|Alma Mater:||Cal '02|
Since being hired as the Duke rowing coach for the 2015-16 season, Megan Cooke Carcagno has led the Blue Devils to their most successful seasons in program history. During her four-year tenure at the helm of the rowing team, Duke has qualified for the NCAA Championships twice (2016, 2019) and finished within the top three in the ACC Championship three times (2016, 2018, 2019), including second-place showings in 2016 and 2019.
Cooke Carcagno was named Duke University’s second head rowing coach on July 28, 2015, by Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White. She arrived in Durham after spending seven years as a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff.
In 2019, Cooke Carcagno led Duke to its best season in program history. The DWR squad placed first in 16 races and within the top two in 28 of them. Throughout the regular season, Duke took first at the Carolina Cup – for the third consecutive season – and at the Lake Wheeler Invitational. The Blue Devils earned three ACC Crew of the Week nods (V4, 2V4, 2V8) and finished second at the ACC Championship.
At the ACC Championship, the V4 boat made school history by earning a gold medal with a time of 7:22.300, the first gold medal in program history at the ACC Championship. Duke also set another school record with four silver medals, as the Blue Devils earned a school-record 90 total points. Cooke Carcagno earned her second ACC Coach of the Year award (2016) and saw three student-athletes earn All-ACC honors in 2019 with Isabel Ruby-Hill and Sophie Simister receiving first team and Tara Fagan notching second team.
In addition to the 2019 All-ACC awards, Amelia Shunk earned ACC Freshman of the Year, the first rowing Freshman of the Year for a Blue Devil since Katie Dukovich in 2013. Cooke-Carcagno also coached three All-America honorees in 2019, as Shannon Tierney notched Second Team, while Ruby-Hill and Simister achieved Honorable Mention, bringing the total of Blue Devil All-America recipients under Cooke Carcagno to six.
Entering the NCAA Championship, Duke was ranked No. 12 in the country in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/USRowing rankings, tied for best in school history. Of the 12 CRCA/USRowing polls throughout the year, the Blue Devils ranked in a program-best 10 of them, including eight straight (April 10 – June 10).
The Blue Devils entered the 2018 campaign unranked before climbing up the rankings, ultimately capping the season at No. 19. Duke placed seventh at the highly competitive Clemson Invitational, besting then No. 18 Syracuse and No. 20 Oklahoma in the team standings. The following week, the Blue Devils checked in at No. 19 in the CRCA rankings and went on to defeat then No. 15 Michigan State in the V8, 2V8, V4 and 2V4 races.
At the ACC Championship, the V4, 2V4 and 3V8 all secured medals in the Grand Final. The V4 clocked in its fastest time of the season (7:12.86) to place second while the 2V4 notched third in 7:20.82. The 3V8 also crossed the finish line in its fastest time of the campaign in 6:43.06 to take third.
In the summer of 2018, Cooke Carcagno led the US Women’s U23 to a first place finish in the heat, and a bronze medal in the highly contested final. Along with gold medal performances in the women’s pair and women’s coxed four, Cooke Carcagno was part of the women’s sweep coaching staff that secured the most U23 International medals in USRowing’s history.
Individually in 2018, Katherine Maitland and Ruby-Hill were named to the Division I All-Conference Team by the CRCA. Maitland earned Second Team All-America in 2018, becoming the third rower under Cooke-Carcagno to earn All-America recognition (Dukovich/First Team-2016 & Alex Stonehill/Second Team-2016). Ruby-Hill won a gold medal for the U23 Team Canada team at the World Championships in 2017. Additionally, Maitland, Rhea Bergman, Marissa Donadio, Shannon Tierney and Kiernan Spencer were named CRCA Scholar-Athletes.
During her third year in Durham, Cooke Carcagno helped Duke to a third-place showing at the ACC Championship as well as secured the Carolina Cup for the second-consecutive year. For the first time in program history, the Blue Devils qualified all five boats to the Grand Final at the conference championship and collected three medals.
