Women’s Rowing | September 11, 2023
PHILADELPHIA – La Salle Vice President for Athletics & Recreation/Director of Athletics Ashwin Puri has announced the hiring of Brian Perkins as head women’s rowing coach. A coaching veteran with over 20 years of experience, he oversaw a nationally-ranked crew team at Temple University and led the Owls to multiple Dad Vail titles and appearances at IRA National Championships.
“After an extensive search, Brian emerged as the top candidate for the position,” Puri said. “His success as a coach and his ability to provide student-athletes with championship-level experiences both on the water and in the classroom was evident. He has shown that he can grow a program through fundraising and student-athlete recruitment and proven that he can win. We are excited to welcome him to La Salle, and looking forward to seeing our women’s rowing program develop under his leadership.”
The 2022 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Coach of the Year, Perkins led the Owls to its first-ever Dad Vail men’s points trophy in 2021 and Varsity 8 gold medals in both 2018 and 2021. In 2018, Temple became the first men’s team to win gold medals in the Varsity 8, Junior Varsity 8, and Freshman 8 in the storied history of the Regatta.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to coach the La Salle women’s rowing team,” Perkins said. This young group has a great mix of leadership, hunger, and potential that any coach would be lucky to work with. I would like to thank Ash Puri, Dan Lobacz, Ivo Krakic, and the search committee and athletes for meeting with me and so clearly laying out their expectations and support. It is time to get started and build on a historic 2023 season!”
In 2019 and 2021, every member of Temple’s rowing program made a grand final at Dad Vails, and in 2018, the Varsity 8 boat qualified for the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England. It was the program’s first trip to Henley since 1994. In 2018, he was also named the Schuylkill Navy Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time at Temple, Perkins served as Director of Rowing and Head Coach of the Upper Merion High School, where he prepared the girls’ and boys’ programs to compete successfully at local and national levels. He also worked with alumni to fundraise the complete modernization of Upper Merion’s fleet of racing shells.
Additionally, Perkins comes with experience coaching the women’s masters group at Upper Merion for three years (2006-08), and served as Co-Director of the Murphy Cup Regatta for the past 14 years.
A four-year member of the Temple men’s crew team from 1988-92, he won two Dad Vail championships while a student-athlete before serving as an assistant coach under legendary coach Dr. Gavin White from 2009-16. As an assistant, Perkins guided freshmen and lightweight boats to three Dad Vail gold medals.
Perkins graduated cum laude with two Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science from Temple. He went on to complete his Master’s degree in History. Originally from South Philadelphia, Perkins lives in East Falls with his wife, Susan.
What They’re Saying About Brian Perkins
“Brian Perkins is an incredible coach that has done great things for every program he has been a part of. He has been a leader in Philadelphia rowing for decades, coaching women’s and men’s high school and college athletes. He has always supported his rowers while on his team and through alumni racing. The future and growth of La Salle women’s rowing is strong with him at the helm.
– Allison (Boc) Boehm, Head Coach and Director of Rowing, Holy Ghost Prep
“Brian taking over the reigns at La Salle is an amazing hire for the Explorers. I have had the pleasure of knowing Brian for 30-plus years. He has been successful at every level in the sport of rowing, from his time as a rower in high school and college, to his winning championships at Dad Vails as a coach. The resurrection of (Temple men’s crew) over the last decade was no small feat and a testament to his ability to innovate and motivate athletes and alumni. I can’t wait to see his next act as he begins work at 20th and Olney.”
– Jeff Garbutt, Head Women’s Rowing Coach, University of Iowa
“The Explorers win – the La Salle University community is getting so much more than a rowing coach here with Brian Perkins. To become leaders within our sport and develop gutsy citizens on and off campus, you need a coach leader who will deliver for student-athletes of today. I’ve known Brian Perkins for several decades, as a teammate and coach mentor, Brian is this leader and more. His rich experiences and values will immediately drive purpose within the unique student-athlete experience and especially in the sport of rowing. As a recognized leader in the sport and a potent coach, Brian will advance the Explorer mission. This is reflected in the athletes he has already produced, the coaches he has developed and his relationships in the city of Philadelphia. He is a development-driven coach that cares about the student-athlete and their advancement. It’s the kind of important stuff needed beyond the campus or the Schuylkill River.”
– Chris Kerber, two-time Gold Medalist, World Rowing Championships; Head Rowing Coach, Hobart College
“I am thrilled to welcome Brian Perkins to the Explorer family! Brian has been one of the best coaches in the country for the past decade, leading Temple to multiple Dad Vail championships and helping the team earn IRA National Championship appearances. Brian brings a plethora of rowing experience and knowledge to our women’s team and will have an immediate impact on the program. I am looking forward to working with Brian to elevate our women’s team to the top ranks of U.S. collegiate rowing!”
– Ivo Krakic, Head Men’s Rowing Coach, La Salle University