Rowing announces staff re-organization and expansion

Sept. 10, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University has promoted Jim Mitchell to director of rowing and hired Anna Talucci as head coach of the women's rowing program.

Mitchell, who was named head coach of both the JU men's and women's rowing programs in 2003, will now handle all administrative duties for both programs while continuing to serve as the head coach of the men's team. He will also direct the development of the Brooks Adaptive Rowing Program at the newly constructed Negaard Rowing Center on campus.

"Jim is well deserving of this promotion due to the incredible success we achieved last season and what he has accomplished since taking over the program," said JU director of athletics Alan Verlander. "To come away with three overall state point trophies and have such a strong showing at one of the most prestigious national regattas has definitely put JU rowing on the national scene. With the addition of the Negaard Rowing Center, I expect the success of the program to continue to flourish under Jim's direction."

Talucci spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Colgate women's program and will now take over the day-to-day operations of the Dolphin women's program. Ed Oxlade, who was named assistant coach last week, will direct all novice teams and part-time assistant Robert Johnson will assist Mitchell with the men's program. The head women's coach and part-time assistant position were created this year due to the recent success of the rowing program while also helping with the transition to the new state-of-the-art facility.

"We have a lot of positive changes this year," said Mitchell. "We have an unbelievable new facility, an experienced coaching staff and a large freshman class full of talented rowers. It feels like a brand new program but we have the tradition and support of a program that has existed for 50 years. It is very refreshing and exciting for me.

"The expansion of our staff will benefit every part of JU rowing. Both our women's and men's teams will be able to receive much more positive focus by the coaching staff on a daily basis."

Since taking over both programs in 2003, Mitchell has taken the Dolphins to new heights by increasing the level of success each season. Last year, JU celebrated its 50th anniversary by rewriting the record book with three overall state trophies at the FIRA State Championships while the men's squad placed third overall at the Dad Vail Regatta. While at the Dad Vails, the Dolphins had all four of their boats (three men, one women) reach the Grand Final of their respective events.

Talucci, who handled program administration, recruitment and development of the novice squad at Colgate, was also an instructor with the Outward Bound School in Newry, Maine during the summer. Prior to Colgate, she was an assistant coach for the women's rowing program at Temple University from 2004-05 while serving as a logistical coordinator of volunteers for the Pro Cycling Tour. She has also had coaching stints with the Wilmington (Del.) Youth Rowing Association, Navesink River (N.J.) Rowing Club and the Wilmington (Del.) Rowing Center.

"Anna has been a competitor and a coach for some excellent programs," Mitchell said. "She brings a great attitude and work ethic that will benefit our women's team exponentially."

As a student-athlete, Talucci was a four-year letterwinner with the UMass rowing program and served as a team captain her final two seasons. She helped lead the Minutewomen Varsity 8 to the Women's Henley Champions College 8 title (2003), four Atlantic 10 championships and a pair of Evelyn Bergman Trophies at the Dad Vail Regatta (2002-03). Talucci went on to earn her bachelor's degree at UMass in 2003 before receiving her master's in administration at West Chester University in 2005.

The Dolphins, who started training for the upcoming season last week, will open the fall season with their annual Alumni Race before hosting the First Coast Head Race on Oct. 13.