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Megan Cooke Carcagno named Duke rowing head coach

Wisconsin associate head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno will replace Robyn Horner as the second head coach of Duke rowing, vice president and director of athletics Kevin White announced Tuesday.

Cooke Carcagno has served on the Badger coaching staff for the past seven years and was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2012. The Blue Devil rowing program has been without a head coach since May, when Horner announced her retirement after leading the team since the program's inception in 1998.

"Megan Cooke Carcagno is an outstanding addition to the Duke coaching staff as the head rowing coach,” White said in a GoDuke release. “Not only does she understand the tremendous effort it takes to become a world-class athlete, she is bright, enthusiastic, and charismatic—and precisely the right fit for Duke rowing at this time."

During her time in Madison, Cooke Carcagno spent five years as the freshmen coach, one as a varsity assistant and the 2015 campaign as associate head coach. Under her direction in 2009, the novice and second novice eights earned Big Ten titles and the novice eight won the NCAA Central Regional regatta.

She earned her second CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year honor in 2012, and was nominated again last season after helping the Badgers earn their eighth consecutive NCAA Championship berth. Cooke Carcagno primarily directed the second varsity eight, which placed ninth at the event.

She will now take over a program that has recorded 12 top-three finishes at the ACC championship meet and produced six All-Americans.

"I have always looked at this university and athletic department with a sense of awe, and I am thrilled to now be a part of it," Cooke Carcagno said in the release. “I can't wait to take the next giant step with the current student-athletes, and make a huge push to turn Duke into a rowing powerhouse. The Duke student is known to be exceptional, and Duke rowing will mirror those ambitions.”

As a rower at California, Cooke Carcagno was a two-time first-team All-American before graduating in 2002. The Los Gatos, Calif., native was part of the U.S. National Team from 2004 until 2007 and helped establish a world record for Team USA as part of the 2006 World Champion women's eight. Prior to joining the Wisconsin coaching staff, Cooke Carcagno was an assistant coach for the Golden Bears for six years.

"For several years, Megan has played an integral role in the success of Wisconsin’s formidable rowing program. Her background as an elite competitor at California and the United States National Team, as well as her innate ability to relate easily with today’s student-athletes, will serve Duke well as the head coach," White said in the release. "We cannot wait for her to make an immediate—and permanent—impact on the Duke rowing program.”

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