Aug. 7, 2007
The Patriot League recently conducted a brief question and answer session with Holy Cross Rowing Head Coach Patrick Diggins . Diggins, a 1986 graduate of Holy Cross, just finished up his 17th season as the head coach of the Crusader rowing program.
PL: How did you get into coaching rowing?
PD: I rowed at St. John's High in Shrewsbury, Mass. and then at Holy Cross. I started coaching at St. John's and went on to Holy Cross when a position opened.
PL: What is it like coaching at the school you attended as an undergraduate? What was your experience at Holy Cross like?
PD: I loved Holy Cross and I loved Holy Cross rowing. I was involved in a lot of different things in addition to athletics and loved all of it. Rowing was a big part of my time at Holy Cross but certainly didn't crowd everything else out. I feel like I have a great understanding of what the school is like, how demanding the academics are and also how important it is to experience as much as you can of what the school has to offer. I hope that I structure practices and the whole rowing experience so that the athletes leave feeling that they have enjoyed all the school can offer. It is actually more important to me that they leave Holy Cross having loved the school than to have just loved rowing here.
PL: What makes a good rowing coach?
PD: A good idea of how to verbalize what you see is very important. I think that great coaches are able to do that as well as take a young athlete, give them lofty goals, give them a road map to achieve the goals and then inspire them to achieve.
PL: Share your thoughts on coaching in the Patriot League - a conference that prides itself on the scholar-athlete model.
PD: Rowing attracts a very driven type of personality. I know that the level of competition in the Patriot League is now well recognized among rowing programs because our schools are attracting driven athletes that are also very driven academically. It is a great match.
PL: Any special plans for the summer?
PD: Catch up on all the things I didn't get done during the racing season. Spend time with my family. They don't see me much in April & May.