Kevin Macdermott & Trinity Men's Rowing

By Ryan Sparks | January 8, 2012

"It's a tough academic curriculum here at Trinity, but those who make it through the admissions process are usually well equipped to succeed."

Trinity College sits amidst the bustling streets of Hartford, Connecticut, just a short distance from the Connecticut River where the Trinity crews train daily. Kevin MacDermott has been at the helm of the of the Trinity men's crews since the fall of 2009, succeeding former coach and rowing legend Larry Gluckman after three years as an assistant coach. Trinity's rowing program, a Division III member of the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference), consistently ranks among the fastest crews in the country.

Prior to coming to Trinity, MacDermott coached and worked in the admissions office at cross-state rival Wesleyan University. "The admissions process at liberal arts colleges is very unique because of both the academic competitiveness and the small size of each incoming class. Every part of the application is closely scrutinized by admissions committees, including essays and extracurriculars, not just grades and SATs," says MacDermott. "It's a tough academic curriculum here at Trinity, but those who make it through the admissions process are usually well equipped to succeed."

"Because we don't have organized practice during the winter, our rowers need to be self-sufficient and motivated or they won't do well here. Rowers need to have that fire."

As a coach at a DIII program, MacDermott's recruiting process differs from that of a DI institution. "Because we don't have organized practice during the winter, our rowers need to be self-sufficient and motivated or they won't do well here. Rowers need to have that fire. All the tools and resources for success are here, but because of the NESCAC rules, that choice has to be made by the athletes themselves.

"Developing a schedule is critical. Having an initial round of visits towards the end of junior year is big. Go see a lot of colleges."

When asked about advice to potential student-athletes, MacDermott offers: "Developing a schedule is critical. Having an initial round of visits towards the end of junior year is big. Go see a lot of colleges. Have a wide range of places that you visit, research universities, liberal arts colleges, big, small; go see them all. Cast a wide net, then revisit the places that are memorable." Furthermore, he adds, "If rowing is important, you have to spend time with the team. I love when kids come and spend the day with one of our guys. As an athlete, after spending time with members of a school's crew, you should be able to sense whether or not you would fit in as a member of that community."

The Trinity men hit the water in Camden, NJ next weekend to battle for the Knecht Cup.