UB Rowing Head Coach Rudy Wieler to Retire
BUFFALO, NY - After leading the University at Buffalo rowing program to national prominence and a handful of hardware, head coach Rudy Wieler announced Wednesday evening that he will retire, wrapping up an 11-year reign over a program he helped build from its infancy and a 45-year career in the sport he loves.
"I've enjoyed being a coach, an educator and an administrator for 45 years," Wieler said. "I will take with me a tremendous number of great memories and experiences with the people I've met and friends I've gained." "It is a wonderful feeling to see so many of my former athletes take of the sport in coaching and administrative positions after their competitive careers are over. To have former athletes become international coaches, national team
Coaches, D1 coaches in the US and many club and high school coaches are truly rewarding."
Wieler came to Buffalo in July of 2001, with an extensive amount of coaching experience at the national, international and Olympic levels during his coaching career. He began his time at UB as the head coach of the varsity program before being promoted to head coach of the entire program in 2003.
"My last 11 years at UB were a nice way to finish off," Wieler said. "College coaching was something I hadn't done. UB gave me a wonderful opportunity to help build another rowing program in a different setting."
The seeds of success were planted in 2005, when the varsity programs had consecutive wins at the Dad Vail Regatta and a first win at the ECAC Metro Cup Championships. Also in 2003, UB won the Harvey Cup against Mid-American Conference rival Eastern Michigan for the first time in the cup's existence and that started a 9 year run that extends to this season. The fall season also provided a milestone result, when the squad was the top American finisher at the Head of the Genesee, ahead of nationally recognized Yale, Syracuse, and Radcliffe boats. During the spring season in 2007, UB captured its second straight second placed finish at the ECAC Metro Cup Championships.
The team first experienced new heights during the 2008 season as Wieler led the team to a first-place finish at the Dad Vail Regatta, where the Bulls won the prestigious Jack & Nancy Seitz Trophy. He also led the Varsity Eight to second-place finishes at the ECAC Metro Cup and the Knecht Cup. The team also finished third at the San Diego Crew Classic and fourth at the Dad Vail.
The Bulls repeated as Dad Vail Regatta champs in 2009 and also claimed a first as UB tied for the overall men's and women's point title, despite not receiving points from the UB men's club team. Not only did UB claim victory at the Dad Vail's, but they also won the Kerr Cup and the Knecht Cup. Wieler also coached UB to a second place finish at the first-ever CAA Championships. The Bulls finished in second in two races, while claiming their first-ever individual conference title with a victory in the Varsity Four.
In 2010, the Bulls improved on its runner-up finish from 2009, winning the Colonial Athletic Association title in just the second year as a member of the league. For his efforts, Wieler earned the CAA's Coach of the Year honors at the league meet. At the CAA Championships, UB's Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight crews won gold medals as the Bulls outdistanced Northeastern to win the team title. The Bulls also won their third consecutive Dad Vail Regatta with the Second Varsity Eight winning gold and the Varsity Eight reaching the championship finals.
Wieler made his mark on the rowing world when he served as head coach of the Canadian National Women's team from 1980 to 1984. Wieler's Canadian women's four squad captured a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Internationally, his rowers also won a gold and three bronze medals at the World Championships and a gold in the Commonwealth Games. His gold medal at the junior worlds in 1979 in Moscow was the first ever by a Canadian crew at the worlds and for his efforts he was recognized as the winner of the "Air Canada Award" as the top amateur coach for all sports in Canada.
Wieler's contributions to UB rowing have not gone unnoticed by the Division of Athletics.
"Coach Wieler has played a significant role in building UB rowing into a championship program. His contributions are evident by the hundreds of student-athletes he has impacted during his time at Buffalo," interim Director of Athletics John Lambert said. "I would like to wish Rudy and his wife, Sharon, all the best as they embark on this new journey and thank him for his many years of service to our program."A national search for Wieler's replacement will take place over the upcoming weeks.