Walk-On Info

Thank you for your interest in rowing for Jacksonville University!

Be sure to attend our on-campus informational meeting and open boathouse during the first week of school.

Open Boathouse: Come meet the coaches and see the boathouse and equipment!

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 
Location: The Negaard Rowing Center


Informational Meeting: Come learn about the walk-on process and meet current team members! 

Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. 
Location: The Negaard Rowing Center (located next to Dolphin Green, right on the St. John’s River)



Do I need prior rowing experience? 

Nope! You need absolutely NO prior rowing experience. None. Just show up with a great attitude and good work ethic and we will teach you everything there is to know.

Do I need to know how to swim?

Boats rarely flip, but if one does, all rowers and coxswains need to be comfortable in water.  So you need to know how to float or tread water.

What is the practice schedule? I’ve heard rowers practice really early in the morning.

In the fall we will have a combination of morning and afternoon practices 5-6 days/week.  It is recommended you attend as many as possible, however we understand that with scheduling issues you may not be able to attend every single practice.

I have class some afternoons, can I still join the team? 

Yes! We understand that when you decided to come to JU you were not planning on rowing. For the fall semester, it is highly encouraged but not mandatory that you attend practice every day.  Prior to registering for spring classes you will be given the spring practice schedule so you can plan accordingly for your second semester. 

Where is the boathouse? 

The boathouse is right on campus!  If you walk towards the water you will find it right next to Dolphin Green and the Marine Science Center.  It sits over looking the beautiful St. Johns River.

What type of student-athlete is JU Rowing looking for?

The walk-ons on our team have come from all different backgrounds. However, successful walk-ons all display many of the following qualities:  

  • A great attitude 
  • A hard work ethic 
  • An athletic background (preferable but not mandatory) 
  • A desire to be competitive and a love to win 
  • A want to be a Varsity Division I athlete at JU
  • A commitment to long term goals  

Will my grades be affected by the time commitment?  Will I have time to do my school work?

Many of our team members are well above a 3.0. Our athletes have a wide range of majors in many different colleges, from early childhood education to aviation. Although it might seem overwhelming your freshman year, having a more structured day can help keep you focused and on task.  We also have many academic support services just for JU athletes that you can utilize should you need help. 

Why should I try rowing? 

  • Learn something new. 
  • Get into the best shape of your life. 
  • Have the opportunity to compete at the MAAC Conference and NCAA championships. 
  • Form close bonds with teammates who will act as your family and support system throughout your time at JU. 
  • Be around other driven athletes. 
  • Receive athletic scholarship during your sophomore year 

What are some of the benefits of being a varsity athlete at JU? 

Our student athletes put in a lot of hard work and time to represent Jacksonville University. The athletic department supports that commitment through a variety of different ways to ensure our athletes are able to train and compete at the highest of levels.

  • JU apparel to wear for practice and competitions 
  • Access to Sports Medicine facility and full-time athletic trainer for all athletic related injuries and issues 
  • Access to academic staff and support such as counselors, tutors, mentors and resume building workshops 
  • Competing at the highest level of collegiate sports. 
  • Compete to earn an athletic scholarship to help pay for your education.

What can I do this summer to prepare? 

Work out! We will ease you in slowly, but being in good shape coming in will only help you.

  • Biking, running, swimming, climbing, kayaking
  • Planks/ab exercises
  • Body weight squats
  • Yoga
  • The rowing stroke uses almost every muscle group in your body, so anything that will enhance your overall physical fitness is great! 

Are you 5'4" or shorter and weigh less than 115 lbs?

If so, you may want to try being a coxswain.  These are the little people who steer the boat and make calls for the rowers.   As a coxswain you are just as influential and part of the team as any of the rowers!



Have more questions?  Email Coach Maggie Dwyer at mdwyer@ju.edu.

Still not sure? Come try it anyway! Worst case, you learn a new sport and make good friends. Keep in mind though, half of the Olympic Women's rowing team in 2012 STARTED their rowing career in college… it could be you!