Brian Perkins is the crew team’s new head coach, the university announced on Monday.
Perkins, who served as the Owls’ assistant coach and head recruiter for the past six years, takes over for coach Gavin White, who retired this spring after 37 years running the program.
Perkins becomes only the third head coach in the program’s history, while White will continue to hold the title of Coach Emeritus.
“I am humbled to be offered this opportunity,” Perkins said in a university-released statement. “I am looking forward to the challenges on our horizon. With Coach White staying on as a mentor, the staff and student-athletes we are lucky to have, and the facilities and support of Temple University, I feel like we can accomplish very big things.”
The Owls have had success with Perkins on staff. This past season the Varsity 8 medaled at the Dad Vail Regatta for the first time since 2008.
Temple’s Lightweight 4+ won the Dad Vail Regatta in 2015 on its way to a 12th-place national finish at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship.
Other Dad Vail victories under Perkins include the Freshman 4+ in 2010 and the undefeated Freshman 4+ in 2012. The Varsity Lightweight 4+ grabbed a silver medal in 2011 at the Dad Vails.
“When we started thinking about who would be the perfect person to take over the Temple Crew program from Gavin White, we realized we already had the right man in the fold in Brian Perkins,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Larry Dougherty said in a university-released statement. “Brian has lived and breathed Temple Crew, as a student-athlete as well as the last six years as Gavin’s top assistant. He helped lead the Varsity 8 back to the Dad Vail medal stand this past year, and we are looking forward to him revitalizing the program with the re-opening of the East Park Canoe House this fall.”
Perkins was a two-time Dad Vail Regatta champion rowing for White from 1988-92. He served as team captain in 1992.
After his time at Temple, Perkins joined the Owls’ coaching staff as the novice men’s coach in 1992. He also spent time as the varsity boys’ coach at Harriton High School and served as the freshman coach at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School before serving as a graduate assistant for Temple from 1995-98.
Prior to his return to the Owls’ coaching staff, Perkins’ most recent position was as the head coach and director of rowing at Upper Merion High School from 1999-2009.
“Brian has demonstrated that he is ready to take over the reins of the Temple Crew program,” White said in a university-released statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, and he is able to communicate that knowledge to the young men and women on the team. Temple Crew could not be in better hands.”
Perkins graduated cum laude from Temple in 1993 with dual degrees in history and political science. He also earned a masters’ in history from Temple in 1998 and an education degree from Saint Joseph’s in 1999.