Kate Maloney & Williams College Women's Rowing

By Sparks Editorial Staff | January 15, 2012

Williamstown, MA – Having placed two eights in the Division III NCAA Grand Final over the last five years, the Williams College Women's program is no stranger to success. Some of the responsibility for that success could be placed on the coaching staff – and as an incoming first-time head coach, Kate Maloney has some rather large shoes to fill. After rowing in the 2000 Olympics and serving as the first assistant on the Yale staff for the last eight years over three Varsity 8+ national championships, she's excited about the challenge.

"I had reached the ceiling of what I could do as an assistant coach and wanted to bring that knowledge and joy de vivre into a head coaching position to undertake a new challenge to pursue success at a higher level" Maloney admits. That drive is something she may share with her team as "…admissions at Williams looks for kids who want a challenge as well, and want to give back to their community as a whole."

"… after you're admitted Williams is really about whether you're being fulfilled as a person – by how you contribute back to the community."

Asked for her thoughts on what she'll do in the face of the record of success at Williams, Maloney says "The hard-work is ingrained into Williams women's crew. I'm here to tweak it and add my flair, but ultimately not halt progress…there's a good system here to plug-in to, so I don't feel like I have to reinvent the wheel. Peter Wells [the men's coach] is also an amazing volume of knowledge."

Thus, the program dynamic at Williams is built around achieving challenge, and as such the recruiting process there echoes that dynamic, "…the kids that come here are so driven and so keen to be successful at whatever they pursue; we also work recruit kids who lean into hard work."

"…modesty necessitates an open mind and an ability to give everything for improvement."

This plays into Maloney's thought process on important personality traits for her ideal athletes in that they should be "Earnest, hardworking, humble kids who are seeking to see how good they can be." Maloney stresses this point as "…modesty neceessitates an open mind and an ability to give everything for improvement."

Maloney stresses the Williams environment is intense given its size and intimacy: "What you bring really reflects on you… it's [Williams] a good fit for the kid who's curious about what it takes to be a good student athlete, because after you're admitted Williams is really about whether you're being fulfilled as a person – by how you contribute back to the community."

"…there needs to be meaningful dialogue for good recruiting to happen."

In terms of general recruiting advice, Kate stresses the need for students to "look at the [college] environment as a whole and feel confident enough to move forward." She ventures that "coaches need to feel like they're able to reach the student on an educational level, which means there needs to be meaningful dialogue for good recruiting to happen."

Catch the Williams women in action at the Head of the Housatonic in Derby, CT on October 8.