Aug. 6, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Melissa Flint, for the past four years the assistant women's rowing coach at Gonzaga University, has been promoted to head coach, Bulldogs athletic director Mike Roth announced Friday.
Flint replaces Glenn Putyrae who left earlier this summer to become the head women's coach at Georgetown University.
She inherits a program that has won 10 of the 11 West Coast Conference Championships since its inception as a WCC sport, has finished in the top three in the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ of the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) championship every year since 2001 and has captured three Varsity 8+, three Second Varsity 8+ and two Novice 8+ WIRA titles since 2002.
"Melissa has been a part of keeping a very successful program at the upper echelons of its sport," Roth said. "She is well respected among her peers and we have every confidence Gonzaga women's rowing will continue to grow under her guidance."
Flint doesn't see many changes taking place in the short term as she eases into her new position.
"I want to continue to build on what has already been done and take the program to the next level," she said. "Glenn did a great job with this program and our student-athletes take a lot of pride in what has been accomplished."
But she wants to see the program develop to take the next step.
"I don't think there's the pressure of maintaining the success we've had, but there's the pressure of building for the next step," Flint said. "Our goal is to break into the Pacific-10 Championship with all three boats in the Grand Final and to receive a NCAA bid."
Gonzaga's Novice 8+ won the Pac-10 title this past spring to cap a second straight undefeated season under Flint's guidance, while the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ rowed in the Petite Final. Flint was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) West Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2006.
Flint is looking forward to the upcoming season.
"I'm so excited about the team coming back. We had great success last year and we have a lot of student-athletes rowing this summer who have had success. We'll start with higher expectations than I've ever seen on this team," Flint said.
The new Bulldog head coach said she will begin her search for an assistant coach immediately.
Flint joined the Bulldogs for the 2003-04 season, coaching the Second Varsity 8+ to a second-place finish at the WCC Championship and at WIRA's. For the 2005 season, Flint coached the Varsity 4+ to a first-place finish at WCC's, third at WIRA's and fourth at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships.
A 4-year member of the Oregon State University rowing team from 1998-02, Flint was a 3-year varsity rower for the Beavers and captain of the 2002 squad that finished third at the Pac-10 Championships.
Following her collegiate rowing career, Flint remained at OSU as a volunteer coach for the 2003 season, working primarily with the women's novice team.
Flint has also spent one year as the head coach of the Corvallis Rowing Club Master's Program. She is a Level III U.S. Rowing certified coach.