DURHAM, N.C. – Megan Cooke Carcagno has been named Duke University's second head rowing coach as announced Tuesday by Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White. Cooke Carcagno had spent the last seven years as a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff, including the 2015 season as associate head coach.
“Megan Cooke Carcagno is an outstanding addition to the Duke coaching staff as the head rowing coach,” Dr. White said. “Not only does she understand the tremendous effort it takes to become a world-class athlete, she is bright, enthusiastic, and charismatic – and precisely the right fit for Duke Rowing at this time. For several years, Megan has played an integral role in the success of Wisconsin’s formidable rowing program. Her background as an elite competitor at California and the United States National Team, as well as her innate ability to relate easily with today’s student-athletes, will serve Duke well as the head coach. We cannot wait for her to make an immediate – and permanent – impact on the Duke Rowing program.”
Cooke Carcagno replaces Robyn Horner, who retired in May after starting the Blue Devil program and running it for 17 seasons.
"I have always looked at this university and athletic department with a sense of awe, and I am thrilled to now be a part of it," Cooke Carcagno said. "After seeing how much the department was doing for the team, and how much enthusiasm and passion they had for the sport, I knew right away that Duke would be a great home for me.
“I can't wait to take the next giant step with the current student-athletes, and make a huge push to turn Duke into a rowing powerhouse. The Duke student is known to be exceptional, and Duke Rowing will mirror those ambitions.”
Cooke Carcagno was with the Badger program for seven years, one as an associate head coach, one as a varsity assistant and five as the freshmen coach. After her first campaign in Madison, she was named the 2009 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year after directing the UW novice crews to Big Ten titles in the novice eight and second novice eight events in 2009. The novice eight also took first in the NCAA Central Regional regatta.
She earned a second CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2012 and was nominated again in 2015.
In the spring of 2015, Cooke Carcagno helped the Badgers ensure their eighth consecutive NCAA Championship selection and primarily coached the second varsity eight, which placed ninth at the NCAA Championship.
During each of her five seasons coaching the UW freshmen, her novice eight placed in the top three at the Big Ten championships, while the second novice eight won four titles and finished second the other season. In 2010, Cooke Carcagno helped the UW novice crews to their fifth and eighth Big Ten titles, respectively, on the way to a Big Ten Championship crown for Wisconsin in openweight rowing. She also directed the novice eight to a win in the grand final and the second novice eight to a win in the petite final at the NCAA Central/South Sprints.
Prior to joining Wisconsin, Cooke Carcagno coached for six years following her graduation from California. Her last stop before joining the collegiate rankings was with coaching masters rowers at the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, USRowing's Club of the Year.
She spent her first year out of Cal as an assistant freshmen coach for the Bears, while also coaching the Oakland Strokes, Inc. club and at Marin Rowing Association during the 2002-03 season. Cooke Carcagno moved on to New Jersey to train with the U.S. national team, all the while giving private instruction to numerous high school athletes in the region.
As a rower at Cal, Cooke Carcagno twice earned first team All-American honors to go along with a pair of first team all-region and first team All-Pac 10 accolades. Co-captain as a junior and senior, she helped the varsity eight to third at the 2002 NCAA Championships and fourth at the 2000 event.
Cooke Carcagno, a Los Gatos, Calif., native, spent four years with the U.S. national team, from 2004-07. As part of the 2006 U.S. World Champion women's eight, she helped establish a world record for Team USA. A 2006 Henley-on-Thames champion, she also won a gold medal at the 2006 Lucerne World Cup in the women's pair and a silver in the women's four without coxswain at the 2001 World Under-23 Championships.
Cooke Carcagno earned a bachelor's of arts degree in psychology from California in 2002.