Amy Fuller Kearney will no longer be the head coach of UCLA women’s rowing
For the first time as a university program, the Bruins have a new head coach.
After leading the program for two decades, Amy Fuller Kearney will no longer serve as the head coach of UCLA women’s rowing. Fuller Kearney took over in 2001 after the team‘s transition to a university sport after several decades as a club team and has held the position since then.
“My time as the head coach of UCLA meant the world to me,” Fuller Kearney said in a press release. “The elite student-athletes, the incredible administrators and support staff, and the fellow UCLA coaches have made this the most important professional journey of my life. I am so grateful for the past 20 years and the opportunity to be a part of UCLA Athletics. “
The longtime trainer will not be leaving the program entirely as she will serve as a senior advisor within the UCLA athletics department. Fuller Kearney said she stepped down to focus on treating her breast cancer and that she would not give up her role as head coach unless it was necessary to focus on her family and herself after her diagnosis.
During her tenure as director of the program, Fuller Kearney led the Bruins to their first NCAA championships in 2010, followed by consecutive appearances in 2012-2014. After three double meet victories in the regular season and a national ranking up to 14th place, she was named Pac-12 Assistant Trainer of the Year for the first time in her career last season.
“Amy was definitely a message or a signal of absolute tenacity and determination,” said aspiring junior portioner Jane DiLauro. “She really attacks everything one hundred percent and I think she taught all athletes the importance of not only being competitive but also believing in themselves. … Whether the entire team or an individual, it really unites everyone with this competitive energy. “
Before joining UCLA, Fuller Kearney rowed in three Olympics and was a member of the very first women’s team to compete for the America’s Cup. DiLauro said her trainer‘s track record, having only started rowing in college, made her a role model as an athlete.
“She’s really just amazing and she’s been such a role model for me since I met her,” said DiLauro. “(Her) never yielding attitude was just amazing, learning from this kind of role model and just having such a role model. She is really a great female role model and especially as an athlete.
The interim head coach will be Previn Chandraratna, a former deputy head coach who has been assistant to the UCLA team for the past six seasons. Chandraratna trained the second varsity eight while with the Bruins and said his experience leading the team – particularly through the pandemic-hit seasons – gave him a unique perspective on how to approach his new role.
The Columbia University alumnus came to Westwood with 16 years of coaching experience, seven of them at the college level.
Chandraratna said his core coaching values are empowerment and connection, which he has relied on during his tenure to date as team leader, and DiLauro said he is helping less open-minded athletes with their confidence.
“(Chandraratna is) a leader for maybe some of the smaller people or quiet people,” DiLauro said. “They work really well together and bring out every team member. Previn gives athletes a lot of confidence and helps them get out of their comfort zone and do things they might not even think they would be able to do. “
Despite the circumstances, Chandraratna said he looks forward to building on the legacy and accomplishments of Fuller Kearney at the helm of the program.
“It was obviously bittersweet because we want the best for Amy’s health and well-being, but of course it’s exciting that the foundation she has built has set us up for an exciting future,” said Chandraratna. “To be in a position like this is really humbling because it’s a historical sports section so I’m excited.”