Meet the Women's Rowing Assistant Coaches

August 18, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 18, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion head women's rowing coach Dan Garbutt has finalized his staff for the upcoming year with the return of assistant Mike Lucey and the addition of Laura Ratz to the upstart Lady Monarch program.

Lucey returns for his second season under Coach Garbutt after helping the ODU women's rowing program with a number of impressive results in only its third year of varsity status. Along with a second place showing by the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four at the Dad Vail Regatta, the Lady Monarchs also had sweeps of Miami and Colgate, wins over six-time Patriot League Champion Bucknell, a third place finish at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, and Grand Final appearances at the Knecht Cup.

"The addition of Mike to the staff last season proved to be a major asset in the development of ODU's presence nationally," said Garbutt. "We are very happy to be able have him rejoin us for the 2011-2012 campaign."

Lucey came to the ODU program from Dartmouth College where he served as the varsity assistant coach for the Big Green men's heavy rowing squad. In 2010, Lucey helped guide the heavy weight squad to a fifth place finish at the Eastern Springs and a eighth place showing at the IRA Regatta.

Prior to Dartmouth, Lucey served the second of two stints at Princeton University spending two seasons as the assistant coach with the women's lightweight crew. In the spring of 2009, he led the Tiger varsity lightweight coxed four to a gold medal at the Women's Eastern Sprints Championship. The previous season, Lucey coached the freshmen lightweight eight to a silver medal at the Women's Eastern Sprints Championship.

Before rejoining the Princeton program in the 2008 season, Lucey coached one year as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, where the men's freshmen lightweight took an eight-place finish at that year's Men's Eastern Sprints Championships.

Beginning his career with Princeton, Lucey served as the volunteer assistant coach for both the Tiger men's heavyweight and lightweight teams. In his first year of coaching in 2006, Lucey led the third varsity lightweight eight to a third-place finish at the Eastern Sprints, as well as a fourth-place finish in the men's open four event at the 2006 IRA Regatta.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Lucey trained with the United States Men's National Team and was the top coxswain, sitting in Wisconsin's varsity eight for three years.

During his college career, the 2005 Wisconsin graduate with a degree in Political Science led the varsity eight to a nearly perfect regular season, including a fifth-place finish at the Eastern Sprints, as well as win over the University of Washington for the "W" Cup. Lucey steered the varsity eight to a fourth-place finish at the IRA Regatta in 2003, a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints, another "W" Cup, as well as the course records for the both the Men's 8+ and 4+ at the Midwest Rowing Championships. In the fall of 2002 during his first season of collegiate competition, he led the Badgers to a gold medal at the Head of the Charles in the Men's Championship eight event, a bronze medal in the varsity 4+ at the 2002 IRA Regatta, and captured the Ten Eyck Trophy for overall points for Team National Champion at the 2002 IRA Regatta.

Prior to coxing in college, Lucey was the first boat coxswain at Tabor Academy (Mass.) from 1999-2001. He spent two years at Tabor and helped lead the first boat into the grand final of the NEIRA regatta, including a fifth-place finish in 2000. In the summer of 2000, Lucey was selected to the United States Junior National team, where he coxed the Junior Men's pair (2+) to a silver medal in Zagreb, Croatia, at the 2000 Junior World Rowing Championships.

Before his arrival at Tabor Academy, Lucey attended St. John's High School (Mass.) and began coxing in 1996 on Lake Quinsigamond and has been involved with the sport of rowing ever since.

Laura Ratz is the newest member of the Old Dominion women's rowing staff joining the Lady Monarchs from the University of Delaware.

"Laura brings a wealth of experience to her position and in just a short time with the staff this summer," said Garbutt. "She has already made a very positive impact on the team."

As the graduate assistant for the Blue Hens, Ratz coached the varsity four to their two fastest seasons ever, finishing third at the ECAC Mid- Atlantic Regionals. She also coached the second novice boat in the Fall of 2010. In addition to her coaching duties, Ratz also finished her master's degree from Delaware in economics in May of 2011.

Prior to joining the Delaware staff, Ratz was a coach for Gippsland Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. At Gippsland, she coached the varsity girls to their best season in school history. Her quad went undefeated in the regular season, and then placed fifth at the Australian national championships.

Shortly after the national championships Ratz guided her quad to another outstanding performance at the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta, the largest female-only regatta in the world. The quad placed third of the HOSG, besting the third and fourth place crews from the national championships.

Prior to her stint overseas in Australia, Ratz was a four-year varsity rower and Dean's List student at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where she earned her undergraduate degree in economics. She was in the winning Eights at the 2005 and 2007 Knecht Cup and Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships. As a senior in 2008 she served as team captain and helped Washington College regain its title as Mid-Atlantic Champions and secure its first ever bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships. At Washington College, she was also a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon National Economic Honor Society and studied abroad at the University of London, Royal Holloway in Surrey, England.

"We are very fortunate to have these individuals in their respective roles," said Garbutt of his staff. "I look forward to this season very much."