Jim Granger & FIT Men's Rowing
"We're pretty young this year…[and with zero graduating seniors] pretty excited about the next few years here."
The Florida Institute of Technology, or FIT for short, is situated by the beaches of Melbourne, Florida, 3 hours north of Miami and an hour southeast of Orlando. The Division II men's crews, fresh off their silver medal in the Varsity 8 event at the 2011 Dad Vail Regatta, have been improving steadily since Jim Granger took the reins of the program in 2008. "We're pretty young this year," says Granger, whose Varsity 8 had six sophomores and no seniors. "We're pretty excited about the next few years here."
As a Division II institution, FIT functions much like a Division I program, with support from the university in the admissions process. "One of the benefits of working at a smaller school is that we have amazing support from the university, and access to administration is hugely beneficial to our recruits as they go through the recruiting process."
"We can really take our time in the spring to maximize our efficiency and technique without feeling like time is always running out on us."
While rowing in Florida at the high school level has exploded in recent years, FIT remains one of few collegiate options for men's rowing in the southeast. "Our roster is about 50% Floridians, 50% from elsewhere, including a few internationals. Some guys want to stay in state, and a few northerners are ready to flock south to enjoy year-round water time," says Granger. He admits one of the best things about rowing at FIT is the water time. "We're never in a hurry here. We can really take our time in the spring to maximize our efficiency and technique without feeling like time is always running out on us."
"I recommend trying to get your list down to three schools as quickly as possible."
Granger offers the following advice to those going through the recruiting process: "I recommend trying to get your list down to three schools as quickly as possible. It takes a lot of stress out of the search. When I used to coach at Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, I found that those who couldn't narrow their lists down were very flustered in the decision-making process, and it added a lot of stress." He adds, "pick the schools that have the best fit for your academically and socially that are going to put you on the right track to getting the job you want when you're done with school."
- Andy Schneider