William Smith College Head Rowing Coach Sandra Chu recently announced that Libby Hughes ’14 has returned to her alma mater to serve as the interim assistant coach for the Heron rowing team. The former Heron rower has an exceptional list of accomplishments as a student-athlete as well as six months as a rowing coach at Radnor (Pa.) High School.
“As a former rower and tri-captain, Libby’s career was punctuated with her ability to not only set ambitious goals for herself but also to attack that process with patient intent,” Chu said. “As a lightweight rower competing with open-weight women, she distinguished herself as the top starboard last year on the water, and her work ethic was among the highest on the team.
“Having Libby return to our staff is a huge win for us. She’s helped define the culture of our team over the past four years and will be able to teach our novice class how to be great Herons as well as continue to influence our varsity program. I’m privileged and very excited to be able to continue to work with her and to see her evolve her already strong skills into her new role.”
At William Smith, Hughes competed in the varsity eight in each of her four seasons on campus, splitting time in the second varsity eight as a first-year and sophomore. She competed in four straight NCAA Championships, finishing third in the varsity eight as a junior. Also in 2013, Hughes and her crewmates earned a bronze medal at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships. She earned three consecutive gold medals at both the New York State Championships and the Liberty League Championships, helping the 2V in 2012 before moving up to the 1V in 2013 and 2014.
Following both her junior and senior seasons, Hughes and the rest of the Heron varsity eight were voted the Liberty League Crew of the Year. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Marion Harrison Greene ’20 Award, which is presented to a William Smith senior student-athlete whose accomplishments made a significant impact on her team and Heron Athletics. Hughes was a part of 19 Liberty League Boat of the Week award winning crews.
As a member of the Vesper Boat Club lightweight 4x, Hughes finished second at the U.S. Trials for the 2014 U23 World Championships. A year earlier, she finished third in the lightweight single scull at the U.S. Trials for the U23 World Championships.
In addition to her success at the U23 U.S. Trials, Hughes captured six gold medals with the Vesper Boat Club in 2014, earning two at the Canadian Henley, two in the Independence Day Regatta, one at Club Nationals, and one at the Head of the Schuylkill.
Originally from Orient N.Y., Hughes came to William Smith from the Emma Willard School where she was a three-year varsity letter winner and two-time team captain. As a rower there, she captured the 2009 SRAA National Championship in the Varsity 2. She also won the 2009 & 2010 New York State Championship in the Varsity 2x, as well as two Section II Championships.
The Heron rowing squad opens its spring racing season March 28 when it travels to Ithaca, N.Y., for the Cayuga Duals.