Vaclav Kacir & LMU Women's Rowing

By Sparks Editorial Staff | April 23, 2012

A member of the West Coast Conference, Loyola Marymount Women's Rowing team has been overlooked when it comes to the powerhouse programs in Los Angeles. Historically, USC and UCLA are the most successful squads, however, conference expansion and the addition of an automatic qualification bid for the WCC in 2013 now makes LMU one of the most appealing NCAA D1 Women's rowing programs in LA.

"…. I am excited for the potential of the program. The university supports our program 100% and we are excited about racing for an NCAA Championship birth in 2013."

In the fall of 2011, the LMU Athletic Department decided to make a significant investment into the women's program, starting with the hiring of Vaclav Kacir. Kacir brings years of coaching experience, both internationally and on the collegiate level. Most recently, as the Assistant Women's Coach at Stanford University, he helped lead the Cardinal to impressive results at the NCAA Championships. When asked why he decided on coaching at LMU, Kacir says "I am excited for the potential of the program. The university supports our program 100% and we are excited about racing for an NCAA Championship birth in 2013."

The Lions row out of the Jane Brown Bove Boathouse on the beautiful Marina Del Rey. Completed in 2002, Bove Boathouse is a mere one and a half miles from campus and the marina is a great spot to row. " We have tremendous support from our private alumni donors" says Kacir, " each year we buy new boats, oars, ergs, or whatever else we need". In addition to the boathouse, LMU has weightlifting and erging facilities on campus.

"We want to develop each athlete individually so they can succeed rather than having a system with 90 athletes that turns into a survival of the fittest."

Currently, the team consists of about 25 girls. Kacir explains that his priority in the coming years is to grow the team to around 45 girls. "We are looking to build our depth, but not to an extreme level. We want to develop each athlete individually so they can succeed rather than having a system with 90 athletes that turns into a survival of the fittest."

Recruiting is the key for the Lions' success. The LMU admissions department supports the goals of the program and is excited about girls who want to row at LMU. "Our target is to bring in about 12 girls a year" says Kacir. "The Class of 2016 pulls girls from all over the United States as well as a few internationals." The program also supports the girls' though athletic scholarships. "About half the girls on the team are on partial or full scholarship" adds Kacir, "Our scholarships will be growing each year and this will help us attract the most talented recruits."

"Our scholarships will be growing each year and this will help us attract the most talented recruits."

When it comes to the goals of the program Kacir is looking to make LMU very competitive in D1 NCAA Womens Rowing, consistently qualifying for the NCAA Championships. He knows that in order to make LMU a staple on the national level it will be a "work in progress over the long term" but at the same time "the gap is already closing".

Learn more about LMU Women's Rowing here.

- Glenn Ochal