By Brian Klose
As the Washington College Men’s Crew season gets into full swing, the program is welcoming plenty of new faces, including the new coach of the novice team, Daniel Hagelberg.
Named novice coach this past summer, Coach Hagelberg brings his experienced background with prestigious programs to Chestertown and is tasked with introducing new rowers to WC’s successful environment.
Hagelberg attended the University of Delaware, graduating as a member of the class of 2008 with degrees in History and Political Science. He then earned a Juris Doctor from Weidner School of Law in 2011. While at UD, he was a member of the Varisity crew program all four years, winning the lightweight four in the Eastern Sprints in 2007 and twice competing at the Head of the Charles.
Coach Hagelberg has had coaching experience at the high school, college, and club level swith both men and women.
He said, “My first coaching experience was a learn to row program while I was in college during the summer time. I started coaching more seriously while I was in law school. I began that stint with Newport Rowing Club (NRC) in Newport, Del. While I was still coaching high school boys, I began working with collegiate women at the University of Delaware. Later I decided to make the switch full time to college coaching. It was a place where I felt I was most effective and personally got the most out of the competition. After spending time back with the program I came out of, the University of Delaware men’s crew team, I have come to Washington College.”
Athletics has been important to Hagelberg his entire life; he plays hockey as well. His interest in rowing began in high school.
“My interest in crew began when I watched my sister competing for our high school in Pittsford, NY… Standing on a bridge watching the rowing shells pass beneath me. My fascination and love of the sport were almost instantly solidified. As I began trying it, I found I had quite an aptitude for rowing and it became the most important part of my athletic pursuits.”
Before joining the team, Coach Hagelberg already knew quite a bit about the WC program.
“I knew of the program because of Mike Davenport and I had met Coach Leekley a couple of times here and there. So I had a fairly good working knowledge of what would await me when I came. I knew it was a small school that typically rowed small boats. My real excitement came from the fact that we were going to be switching leagues and I would help with the transition in to big squad rowing. Committing to the 8+ really sold me on coming here. Something special is happening as a team moves away from the small boats at Vails and towards rowing a true Varsity/JV set up. I knew I wanted to be a part of that development, I like the traditional American Collegiate style teams.”
As he trains the novices this season, Hagelberg is pushing his values of patience, empathy, and organization, all of which he “hopes to master someday” himself. “After learning the sport and learning how to communicate those are the things that keep showing up as barriers to success or the vehicles through which I’ve had success.”
Coach Hagelberg, along with the rest of the varsity squad, competed at the Head of the Occoquan this past weekend.