The Bates College varsity rowing programs' coaching staff, led by Division III Head Coach of the Year Peter Steenstra, was named 2017 Division III Staff of the Year by the College Rowing Coaches Association, after they led the women's team to the 2017 NCAA Championship and the men's team to its second NESCAC Championship. The coaching staff earned the same award in 2015 when the women won their first NCAA Championship and the men won their first NESCAC Championship.
Head Men's and Women's Rowing Coach
Office Phone: 207-786-6363
Since he was named head rowing coach at Bates in March 2009, Peter Steenstra has led the program into undoubtedly one of the finest in Division III. Bates women's rowing has competed in the NCAA Championships in every year, including six second-place finishes and two NCAA Division III championships (2015 & 2017) -- the only Bobcats in Bates College history to win a national team championship.
Steenstra was named 2017 Division III Coach of the Year by the College Rowing Coaches Association, after also receiving Men's and Women's Coach of the Year honors from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). He earned the same honors in 2015 as well.
Steenstra moved into the head coach position after stints as assistant and interim head coach at Bates. In his first full year as head coach, Steenstra led the women’s rowing team to second place at the 2009 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships, the highest team finish by any Bates team in an NCAA championship. The team matched that feat at the 2010 NCAA Championships, repeating as the national runner-up, then did it for the third year in a row in 2011, coming closer than ever to the team’s goal of an NCAA Championship.
The Bates men's rowing team also reached new heights in 2015, going undefeated throughout the regatta season until winning the bronze medal at the ECAC/National Invitational Rowing Championship, behind only Michigan and Hobart. For defeating all of their conference rivals, Bates claimed its first NESCAC Men's Rowing Championship. In the summer of 2009, Steenstra led the men’s rowing team on a trip to compete in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in Henley, England, after the men earned a No. 3 final Northeast regional ranking in the spring season.
Steenstra served as Bates’ assistant rowing coach during the 2007-08 academic year, then was named interim coach in July 2008. Steenstra helped coach both the Bobcat men and women to successful years while also acting as the programs’ recruiting coordinator. The women’s team finished fifth at the 2008 NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships in their second straight appearance at nationals, while the men’s varsity eight ranked No. 5 in New England.
Under Steenstra’s leadership, both the men’s and women’s rowing programs have continued to flourish.
Steenstra has vast experience in rowing, beginning with his career on the men’s varsity eight at Hobart College, where he graduated in 1996. Steenstra coached the men’s and women’s novice crews at Colby College for three years, then was the head coach of the men’s and women’s crew club at The Ohio State University from 1999 to 2006. Steenstra also coached at Cornell University, first as varsity assistant coach of the heavyweight men and then as the assistant women’s coach, while earning a master of science degree in sports management from Ithaca College.
Women's Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator
Men's Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator
Elizabeth Kinney enters her first season as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bates College men’s rowing program. Prior to this role, Kinney served as the volunteer assistant for two years with both the men’s and women’s rowing teams at Bates and helped lead the women to its second NCAA Championship in 2017.
Before joining the Bates staff, Kinney worked as an assistant coach at the Waynflete School in Portland, ME. During her two years with the program, the team earned first place at the Maine Youth Rowing Association Championships in 2014 and 2015.
Kinney graduated from the University of Vermont in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management. She was a member of the UVM rowing team which earned her 1st place at New England’s her freshman year in the Novice 8. During her free time, Kinney enjoys sailing and skiing. Most recently, she spent her summer months completing a trans-Atlantic sailing trip to the Azores.