William Smith College Head Rowing Coach Sandra Chu recently announced Libby Hughes ’14 will return as her assistant coach for the 2015-16 season. Hughes was named the Herons interim assistant coach in the middle of the 2014-15 season.
“In her role as interim assistant coach, Libby quickly made her mark, transitioning easily from student-athlete to respected and skilled coach,” Chu said. “She was able to not only develop and mold this year’s novice class but also played a big role with the varsity, providing continued leadership to her former teammates and great counsel to me. By the end of the season, three true novices were impacting the second varsity eight and the first novice eight captured the conference title and was the league’s novice boat of the year. All of these accomplishments will strengthen our program for next season and are predictors of the even greater successes I anticipate she will have when she spends a full year with the Class of 2019.”
After six months as a rowing coach at Radnor High School in Pennsylvania, Hughes returned to William Smith to coach the novices through the spring season. She helped the novice eight capture a gold medal at the Liberty League Championships, a silver medal at the New York State Championships, and place fifth finish at the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships.
As a student at William Smith, Hughes earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies in 2014. She 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 NIRC. 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.
William Smith will open the 2015-16 season on Sept. 26 when it hosts the Challenge on the Canal.