Jimmy King enters his sixth season at the helm of the West Virginia University rowing program.
King has made tremendous strides with the team since taking over leadership responsibility during 2007-08. Each season has seen steady improvement since then, with one of the most successful seasons coming this past racing year.
During the 2011-12 season, King guided multiple crews to top-10 finishes, as well as medal finishes, during the fall and spring seasons. At the fall season opening Head of the Ohio Regatta, four medals were earned, including first-place finishes by the Varsity 8+ and 4+ crews. At the Head of the Kanawha, King guided two shells to first-place finishes. Additionally, King guided the Varsity 4+ to a top-five finish at the Head of the Schuylkill and three medals at the Frostbite Regatta. During the course of the spring season, King oversaw the advancement of all four crews to the Knecht Cup Regatta Grand Finals for only the fourth time in program history, including two top-10 finishes.
In 2010-11, King guided the team to several medals and top 10 finishes in both spring and fall regattas. During the season opening Head of the Ohio Regatta in Pittsburgh, King coached both the Varsity 8+ and one doubles shell to a gold medal, while coaching a second doubles shell to a silver medal. In addition, he led the Mountaineers to top 10 finishes in the Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ events at the prestigious and well-known Head of the Schuylkill the following weekend. Furthermore, he saw the Varsity 4+ ‘A’ crew medal for the third year in a row at the Head of the Occoquan, improving upon past years by taking home silver.
Other notable performances included a silver medal finish by the Varsity 8+ at the Occoquan Sprints, a fifth-place finish at the Knecht Cup Regatta (only the second time in program history the Mountaineers have qualified for the Grand Finals) and a sixth-place finish at the Big East Championships (the first time since 2005 the Varsity 8+ has reached the Grand Finals at Big East.
King’s success with the team is not limited to the water, as he also stresses the importance of academics. The 2010-11 season saw the emergence of the program’s second All-American, as senior Rachel Viglianco earned the honor twice, being named to the CoSIDA Capital One All-America Women’s at-Large second team, and to the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s All-America team. In addition, five rowers were honored by the CRCA as National Scholar-Athletes, with junior Shannon Gribbons named to the all-Mid Atlantic Region first team. Gribbons became the first rower from WVU to earn this honor.
The 2009-10 season served as the foundation for success, as King developed the athletes that would lead the team the following season. Notable results included a third-place finish from the Varsity 8+ at the Head of the Ohio, and a first-place finish at the second annual Head of the Mon in the fall racing season. The spring season brought a first-place finish from the Varsity 8+ at North Carolina, a second-place finish at George Mason, a first-place finish in the petite final at the Big East Championships and a second-place finish in the petite finals at the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship.
King was also instrumental in implementing only the second ever Head of the Mon in the spring of 2009, a home regatta for the Mountaineers that included competition from Dayton, Duquesne and George Mason.
Additionally, four members of the team were honored as CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
In his first two seasons as head coach, King saw great success with the Varsity 4+. Those years saw the crew place third and second at the Head of the Ohio, respectively, as well as earning a first-place finish at the Head of the Occoquan, a first-place finish at Dayton, a second-place finish at the Knecht Cup and a first-place finish in the petite finals at the Big East Championships. In addition, the Varsity 4+ crew placed fourth at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta.
Prior to his time with WVU, King spent the previous 10 years as the assistant rowing coach at Georgetown. There, he was responsible for directing the men’s heavyweight squad, and for the day-to-day running of the women’s heavyweight program.
While at Georgetown, King also provided administrative support to the part-time coaches of the women’s lightweight program, having helped institute the lightweight program for the Hoyas in 1999.
In 2001, while coaching the heavyweight squad at Georgetown, King served as coach of the U.S. National Team Lightweight Women’s Pair, which won the gold medal at the U.S. Rowing Championships in the Elite 2- and Lightweight 2-, and a silver medal at the FISA World Rowing Championships in the Women’s L2-.
Before coaching at Georgetown, King served as coach for the men’s varsity crew squad at George Washington during 1996-97. He also served as the assistant coach and head coach of the men’s and women’s crew teams at Bucknell from 1990-96.
King has also served as a coach for the Navy Rowing Camp each year since 2005. A six-day summer camp for girls ages 13-18, the camp places emphasis on technique development and personal improvement.
He is a member of the CRCA and the U.S. Rowing Organization, where he is currently certified at level II. He also served as President of the Big East Coaches Association in 2010 and 2011, and previously served as Vice President of the Big East Coaches Association from April 2004-April 2006.
King is a 1990 graduate of Bucknell, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in legal studies.