By Steve Lansdale
University of Texas rowing head coach Dave O’Neill announced this week the promotion of Mary Lenington from assistant coach to associate head coach.
“It has been a pleasure working with Mary this past year, and she’s critical to the development of our program,” O’Neill said. “This promotion is well deserved and simply makes a lot of sense. (Lenington) is involved in every aspect and decision of the program, and I have got complete trust in her. We have a terrific dynamic within our entire staff, and it’s inspiring to work with such talented and hard-working professionals.”
Lenington became an assistant coach in 2014 after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant for operations under former head coach Carie Graves, who retired in May 2014. She joined O’Neill and assistant coach Mara Allen to lead the Longhorns to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships in May. The performance was the best ever by any Big 12 school with a rowing program.
“My family and I are proud to be a part of … University of Texas Athletics,” Lenington said. “I am very appreciative for the opportunity that coach Dave O’Neill has given me to be a part of his staff, and I embrace this new role. Our staff has a huge amount of respect for each other, and that aspect, paired with the full support of the athletics department and university make this an ideal environment.”
Before the NCAA Championships, the first-year staff led the Longhorns to their first Big 12 team title since 2012, and UT swept the Big 12 regatta for the first time since 2011, earning 2015 National Staff of the Year honors from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA); O’Neill was named CRCA National Coach of the Year for the third time, having won the award in 1999 and 2005 while coaching the Cal Bears.