|Alma Mater:||Cal '02|
Megan Cooke Carcagno has led a rowing renaissance since her arrival in Durham for the 2015-16 campaign. Her Blue Devils have been ranked for 23 consecutive weeks, the longest streak in program history, and she has led the Duke to its first NCAA Championships appearance.
Cooke Carcagno was named Duke University’s second head rowing coach on July 28, 2015, by Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White. She arrived in Durham after spending seven years as a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff.
In her initial campaign with the Blue Devils in 2015-16, Cooke Carcagno brought home a host of awards with Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) National Staff of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Head Coach of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Staff of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year. She helped Duke to its first NCAA Championships appearance in program history as well as a second-place finish at the ACC Championship. The Blue Devils entered the NCAA event with their highest ranking in program history, at No. 12.
During her third year in Durham, Cooke Carcagno helped Duke to a third-place showing at the ACC Championship as well as secured the Carolina Cup for the second-consecutive year. For the first time in program history, the Blue Devils qualified all five boats to the Grand Final at the conference championship and collected three medals.
In the summer of 2017, Cooke Carcagno helped guide the US Rowing Under 23 National Team women's eight to a world record at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Bulgaria. Cooke Carcagno guided the women's eight to an automatic qualification to the championship race by winning its semifinal heat, finishing in 6:00.350 to set an under-23 world best time, which broke the former mark by three seconds.
For the second year in a row, Cooke Carcagno was selected as a sweep coach for the U23 National Team. Cooke Carcagno's team will compete at the Henley Royal Regatta and the U23 World Championship in Poznan, Poland, July 25-29.
The Blue Devils' entered the 2018 campaign unranked before climbing up the rankings, ultimately capping the season at No. 19. During its unranked time, Duke placed seventh at the highly competitive Clemson Invitational, besting then No. 18 Syracuse and No. 20 Oklahoma in the team standings. The following week, the Blue Devils checked in at No. 19 in the CRCA rankings and went on to defeat then No. 15 Michigan State in the V8, 2V8, V4 and 2V4 races.
At the ACC Championship, the V4, 2V4 and 3V8 all secured medals in the Grand Final. The V4 clocked in its fastest time of the season (7:12.86) to place second while the 2V4 notched third in 7:20.82. The 3V8 also crossed the finish line in its fastest time of the campaign in 6:43.06 to take third.
In the summer of 2018, Cooke Carcagno led the US Women’s U23 to a first place finish in the heat, and a Bronze medal in the highly contested final. Along with Gold medal performances in the women’s pair and women’s coxed four, Cooke Carcagno was part of the women’s sweep coaching staff that secured the most U23 International Medals in USRowing’s history.
Individually in 2018, senior Katherine Maitland and junior Isabel Ruby-Hill were named to the Division I All-Conference Team by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. Maitland earned Second Team All-America in 2018, becoming the third rower under Cooke-Carcagno to earn All-America recognition (Katie Dukovich/First Team-2016 & Alex Stonehill/Second Team-2016). Ruby-Hill, who Cooke-Carcagno has coached the last four seasons, won a gold medal for the U23 Team Canada team at the World Championships last year. Additionally, Maitland, Rhea Bergman, Marissa Donadio, Shannon Tierney and Kiernan Spencer were named CRCA Scholar-Athletes.
Cooke Carcagno’s debut year as filled with marked improvement, particularly within the ACC, where she lifted the Blue Devils from a seventh place finish in 2015 to second in 2016, their highest since coming in second in 2006. For the program’s accomplishments, Cooke Carcagno claimed the ACC Coach of the Year award. Aiding Duke were two photo finishes that went in its favor, in the V8 and 2V8. The Blue Devils’ V4 also finished second at the ACC event.
Cooke Carcagno helped seniors Katie Dukovich and Alex Stonehill receive CRCA Pocock All-America accolades as Dukovich was a First Team selection while Stonehill was a CRCA Pocock Second Team honoree. The pair were Duke's first All-Americas since Emily Theys was a second team recipient in 2013. Dukovich became the third First Team All-America in program history, and she and Stonehill were the two were the 11th and 12th Duke rowing All-Americas. Maitland received CRCA Region 3 Second Team accolades and Donovan, sophomore Jessica Findlay, senior Sarah Wall and senior Mary Wilson were named CRCA Scholar-Athlete Award winners.
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 freshman coach. After her first campaign in Madison, she was named the CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year for directing the UW novice crews to Big Ten titles in the N8 and second N8 events in 2009. The N8 also took first in the NCAA Central Regional regatta. She earned a second CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2012.
In the spring of 2015, Cooke Carcagno helped the Badgers ensure their eighth consecutive NCAA Championships selection and primarily coached the 2V8, which placed ninth at the NCAA Championships.
During each of her five seasons coaching the UW freshmen, her N8 placed in the top three at the Big Ten Championships, while the second N8 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 Championships crown for Wisconsin in open weight rowing. She also directed the N8 to a win in the grand final and the second N8 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, culminating with a stint coaching the 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 freshman 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 V8 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 8, 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 4 without coxswain at the 2001 World Under-23 Championships.
Cooke Carcagno earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from California in 2002.