In August, Jacksonville University made headlines when it named Marci Robles its new Men’s Rowing head coach. Robles comes to JU having spent the previous five years in Gonzaga and Georgetown.
“Marci Robles is a superstar among her peers,” said Dr. Donnie Horner, the University’s Chief Athletics Officer. “Her experience with big rowing programs at nationally competitive but smaller D-1 schools is a perfect fit for JU. While her academic and coaching credentials speak for themselves, Marci is a leader of character who knows how to properly build high performance teams. She is a perfect fit for JU and the men’s rowing program.”
“I’d like to thank Dr. Horner and Director of Rowing Jim Mitchell for this incredible opportunity,” said Robles, who becomes the first female head coach of an NCAA Division I men’s rowing team. “I’m so honored and excited to be joining the JU family. Jacksonville University rowing has a rich and storied history, and I look forward to not only building upon the success that the team has had over the last few years but also working with a very talented group of student-athletes to take this program to the next level.”
Robles’ three seasons as the women’s rowing assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Gonzaga were highlighted by the program’s 2013 West Coast Conference Championship and inaugural bid to the NCAA Championship. The Varsity 4+, which she coached in 2013, won gold at the WIRA’s and WCC’s and placed 16th in the nation at the NCAA Championship. Under her coaching the Bulldogs also claimed first in the Varsity 4 at the WCC Championship as well as at the WIRA Championship in 2012.
“Coach Robles brings tremendous experience from excellent programs to our team,” added Mitchell. “Her passion for the sport, strong leadership skills, and drive to excel will help our men’s program continue on the path to excellence. I am excited for our student-athletes and the leadership they will receive. Marci knows how to develop speed, and our guys will enjoy the experience.”
Prior to Gonzaga she spent two seasons at Georgetown serving as an assistant coach on the Hoyas rowing staff during the 2009-10 season and earning a promotion to varsity lightweight assistant coach in July of 2010. Under Robles leadership as varsity lightweight assistant coach, Robles developed Georgetown’s walk-on rowers into athletes that were able to contribute to the program in the EAWRC and IRA Championships.
In the 2011 campaign at Georgetown, Robles coached the Varsity 4+ B to a first place finish at the Big East Conference Championship and the Varsity 4+ C to a second place finish. At the Eastern Sprints, her Lightweight 4+ placed third.
Prior to Georgetown, she spent time at National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., as the freshman coach.
Robles was a four-year coxswain on the men’s rowing team at Boston College. She coxed the men’s lightweight 4+ to a first place finish at the Knecht Cup in 2006 and a fourth place finish in the lightweight 4+ at the Dad Vail Regatta, also in 2006.
Robles, who went on to become a member of the Thompson’s Boat Center from 2006-07 as well as Riverside Boat Club from 2008-09, is a U.S. Rowing Level I certified coach.