Iowa head rowing coach Andrew Carter resigns

After eight years at the helm of the Iowa rowing program, head coach Andrew Carter stepped down Tuesday. Assistant Katie Thurstin will take over head coaching duties.

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Jeff Sigmund

Coach Andrew Carter speaks with reporters at the end of Iowa rowing competition on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor


Iowa Athletics announced Tuesday that head rowing coach Andrew Carter has resigned, effective immediately. 

Carter was named head coach of Iowa rowing in July 2013, and spent eight years at the helm of the program.

“I have had the opportunity to work with countless wonderful people over the past eight years and I’ll always appreciate that opportunity and value those relationships. Thank you to Athletic Director [Gary] Barta for providing that,” Carter said in a Tuesday release. “This is the right time for my family and me, however, so I’m ready to see someone new have that chance. I wish the very best to not only the rowing team, but all of Hawkeye athletics in the future.”

Under Carter’s tenure as head coach, Iowa rowing appeared in the NCAA Championships for three straight seasons from 2017-19 — marking the second, third, and fourth appearance in program history. 

Iowa also appeared in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll 33 times, with the highest ranking coming at No. 7 nationally in 2018. 

Carter was the CRCA Regional Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

In an abridged 2020 schedule, Iowa finished seventh at the Big Ten Championships May 16, and did not advance to the NCAA Championships.

“We appreciate the years of service Coach Carter has provided as the head of our women’s rowing program,” Barta said in a release. “We wish him the best of luck moving forward. A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.”

The former coach and the Hawkeye rowing program is currently tabbed to host the U.S. Rowing U23 Selection Camp in 2020 and 2021.

Carter did not specify any future plans after his resignation in the release.

Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Katie Thurstin will serve as interim head coach while Iowa Athletics searches for Carter’s replacement.

Before joining the rowing coaching staff on Sept. 30, 2021, Thurstin was the head coach of the men’s and women’s rowing teams at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, from 2017-21. She previously served as an assistant coach at Drake University and the head coach of the Des Moines Rowing Club.

Thurstin did not start rowing competitively until her junior year of undergraduate study at the University of Minnesota, and graduated with a degree in Global Studies in 2003. 

Thurstin is currently a student at Stetson University, working toward an MBA.

Iowa rowing has one other member of its coaching staff — graduate assistant Katie Pearson.

Pearson joined the coaching staff after her graduation from Iowa in 2021. She competed for Hawkeye rowing from 2017-21, and is pursuing a master’s degree in teaching at Iowa.

Iowa rowing started its season on Oct. 1 in Iowa City with an exhibition against Indiana and Wisconsin.  The Hawkeyes will compete at the Jayhawk Jamboree Oct. 24 in Lawrence, Kansas, before a three-month break in competition.

The Hawkeyes will start their spring rowing season in Merritt Island, Florida, with an exhibition against SMU on Feb. 10.

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