Mr. Hargis wins USRowing Man of the Year Award
For the past 14 years, Steve Hargis has spent his days scheduling games as the Athletic Director. But on the side, he’s winning gold. The rowing legend has brought home many international medals to US soil, and recently won the USRowing Man of the Year award.
“Man of the Year is awarded to a person who has greatly contributed to rowing in the United States. Steve’s leadership of the U.S. U19 program is likely what caused the Board of Directors to vote him into this recognition,” said USRowing Marketing and Communications Manager Dan Brauchli.
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Hargis has coached at the Coast Guard Academy, U19 National Men’s team, and U19 National Women’s team. In 2008, his team won the first gold medal for the U.S. women’s eight at the 2008 World Rowing Junior Championship. Despite his successful coaching, he said he isn’t worried about getting recognition.
“I’m not in too many photographs. I’m usually behind the scenes. I’m not standing down there near the medal stands when they get their medals. It’s about them. I want the athletes to be the ones who get recognized,” said Mr. Hargis.
Mr. Hargis spends every chance he can to help improve the rowing program. Over these two decades, he’s only spent one summer at home. His commitment to rowing and winning the award most definitely inspired many people around the community, such as Parker Kennedy, current captain of the ELHS crew team.
“His award showed that if I dedicate enough time and work, anything can be accomplished,” said Kennedy.
Although Mr. Hargis is starting to wind down his rowing career, his goal is to extend the rowing organization and make an Olympic Development Program (ODP). Rowing isn’t the most mainstream sport, but creating an Olympic Development Program is a step closer.
The award is voted through the USRowing Board of Directors, meaning Mr. Hargis was unaware of the nomination. Even with the historic individual reward, his initial reaction was humble.
“All that crossed my mind was that I couldn’t be happier-for all the people who have been involved in this program for the last 20 years with all they’ve contributed really came to me. I’m receiving this for every hour, every day, and every minute these athletes put in to work hard to race internationally,” said Mr. Hargis.