Tim Hagan has rowed in “Temple style” since high school. Hagan, the self-described “laid-back, low-key” coach of women’s crew, was hired prior to the fall 2004 season after former coach Kristine Deatrick resigned because of personal matters.
When he was younger, Hagan said, he wasn’t even interested in the sport.
“I got involved because my friends dragged me along,” he said. “I’m happy the way things worked out.”
This is his 11th year associated with Temple, as a student or a coach.
“I grew up in the area watching Temple basketball, and my high school coach was a Temple grad,” said Hagan, whose two older siblings are also Temple alums.
Regarding the women’s crew team, Hagan said he pays the most attention to the amount of effort given.
“It’s great when you win all the races, but that doesn’t always happen,” he said. “However, if we do lose a race, I’m pleased as long as the team gave their best and tried as hard as they could.”
The transition was not a problem for Hagan. He served four years as an assistant coach before taking over the program, and before that he was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach.
“I was a novice coach for my first three years as an assistant,” Hagan said. “Because I introduced and taught many of the girls on the team, they are used to me.”
Their biggest adjustment was getting used to Hagan being in charge.
“My style and approach is more laid back than coach Deatrick’s,” he said.
Crew athletes refer to walk-ons as “novices.” They are not recruited, and they are taught how to row and race in different categories than varsity players during the season. If all goes well, they move up to the varsity squad in their second year.
This fall, the team recovered from a couple early obstacles. One was the coaching situation. Hagan was not officially hired as head coach until a few weeks into the semester, and the uncertainty affected the rowers’ training.
The other obstacle was a lack of independent training done by the rowers over the summer. The team had to spend extra time on the river working on technique, and the rowers got reacquainted with each other.
Hagan said it “took some time to get them back in shape, but I’m happy the way they’ve progressed.”
“I have a lot of returning varsity players, and we had a good fall season,” he added. Calling the spring and fall seasons of 2004 “very good experiences,” Hagan has a positive outlook for this spring.
“We are using the last two seasons as building blocks, and everyone is excited to get even better and win more medals,” he said.
Hagan’s goal is to get the women’s program back to where it was when he was on the men’s team from 1994-98.
“When I rowed at Temple, the women’s program was going very fast,” he said. “It dropped off for a few years before Kris arrived and started rebuilding the program.”
Hagan took the assistant position in 2000 to help the team regain its speed from the late ’90s. The team’s gradual improvement in recent years has motivated its coach.
“I want to pick up where Deatrick left off, and keep improving the state of the program,” Hagan said.
He said he realizes that no matter how much a coach does, winning ultimately comes down to the players.
“I’m going to do as much as I can as coach, but the players have to put in the commitment and effort,” he said. “I remind them that this is their team.”
Hagan said his time as a rower laid the foundation for his mindset as coach.
“I had a great experience rowing in college, and I want the girls to have that experience, too,” he said.
Dan Murphy can be reached at SpazzRC03@aol.com.