Nich Lee Parker, who has been with Columbia Lightweight Rowing during an unprecedented four year run of medal winning appearances at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, is in his fourth year as head coach. He guides the Lions as they look to defend their national title and extend their medal winning streak, the longest active streak of any men's rowing program in the country.
In his first season as head coach, the Lions finished 11-2 during the regular season. At the Eastern Sprints, the second and third varsity crews both won gold, a first ever achievement in Columbia rowing history for those boat classes. At the IRA, the coxed four controlled the racing to win the university's first ever race in the modern 2000 meter format, while the varsity eight brought home a bronze.
The following 2015 season saw continued success with an 11-1 regular season record and the third win for the program in the 60 year history of the Dodge Cup. The varsity won silver at both the Eastern Sprints and the IRA, while the coxed four also brought home silver from the nationals. The varsity went on to race at the Henley Royal Regatta, competing in the Temple Challenge Cup where they progressed to the semi-finals. This is the furthest advancing crew for Columbia in the history of the Temple Challenge Cup.
Last season, the Lions got off to a strong start, finishing 11-1 in the regular season and winning a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints in the varsity eight. At the2016 IRA National Championship, the Lions had a breakthrough day of racing. The coxed four won silver, while the varsity eight took control of the title race and won gold by nearly a length. The win represents the first national championship in rowing for Columbia since 1929 and the first ever IRA National Championship for the lightweight men.
The performances won Lee Parker US Rowing Collegiate Lightweight Coach of the Year, US Rowing Fan's Choice Coach of the Year, as well as the University Coach of the Year award from The Joy of Sculling.
Prior to Lee Parker's time leading the lightweights, he served as an assistant for both the lightweight men and the heavyweight men at Columbia. Additionally, he was a heavyweight coach at Yale from 2007 to 2009 and coached the USRowing Junior National Team from 2008 to 2010. He coached the freshmen men's squad at Purdue University in 2007, where they won a bronze at the Dad Vail National Invitational.
Lee Parker studied music, German literature, and education policy for his undergraduate education at The Ohio State University. He completed an MS in Sports Pedagogy and Administration from Purdue University in 2007. He is a doctoral candidate in Biomechanics (Expected Spring 2019), focusing on neuroscience and motor control at Columbia University.
THE PARKER FILE
Overall Record .890 (33-4)
2013 - IRA Bronze Medalist
2014 - Eastern Sprints Gold (2V, 3V), IRA Gold and Bronze Medalist (4+, V8 Respectively)
2015 - Eastern Sprints Silver (V8), IRA Silver Medalist (4+ & V8), Henley Royal Regatta Semi-Finalist
2016 - Eastern Sprints Silver (V8), IRA Silver & Gold 4+ & V8), National Champions, Henley Royal Regatta Quarter-Finalist
2016 - USRowing Collegiate Lightweight Coach of the Year
2016 - Joy of Sculling University Coach of the Year