Bordeau to leave women’s crew team

by Katie Jarrett | 7/10/14 8:37pm

Wendy Bordeau will move from leading the women’s crew team to helping lead Dartmouth Athletics as senior associate athletic director by this August. After 16 years of coaching, nine as the head coach for the Big Green, she said athletics administration will be a new challenge.

“I’m trying to go into this with eyes and ears wide open,” Bordeau said. “I think I’ve certainly got a lot to learn very early.”

During her time as head coach, Bordeau said, she enjoyed the team’s accomplishments and the relationships she fostered with them. Bordeau’s leadership over her nine season tenure brought the team to the NCAA championships three times, with the varsity eight qualifying in 2007 and the entire team participating in 2009 and 2011. In the Ivy League standings, the women’s team placed fifth in 2014 with 40 points, eighth in 2013 with 22 points and sixth place in 2012 with 29 points.

Stepping into administrative responsibilities was not initially part of Bordeau’s plan. She said she did not plan on leaving until the position opened.

The position will bring a more predictable schedule, which will be a nice bonus with two young children, but she added that she thinks her experience with coaching will bring insight for the athletic department.

“Bringing a coach’s perspective to the administrative team is something that will serve our department really well,” she said. “I’m definitely excited to work on the challenges our department faces at that level as opposed to just in the trenches with the athletes.”

The description states the director will have “oversight of select varsity sports programs,” which will include head coaches and their staffs.

A rower for and captain of Princeton University’s crew team, Bordeau added that not competing on or with a team will be a strange transition for her.

Several interviewed members of women’s crew team expressed sadness over Bordeau’s departure, continually referring to her by her first name. Abby Stevenson ’16 said she will miss Bordeau’s presence and relationship with the team.

“I’ll miss the overall group dynamic when we had her because she weighs into being a part of the team not just an authority figure,” she said. “In the future, I hope that we find a coach that has a similar dynamic with the team and who is someone we can trust.”

Caroline Allan ’16 said Bordeau knew how to both push and nurture her team.

“What I really respected about her was that she knew where those limits were and she knew when to take a step back,” she said. “She also had this amazing maternal side and we could tell that she really thought of us as family. I think that’s what I am going to miss the most. She was like our mom, only tougher.

Despite bad weather, Bordeau never seemed to complain, Mackenzie Garrity ’16 said.

Athletics director Harry Sheehy said he is optimistic about bringing Bordeau to the senior staff in the athletic department and that she will be able to “learn on the fly.”

“I think having someone with that perspective to be an advocate for the coaches will be really important,” he said.