Todd P. Kennett

Todd P. Kennett

Todd Kennett (b. April 14, 1970, Middlebury, Connecticut) is a coach of the Division I Collegiate lightweight rowing program at Cornell University. In 2006, his varsity boat captured both the Eastern Sprints Regatta and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships ("IRA").

Early life

Todd Kennett was born in 1970 in Middlebury, Connecticut. His parents were farmers and he learned hard work at a young age.

In 1987, at age 18, he entered as a freshman at Cornell University, an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, NY. A 1991 graduate of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Kennett received his bachelor of science degree in animal sciences. In his time at Cornell, Kennett was a standout on the Heavyweight crew. He competed in the first freshman eight his first year and went on to row in the varsity eight for three consecutive seasons, including the 1991 campaign in which the varsity finished third at the IRA regatta and competed at the Henley Royal Regatta. He received the Butler Award for outstanding leadership and athletic performance as a senior. Also in his junior and senior years at Cornell, Kennett rowed in the U.S. Rowing Olympic Development and Pre-Elite camps. He also competed in the 1989 and 1990 Olympic Festivals, winning a bronze and silver, respectively.

Coaching career - the early days

After Graduating from Cornell in June 1991, Kennett served as coach of the Ithaca College women's novice rowing program from 1992-1993. He led the squad to a 22-2 record, two New York State Small School titles and two Murphy Cups. His Bomber crews also earned silver and bronze medals at the Dad Vail Regatta.

Following his success at Ithaca College, Kennett was hired in 1994 by Cornell University to take over the position of freshman lightweight crew coach. In his second year of coaching lightweights, Kennett lead his freshman to a silver medal finish at the eastern sprints on June 17 1995. His success continued with his first freshman eight earning bronze at the 1998 Eastern Sprints, while the second freshman boat taking silver. A tribute to Kennett's all inclusive coaching style, Cornell's second freshman eight was undefeated during both the 1996 and 1997 regular seasons. Kennett's success continued beyond coaching freshman lightweights. Under Kennett, the four-with-coxswain finished third at the IRA Championship Regatta in 1994.

Coaching career - head coach

Todd Kennett was named the Robert B. Tallman Class of 1941 Men's Lightweight Rowing Head Coach in 1998. In 2001, all three of his crews made it to the grand final of the Eastern Sprints Regatta. Kennett has always enjoyed success in the small boats at the IRA Championship Regatta. In 2001, his varsity pair earned a silver medal. In both 2004 and 2005 his pair won gold at the IRA Championship Regatta. And at the 2006 IRA, his pair placed a close third. It should be noted that this is an open weight race, and his lightweight boats had to overcome a weight disadvantage.

In 2005, Kennett's varsity boat won a bronze at the Eastern Sprints followed with a Silver at the IRA Regatta. After losing many seniors, in what was considered to be an off year for the Big Red, Kennett lead his team to the most successful season for Cornell lightweights since the 1960s. Both his first and second varsity boats captured Gold at the 2006 Eastern Sprints regatta. His team also narrowly missed winning the Jope Cup points trophy, which went to Navy. His varsity followed up its Eastern Sprints victory with a narrow win over Harvard at the IRAs to win the National Championship. In 2007, Kennett again led the lightweights to victories at both Sprints and IRA, winning the Jope and becoming the most successful lightweight program in history.

In both 2005 and 2006, the varsity boat went to the Henley Royal Regatta and raced in the Temple Challenge Cup, placing second both years to Oxford Brookes University. In 2007, they lost to the Stanford Freshman.


* [ Profile at Big Red official website]
* [ Linda Muri's Profile at Harvard's website]

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