James Mitchell Named Head Rowing Coach

Aug. 1, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU has hired James Mitchell, a former assistant coach at West Virginia and head coach at Miami, as head rowing coach, athletic director Hugh Durham announced today. Mitchell, who has been coaching rowing for nearly 10 years, replaces Mark Beckenbach, who retired after coaching the Dolphins for a total of 10 years in two stints (1987-1991, 1997-2003).

Mitchell comes to JU after one year as assistant women's rowing coach at West Virginia, where he helped the Mountaineers finish in the top five of four races at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships and the varsity eight to a Top 25 national ranking. At WVU he served as recruiting coordinator, directed the training program of the novice teams, developed the strength and conditioning program and planned land and water practices. Prior to WVU, Mitchell was the men's head coach at Miami from 1998-2002 and the head rowing coach for the Atlanta Junior Rowing Association from 1994-1998.

"We're excited about the possibilities of James continuing the excellent tradition of JU rowing," Durham said. "His infectious energy and successful coaching background make him a perfect fit for our program."

Mitchell rowed at Tennessee-Chattanooga, where earned the Senior Rower Award, and was part of the Top 20 wrestling squad. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1992 and received his Master's in special education from Georgia State in 2001.

Mitchell inherits the men's and women's programs that combined to capture six state titles at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships last spring. The Dolphin program is rich with tradition, having captured eight national championships at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta and regularly competing at the Head of the Charles in Boston and the Royal Henley Regatta in Henley, England.