow Spartan Anne Cowan is the other.) Cowal also made history by becoming the only athlete in Big Ten history to win four gold medals in a varsity eight at the Big Ten Championships. Two months after her graduation, Cowal earned a gold medal at the U-23 World Rowing Championships as the two seat in the Canadian eight.
In 2010, Michigan State just missed on its third consecutive Big Ten team title, while the varsity eight took home its third consecutive gold medal from the Championship. The team finished ninth at the NCAA Championships, and senior Emily Regan won Big Ten Athlete of the Year kudos. Regan (United States) and junior Laura Cowal (Canada) each represented their countries at the u-23 World Junior Championships, with Regan and the US capturing gold while Cowal's eight took bronze.
Weise's 2009 team won its second consecutive Big Ten Championship and again tied a program-best sixth place finish at the NCAA Regatta. At the NCAA Regatta, the Spartans' varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four all won their final races. For his efforts, Weise was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. In addition to Weise's honor, Sarah Schmidt was named an All-American and the Big Ten Athlete of the Year.
In 2008, Weise coached the Spartans to one of the most impressive seasons in school history. MSU tied a program-best sixth place finish at the NCAA Regatta, took home its second ever Big Ten title and won its first Central Regional Championship. For his accomplishments, Weise was named Big Ten and Central Region Coach of the Year. In addition to Weise's accomplishments, two Spartan rowers were honored by the Big Ten; Anne Cowan was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year while Laura Cowal took home Freshman of the Year honors.
Weise's 2007 team was nationally recognized by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association as Roz Bialczak was named to the Central Region First Team, while classmate Jenna Peters, juniors Joanna Brown, Kate Burdick and Tamara Yantovsky, and sophomores Lauren Gamble and Sarah Schmidt were named 2007 CRCA Scholar Athletes.
In 2006, Weise coached the Spartans to a program-best sixth-place team finish at the NCAA Championship. Weise also coached the varsity eight to a sixth-place finish at the NCAAs, marking the highest varsity eight placing for MSU.
In 2004-2005, Weise's first season as head of the program, he led the team to its first-ever Big Ten Championship, while being recognized as the Big Ten Coach of the Year and the Central Region's Coach of the Year. He coached Big Ten Rower of the Year Erin Robertson and Big Ten Freshman of the year Anne Cowan in 2006, in addition to leading MSU to its eighth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship.
A native of Grosse Ile, Mich., Weise spent four years rowing for the MSU club team, while completing his undergraduate degree. He began helping with the novice team following his freshman year, and helped with novice until graduation took him back to Grosse Ile, where he spent the 1992-93 school year teaching ninth grade physical science. After a one-year break from coaching, Weise returned to MSU and began coaching the men's and women's club teams full-time. Three years later, in 1996, he wrote the proposal which eventually elevated the women's program to a varsity sport. After the hiring of former head coach Bebe Bryans, Weise was named assistant.
During his seven years as assistant, MSU was selected to compete at the NCAA Championships each season. In 2002, under his direction, the varsity four finished fifth at the NCAA Championship, the highest varsity four finish in school history.
Weise graduated from Michigan State in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in physics and a minor in mathematics. He received his masters in kinesiology with an emphasis on biomechanics from Michigan State in 1997. Matt and his wife, Lisa, reside in Dimondale, Mich. with their daughters, Ellen and Nadia, and their son, Pete.
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