CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia All-American Kelsie Chaudoin has been named associate head coach for the Virginia rowing program, head coach Kevin Sauer announced Friday (July 3).
Chaudoin, who starred at Virginia from 2005-08, arrives in Charlottesville after serving the past five seasons as associate head coach for the Stanford women’s rowing program.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome Kelsie back to Virginia as our associate head coach, Sauer said. “Kelsie epitomized hard work and a team-first attitude when she was an undergrad here; rising from a walk-on novice to captain, All-American, ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and world champion as a senior. She brings a coaching and recruiting background from Stanford that will be invaluable for our program and I know our team will embrace her with open arms.”
Chaudoin helped the Cardinal to four top-6 NCAA finishes since she joined the staff for the 2016 season. She was heavily involved with recruiting and coached the Varsity Four. In 2019, the varsity four was second at the NCAA Championships, matching the program’s best finish in that event. Overall, Stanford finished fourth in 2018 and 2019, and sixth in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Chaudoin also guided the United States to a bronze medal at the World U-23 Championships.
Prior to Stanford, Chaudoin served as a novice men’s assistant coach for the Oakland Strokes Rowing Club from 2013-15.
Chaudoin graduated from Virginia in 2008 as the first student-athlete to receive a four-year degree in architecture. A walk-on to the Virginia rowing team, Chaudoin earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-America first-team and ACC Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in 2008. Chaudoin captained the Cavaliers her senior year and received the program’s Oarswoman of the Year award. She helped the Cavaliers to consecutive ACC championships from 2005-08 and to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 2007.
Chaudoin trained at the USRowing Training Center in Princeton, New Jersey, from 2008-11. She won gold at the 2008 World U-23 Championships in the Women’s Eight and was an elite national champion in the four in 2009.
“I would like to thank Kevin Sauer and Steve Pritzker for this opportunity,” Chaudoin said. “I am thrilled to be coming back to Charlottesville to work with them and the entire Virginia staff! Kevin, Virginia Rowing, and the University of Virginia had an indelible impact on my life, and I hope to pay it forward to the next generation of UVA rowers.”
Chaudoin replaces Emily Ford, who resigned at the end of the 2019-20 season to be closer to her family in Oregon.
“It has been an incredibly difficult decision because I love the team here at UVA,” Ford said. “They are amazing women who have graciously and warmly welcomed me into the UVA family, and I will miss them terribly. I am also eternally grateful for the support of Kevin Sauer and Steve Pritzker. It has been an honor to be part of a legendary staff and program.”
Ford helped UVA to a pair of ACC championships and a fifth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships during her three seasons at Virginia.
“Emily was a crucial addition to Virginia Rowing,” Sauer added. “She is a friend and confidant to me and is a fantastic coach and mentor to our team. Virginia Rowing will miss you Emily, but the memory of you will not fade. Sell lots of real estate in Oregon!”
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