In the summer of 2017, Cooke Carcagno helped guide the USRowing U23 National Team women's eight to a world record at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Bulgaria. Cooke Carcagno guided the women's eight to an automatic qualification to the championship race by winning its semifinal heat, finishing in 6:00.350 to set an under-23 world best time, which broke the former mark by three seconds.
In her initial campaign with the Blue Devils in 2015-16, Cooke Carcagno brought home a host of awards with CRCA National Staff of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Head Coach of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Staff of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year. She helped Duke to its first NCAA Championships appearance in program history as well as a second-place finish at the ACC Championship. The Blue Devils entered the NCAA event with their highest ranking in program history, at No. 12.
Cooke Carcagno’s debut year as filled with marked improvement, particularly within the ACC, where she lifted the Blue Devils from a seventh place finish in 2015 to second in 2016, their highest since coming in second in 2006. For the program’s accomplishments, Cooke Carcagno claimed the ACC Coach of the Year award. Aiding Duke were two photo finishes that went in its favor, in the V8 and 2V8. The Blue Devils’ V4 also finished second at the ACC event.
Cooke Carcagno was with the Badger program for seven years, one as an associate head coach, one as a varsity assistant and five as the freshman coach. After her first campaign in Madison, she was named the CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year for directing the UW novice crews to Big Ten titles in the N8 and second N8 events in 2009. The N8 also took first in the NCAA Central Regional regatta. She earned a second CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2012.
In the spring of 2015, Cooke Carcagno helped the Badgers ensure their eighth consecutive NCAA Championships selection and primarily coached the 2V8, which placed ninth at the NCAA Championships.
During each of her five seasons coaching the UW freshmen, her N8 placed in the top three at the Big Ten Championships, while the second N8 won four titles and finished second the other season. In 2010, Cooke Carcagno helped the UW novice crews to their fifth and eighth Big Ten titles, respectively, on the way to a Big Ten Championships crown for Wisconsin in open weight rowing. She also directed the N8 to a win in the grand final and the second N8 to a win in the petite final at the NCAA Central/South Sprints.
Prior to joining Wisconsin, Cooke Carcagno coached for six years following her graduation from California, culminating with a stint coaching the masters rowers at the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, USRowing's Club of the Year.
She spent her first year out of Cal as an assistant freshman coach for the Bears, while also coaching the Oakland Strokes, Inc. club and at Marin Rowing Association during the 2002-03 season. Cooke Carcagno moved on to New Jersey to train with the U.S. national team, all the while giving private instruction to numerous high school athletes in the region.
As a rower at Cal, Cooke Carcagno twice earned first team All-American honors to go along with a pair of first team all-region and first team All-Pac 10 accolades. Co-captain as a junior and senior, she helped the V8 to third at the 2002 NCAA Championships and fourth at the 2000 event.
Cooke Carcagno, a Los Gatos, Calif., native, spent four years with the U.S. national team, from 2004-07. As part of the 2006 U.S. World Champion women's 8, she helped establish a world record for Team USA. A 2006 Henley-on-Thames champion, she also won a gold medal at the 2006 Lucerne World Cup in the women's pair and a silver in the women's 4 without coxswain at the 2001 World Under-23 Championships.
Cooke Carcagno earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from California in 2002.
All-America Honorees Under Cooke Carcagno
Shannon Tierney (Second Team/2019)
Isabel Ruby-Hill (Honorable Mention/2019)
Sophie Simister (Honorable Mention/2019)
Katherine Maitland (Second Team/2018)
Katie Dukovich (First Team/2016)
Alex Stonehill (Second Team/2016)
All-ACC Honorees Under Cooke Carcagno
Isabel Ruby Hill (First Team/2019, Second Team/2018)
Sophie Simister (First Team/2019)
Tara Fagan (Second Team/2019)
Katherine Maitland (First Team/2018, First Team 2017)
Shannon Tierney (Second Team, 2017)
Katie Dukovich (First Team, 2016)
Alex Stonehill (First Team, 2016)
Simone Pitre (Second Team, 2016)
CRCA Rowing Scholar-Athletes Under Cooke Carcagno