Just days after a record-breaking performance by Minnesota at the Big Ten Women’s Rowing Championships, the Golden Gophers earned additional postseason honors as Jenny Barnes and head coach Wendy Davis were named Athlete and Coach of the Year, announced by the Big Ten Conference.
Barnes, a senior from Columbus, Ind., is the first Gopher to earn Athlete of the Year since the award’s inception in 2000. An All-Big Ten selection in 2006 and 2007, Barnes sat in the six-seat of Minnesota’s First Varsity Eight, helping lead the boat to a pair of Big Ten Boat of the Week selections this season. In 2006, Barnes was the first Minnesota rower in school history to earn first-team All-America honors.
Davis collects her second-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, after sharing the award with Ohio State’s Andy Teitelbaum in 2006. In her seventh year at the helm of the Minnesota program, Davis, who led the Gophers to their first NCAA Championships appearance after a runner-up finish at the 2006 Big Ten Championships, guided Minnesota to its first-ever conference title this season. Minnesota won four of six races the Second Varsity Eight, the First and Second Varsity Four races and the First Novice Eight and advanced all six boats to the Grand Finals to accumulate a conference-record 150 points.
The Gopher rowing program will hold a grand opening for their newly constructed boathouse on May 4 from 2-4 p.m. in the East River Flats Park on the U of M campus.