When Cal men’s rowing head coach Mike Teti took over in 2008, he had big aspirations for the Bears. Ten years, a Coach of The Year award and an IRA Championship later, Teti has announced that he plans to return to the U.S. men’s national team to lead them in preparation of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
He will make the move after the 2018 Bears’ rowing season concludes, so at the moment, Teti’s focus still remains set on coaching them throughout the Pac-12 schedule and to another IRA Championship this spring.
A legend among the rowing community, the 61-year-old Teti is a three-time Olympian himself and previously coached the U.S. national team to a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He is also the first in history to be inducted to the National Rowing Hall of Fame as both a coach and player.
Through past coaching gigs at Princeton and Temple in addition to his stint in Berkeley, Teti has earned himself the reputation of being able to shape up eight-man crews that can compete with the best in their fields. At Cal, Teti has kept the Bears firmly cemented near or at the top of the IRA rankings throughout his tenure, providing the team with plenty of expertise on navigating the waters.
One special concurrence in his decision to move to the national team, however, is that he won’t actually be moving at all. While Teti will move on from coaching at Cal after 2018, USRowing is opening up its main training center in a place quite familiar to Teti: the Gary T. Rogers Rowing Center, home of the Cal crew teams.
While Teti’s move from Cal will obviously hurt the program, he will be right here in Oakland to mentor his former student-athletes in his spare time. Additionally, the men of Cal rowing will have the incredibly unique opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best while the Olympic team trains for Tokyo.
The Bears’ 2018 season is slated to begin the weekend of March 24 at the San Diego Crew Classic, where Teti will begin his final season with a program looking to build off of a successful 2017. In the meantime, Cal is taking its time finding a replacement in order to sustain the success Teti has shaped. For now, all eyes are focused on the final weeks leading up to the spring season.
Shailin Singh covers crew. Contact him at