INDIANAPOLIS, IN – U.S. Rowing has announced its 2004 Olympic Team roster that will compete at the 2004 Olympic Games, from August 14-22, in Athens, Greece. Included in the roster are two athletes and two coaches who are Rutgers alumni.
Maite Urtasun, who graduated from Rutgers in 2001, was one of four “spares” selected to the women’s team roster. Urtasun was an All-America selection for Rutgers in 1999 and 2001, and was a recipient of the Werblin Award in 2001, which is given annually to a Rutgers student-athlete who achieved national acclaim in his/her sport. Urtasun hails from Riverside, NJ, and is a graduate of Holy Cross High School.
Kent Smack, who earned his master’s degree from Rutgers in 1999, was selected for the men’s quadruple sculls event. Smack, from Clinton, N.J., is a graduate of North Hunterdon Regional High School and earned his undergraduate degree from Hobart in 1997. Smack competed for the Scarlet Knights’ crew team for one season.
The head women’s coach for U.S. Rowing is Tom Terhaar, who received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers in 1991. Terhaar was named head women’s coach in the spring of 2001, after serving as an assistant coach of the U.S. National Team since 1994. Terhaar, a member of the Rutgers crew team as an undergraduate, served as head coach of the Columbia men’s lightweight program for five years.
Also on the coaching staff is Charley Butt, head coach of the men’s lightweight crew team at Harvard and a 1983 Rutgers graduate. Regarded as one of the country’s top collegiate coaches, Harvard has captured four Eastern crowns and six National Championships during his tenure with the Crimson.
Rutgers also has a presence on the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team’s Support Staff. Serving as trainer for the rowing teams will be Don Kessler, who has been Rutgers’ Coordinator of Athletic Training since 1987. Kessler began his undergraduate studies as a freshman at Rutgers in 1965, before eventually graduating from the University of the Ozarks. He returned to Rutgers 22 years later to head the athletic training department.