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Craig Amerkhanian
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 15 Years

Craig Amerkhanian enters his 16th season as Stanford's men's rowing head coach in 2015-16.

He is a two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, receiving the honor in 2006 and 2009. During his tenure Stanford Crew has evolved into a complete and powerful rowing program. The men's team continues to rank among the nation’s best under Amerkhanian's leadership. He has overseen the evolution of the Stanford rowing program into one of the nation's most elite programs.

Elements that have established Stanford Crew with the finest teams in the country include the addition of the Stanford Rowing and Sailing Center, transportation vehicles, regatta sponsorships (the Windermere Real Estate Rowing regatta), international competition, rowing shells, ergometers, spin bikes and the most important component- success and development of Stanford Student-athletes.

The men’s team represents the university with great results that stand among the elite universities in America. Alumni and Friends of Stanford Rowing continue to support all three rowing teams and allow Stanford Student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

During the 2014-15 season the Cardinal sent two boats to the IRA National Championships. The varsity four won its first two races and led for the first 1,500 meters of the Grand Final before being passed and ending up with a bronze medal. The varsity eight placed sixth in the C Final for 18th overall. At the Pac-12 Championships, the varsity eight earned a bronze medal to help the team to a fourth place finish. Seniors Scott Roycroft and Kaess Smit were named to the All-Pac-12 team while Smit was also the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

In 2013-14, the Stanford varsity eight placed 13th at the IRA National Championships, winning the C Final. The top boat won seven races in the spring and took third at the Pac-12 Championships. Senior Austin Hack received both the Pac-12 Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, while junior Kaess Smit joined him on the All-Pac-12 team.

In 2012-13, Amerkhanian led his squad to a third place finish as a team at the Pac-12 Championships. Junior rower Austin Hack was selected as the Pac-12 Men’s Rowing Athlete of the Year. The performance at the conference championships came after the Cardinal won the Schwabacher Cup by defeating Cal in the Big Row. The season got off to a great start as the 4+ won the Men’s Championship Four at the Head of the Charles, joining the 2007 Stanford boat as the only two from the Farm in the last 15 years to do so. Stanford closed out the season with an eighth place finish at the IRA National Championships.

During the 2011-12 season, Stanford’s Varsity II Eight earned its highest placing in school history at the IRA National Championships with a sixth place finish. The Cardinal claimed third place at the Pac-12 Championships as Austin Hack was tabbed Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.

The 2010-11 season featured a third place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. Amerkhanian helped Alex Syverson obtain a spot on the All-Pac-10 team.

In 2009 and 2010, the Stanford men finished third at the Pac-10 Championships, but saw all three boats medal in the individual class competition. The I Eightcaptured the silver medal while finishing just three-tenths of a second back of California in the Grand Final in 2009. The Cardinal closed the 2009 season with a third-place national finish at the IRA National Championships at Lake Natoma.

In 2008 the Cardinal were ranked in the top eight for the entire season before finishing fifth at the IRA Regatta. This marked the third-highest finish in program history. At the Pac-10 Championships, the men brought home three bronze medals.

In 2007 the men became the fourth Copley Cup `back to back' winner in the 35-year history of the San Diego Crew Classic.

The Stanford men have been a dominant fixture on the U.S. national teams. Since 2000, there have been nine competitors at the Olympics,16 competitors at the World Championships, 17 competitors at the Under-23 World Championships that have featured Stanford rowers. That list includes seven gold medals, including Stanford’s first Olympic gold recipient under Amerkhanian, as Adam Kreek led Canada to a gold medal in the 8+ at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Amerkhanian proudly acknowledges that "these men have gifted Stanford University and rowing with their accomplishments through dedication, discipline and desire. We salute them. This is a time in our global culture that young people need to work together in a selfless and dedicated manner. Rowing provides an environment of explosive learning and virtue that radiates through life. I am fortunate to continue working with many dedicated student-athletes."

His coaching philosophy was shaped by John Wooden, Greg Hoffman, Ara Parseghian, his father Ruben and big sister Carol.

Prior to Stanford, Amerkhanian spent nine seasons coaching at Cal where athletes he recruited and coached won seven national championships in the eights (four varsity, one second varsity, two frosh). Amerkhanian also has placed numerous athletes on National, Olympic and "Boat Race" (Oxford/Cambridge) teams.

Coach Amerkhanian was an All-Pac-10 oarsman at Cal and graduated in 1980 with a degree in History. He received his master's degree in education in 1993.

Amerkhanian is the husband of Michelle Sinclair and father of John, Peter and Nicolas.