Aug. 16, 2016
Charlottesville, VA –Virginia rowing Head Coach Kevin Sauer announced UVA Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief Financial Officer Steve Pritzker and former UVA All-American rower Kristine O’Brien have been named assistant coaches.
“I’m so pleased Steve is rejoining our staff; we had a lot of success when Steve was with us and I look forward to working with him on the water again,” Sauer said. “I’m also excited Kristine O’Brien is joining us. She is one of the best rowers to ever come out of our program and will add a lot of knowledge and energy to our group. With the addition of Kristine and Steve, coupled with Brett Gorman who has done a great job over the past four years, our staff is very strong. I’m confident great things are ahead for Virginia Rowing.”
Pritzker spent nine years as a member of the Virginia rowing coaching staff before serving as the head rowing coach at Iowa. Pritzker was an assistant coach from 2004-07 and an associate head coach from 2007-12. While coaching at Virginia, the Cavaliers won NCAA team championships in 2010 and 2012, along with runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2007. He also coached the Varsity Four to four individual National Championships, as well as three National runner-up finishes. Pritzker was named National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010. Virginia won eight ACC titles in his nine seasons.
In 2013, Pritzker returned to UVA as the associate athletics director for business operations and the chief financial officer for the athletics department. Last summer, he was promoted to senior associate athletics director and he was named the sport supervisor for the rowing program.
Pritzker will continue to serve as senior associate athletics director and chief financial Officer in addition to his coaching duties with the rowing program. Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver is now the sport supervisor for the rowing program.
“Our rowing program experienced tremendous success when Steve was assisting Kevin Sauer,” Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage said. “When assistant coaching positions opened on the rowing staff this summer, Kevin wanted to make sure he put a plan in place that provides the rowing program with the best opportunity to compete for national championships every year.
“We’re excited to announce the additions of Steve and Kristine to the rowing staff and that Steve is able to take on this role as a coach while remaining a member of our senior administrative team. A part of our department’s mission statement includes, ‘operating with fiscal integrity, which is embodied through the generation and efficient use of resources.’ Our business operations staff, including Sarah May, Meg Caldwell, Naomi Perkins and Mary Ragland, collectively does a great job meeting the expectations outlined in the mission statement.”
“I would like to thank Craig, Jon, and Kevin for the opportunity to have this unique set of responsibilities,” Pritzker said. “We are fortunate to have a fantastic business office staff which will enable me to spend time helping Kevin, Brett and Kristine in the development of our rowing student-athletes while maintaining the level of customer service that is a priority to the entire athletics department.”
O’Brien was a key component of the Virginia rowing program’s success from 2010-13. She was named ACC Freshman of the Year in 2010 and she was a three-time All-ACC and All-American selection. O’Brien was part of the Varsity Eight boats that helped Virginia win four ACC championships and NCAA team championships in 2010 and 2012. In addition, the Varsity Eight boat won the individual NCAA championship in 2012.
She has also experienced success on the international level as O’Brien won gold in the women’s four at the 2015 World Rowing Championships and she won gold in the women’s eight at the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside Kevin and his staff,” O’Brien said. “I’m thrilled to be returning to my alma mater to coach such a hard-working and talented group of women.”