Christopher Pucella & UMass Lowell Rowing

By Sparks Editorial Staff | August 31, 2015

Lowell, Massachusetts is located 40 minutes northwest of Boston in what is considered the birthplace of the industrial revolution. UMass Lowell is a leader in the 5 campus University of Massachusetts system.

At 156th, UMass Lowell is the second fastest rising school in the USNews and World Report Rankings and was ranked in the top 10 in return on investment by Forbes Magazine. The University remains affordable with In-State tuition/fees at $13,427 and out-of-state costing $29,125. The university has over 17,000 students and offers a variety of world class educational opportunities.

UMass Lowell Rowing is a varsity club, meaning the coaching staff and some of the operating budget is provided by the university. While scholarships are not provided, UMass Lowell remains a competitive recruiter based on the high quality of education and affordable price.

Rowing is a visible sport to the student body, as the Merrimack River meanders through Lowell with 20 miles of rowable water. The beautiful UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse is only 2 miles from campus and underwent a 1.5 million dollar renovation in 2009. It now houses rowing, kayaking, and National Parks Service programs.

The Department of Campus Recreation is serious about its 34 club sport teams being successful. Rowing is the largest of these teams. UMass Lowell has excellent Recreation and Athletic facilities, starting with a state of the art Recreation Center housing multipurpose courts, fitness center, fitness studios, and racquetball courts. Campus Recreation also oversees the Riverview Fitness Center and the Bellegarde Boathouse. In addition to these facilities, Recreation shares the swimming pool, outdoor turf fields and an indoor training center with the athletics department.

UMass Lowell varsity teams elevated to NCAA Division I in 2014, which paved the way for reuniting the men’s and women’s programs under one department. Since that time both the roster size and success of the programs have made steady improvement and the team is poised to have a successful 2015-2016 season.

This year UMass Lowell has a new Head Rowing Coach in Christopher Pucella, who is excited to take the rowing teams to the next level. Pucella brings a decade of collegiate coaching experience to UMass Lowell. Formerly of Canisius College and Marrietta College, Pucella brings an excellent track record of success both as a coach and a competitor.

Through on and off campus recruiting, Coach Pucella plans to build the club to between 80 and 100 athletes. UMass Lowell has an ample recruiting pool to build from with 17,000 students on campus.

“Everything is in place at UMass Lowell for the rowing program to be successful. With a large student body, strong academics, affordable tuition, great accessible water, and a large university owned boathouse, I am excited about the opportunity to lead the program to the next level," stated Pucella.

With both men’s and women’s teams guaranteed entry into the Head of the Charles as well as a home regatta the Textile River Regatta, UMass Lowell is positioned to have an exciting fall racing schedule.