Tom Terhaar

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Tom Terhaar

Women's Head Coach


Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.

Current Residence: Princeton, N.J.

Began Rowing:1984

Date of Birth: 9/17/69

High School: St. Joseph’s Collegiate, Buffalo, N.Y.

Undergraduate Education:
Rutgers University, 1991

Coaching Highlights: Tom Terhaar was named head women’s coach in 2001 and led the women’s eight to a fourth-place finish at the World Rowing Championships that year. In just his second year, Terhaar coached the women’s eight to a gold medal at the 2002 World Rowing Championships in Seville, Spain. It was the first gold medal for the U.S. in the women’s eight since 1995 in Tampere, Finland. In 2003, his women’s four won the gold medal, while his lightweight women’s double sculls finished fourth.


At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Terhaar led the women’s eight to a world record in the heat and a silver medal in the final. It was the first time the U.S. had won an Olympic medal in the event since 1984. In 2006, Terhaar’s eight not only won the world title, but set a world’s best time in the process. In 2007, his women’s eight and women's four won world championships and for his efforts, Terhaar was named the USOC’s 2007 Coach of the Year Award for Rowing and was one of five finalists for the USOC’s National Coach of the Year Award.

No matter how many changes to his lineups, Terhaar’s women’s eight crews have not lost a world or Olympic title in nine years. He won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Along the way Terhaar’s crews won a bronze medal in the women’s quad in London; he coached the U.S. women’s pair to gold in 2009, bronze in 2010 and silver in 2013.

Following the double gold medal performance from the eight and pair at the 2009 World Rowing Championships, Terhaar was named World Rowing Coach of the Year in 2009.

Prior to being named head coach, Terhaar served as a national team assistant coach from
1994-2000. In 2000, he coached the women’s quadruple sculls to a fifth-place finish at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Terhaar coached the women’s quadruple sculls to a fourth-place finish at the 1999 World Rowing Championships and the women’s double sculls to a fourth-place finish at the 1998 World Rowing Championships. For his efforts, he was named the USOC’s Developmental Coach of the Year for the sport of rowing in 1998.

As a collegiate coach, Terhaar spent five years at the helm of the Columbia men’s lightweight program. He led Columbia to a silver medal in the varsity lightweight eight at the 1998 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, and his crew won the Eastern Sprints title for the first time ever in 2000.

Personal: Terhaar rowed collegiately at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a degree in English. He is married to nine-time national team member and two-time Olympian Jen Dore-Terhaar and they have four children.

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