Sept. 8, 2007
The Patriot League recently conducted a brief question and answer session with Lehigh Rowing Head Coach Liz Meltzer. Meltzer is in her first year as the head coach of the Mountain Hawks after spending two years as an assistant.
PL: How does it feel to take over a program you have been assisting with for the past two years?
LM: Having been an assistant at Lehigh for two seasons watching the growth of the Lehigh rowing program and the individual student-athletes was very exciting and rewarding for me personally. To now have taken the reigns of this program and put my personal touch on it is the realization of a life-long dream at a place that I deeply care about and truly enjoy working at is amazing. It was always my pleasure to work with former Head Coach Paul Savell and to learn under his tutelage and I extremely excited to continue what he worked so hard to establish and build upon that.
PL: How did you get into coaching rowing?
LM: After I completed my undergraduate degree and moved back to D.C., I immediately began to investigate where I could continue rowing. Then it turned out I needed to have knee surgery so rowing was temporarily out of the question. When I began working on a master's degree in Neuroscience at American University, I figured I could at least stay involved in the sport by offering to help with the club program while I got my knee back into shape. I emailed the program's team president to see if they needed any help and it turned out they were looking for coaches. After one semester with the team, I knew that I belonged on the water instead of in a research laboratory. Dr. Karch in the Department of Health and Fitness at American suggested that I transfer into the Health Promotion Management masters program to study exercise physiology and I've never looked back.
PL: What are you most proud of from your collegiate racing days?
LM: I am not proud of one individual thing from my collegiate rowing days, but rather the important life lessons that I learned nearly every day on the water and continue to apply as a coach and mentor to our student-athletes today. Lessons such as commitment, perseverance, time management and team work were very important to me then and continue to fuel what drives me as an educator.
PL: Share your thoughts on coaching in the Patriot League - a conference that prides itself on the scholar-athlete model.
LM: Working with young individuals who are true student-athletes re-affirms why I enjoy coaching and educating. The kids at our university understand that academics and athletics can co-exist and that the things they learn today, be it in the classroom or on the water, will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The collegiate experience goes a long way towards shaping the type of person we become and Patriot League student-athletes realize what a valuable time in their lives this is.
PL: Did you do anything special over the summer?
LM: I think being able to interview for the head coaching position at Lehigh was pretty specia1! In addition to that, I learned how to drywall. Coach Flanagan, Coach Highhill and I finished the upstairs of our boathouse and constructed a new locker room and a year round erg facility. We developed and implemented a summer recruiting schedule unlike anything the program has done before, ran four weeks of rowing camp and began master's and junior rowing programs. Between the search process and running the program in the absence of a head coach, there really was not much time for a vacation but I don't really think of coaching rowing as work. It's what I love to do so I never really need a break! Even when I try, I always find myself back at the boathouse!