Under the direction of 12th-year head coach Jane LaRiviere in 2014, Washington State University has established a heritage as one of the leading women's rowing programs in the nation. The second head coach since Washington State rowing became an NCAA varsity team in 1990, LaRiviere led the Cougars' to their seventh NCAA Championship appearance in program history in 2011 and third in five years
In the fall of 2012, LaRiviere's Cougars were the top women rowers at the Head of the Pend Oreille, Head of Spokane, the Portland Loop, and the Portland Fall Classic. To end to fall, the Washington State rowing varsity eight finished second in the Head of the Lake while the junior varsity took first.
The Cougars opened the 2012 season ranked 14th. The team had an impressive showing at the Gonzaga duel, sweeping the events. A week later at home against Oregon State, the Cougars won every race again with the exception of the novice eight. The women placed fifth in the Pac-12 Championships.
LaRiviere helped coach the women in the boat and in the classroom as well. Sixteen Cougars earned Pac-12 Rowing All-Academic honors.
During the fall of the 2010-11 season, the Cougars drew national attention after the varsity eight took first place in the OGE NightSprint at the Head of the Oklahoma, beating out Stanford, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Tulsa. Later in the fall, the Cougars defeated Gonzaga twice, at the Head of the Spokane and later at the Head of the Snake. Entering the spring season, all eyes were on the Cougars as they traveled to the Ohio State Invite where they defeated then-No.15 Michigan and then-No. 11 Ohio State. To finish out the regular season, the Cougars swept Oregon State.
The Cougars were ranked 11th in the nation entering the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, taking home a fifth-place finish and securing a second straight at-large bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships, their seventh trip to the NCAA Championships in LaRiviere's nine seasons.
At the NCAA Championships, the Cougars took home a 12th-place finish, as all three boats competed in the petite finals. The varsity eight finished fifth in the petite final (12th overall), while the second varsity eight and varsity four each placed fourth in their races (10th overall).
To add to the success of the 2011 season, two rowers (Corinna Sharick and Sarah Wolff) were named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) All-America Teams, marking just the third time the Cougars have had multiple honorees in a season. Two Cougars (Liz England and Corinna Sharick) were invited to Women's National Team camps, Lisa Roman earned All-Pac-10 All-Conference honors, and 17 Cougar rowers earned Pacific-10 Rowing All-Academic Honors. Additionally, Liz Beck, Ann Hoag, and Kasia Rademacher were named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
In 2010, and with a national ranking of 11th going into the Pac-10 Championships, the Cougars sixth place finish solidified its spot in the NCAA Championships for the fifth time. WSU finished 13th overall at the championships at Lake Natoma, Calif. and hosted by Washington State. The varsity eight took second in the third final (14th overall), the second varsity eight finished second in the petite final (eighth overall), and the varsity four took third in the third final (15th overall).
In addition to the team's success, sophomore Katie Dick was named to the Pacific-10 Conference All-Conference team, Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association First Team, CRCA Division I West Region First Team and to the CRCA All-America Second Team.
In the 2009 season the WSU varsity eight raced tough against UW and Michigan,while the solid second varsity eight defeated Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon State. In addition, 2009 marked the inauguration of the Tom and Barbara Wilson Rowing Center, a venture brought to fruition through the efforts of LaRiviere and former WSU rowing coach Tammy Crawford. The facility features a state-of-the-art moving water indoor rowing tank, and will serve as part of LaRiviere's legacy at WSU.
With an eighth-place overall team finish, the 2008 NCAA appearance marked the Cougars' fourth such outing under LaRiviere's direction. Leading out was the varsity eight's ninth place finish, with the second varsity eight and varsity four coming in eighth in their respective races.
Leading up to their reemergence to the NCAA Championships in 2008, LaRiviere led the Cougars to match their second best Pacific-10 Championship finish all-time, placing third overall. Several key races built the Cougars' success in the 2008 campaign, including varsity eight and second varsity eight finishing second and third, respectively, at the Head of the Oklahoma, wins at the Head of the Lake and against Oregon State, varsity eight placing third at the San Diego Crew Classic, and the fourth-consecutive victory over cross-state rival Washington.
The Cougar varsity and second varsity eight recorded victories over UW in 2007, highlighting a season that ended with a seventh-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships.
In 2006, LaRiviere's rowing team made history by achieving the highest NCAA finish for any women's athletic program in WSU history. At the 2006 NCAA Division I Rowing Championship Regatta in West Windsor, N.J., all three WSU varsity boats posted top five finishes, earning the Cougars a fourth-place team standing.
At the 2006 Pac-10 Championships the WSU varsity eight and varsity four finished second in their respective grand finals, placing the team second overall, and marking the best Pac-10 finish in school history. Other top finishes included the varsity eight's 10th-place overall standing at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston and a victory at the Head of the Lake Regatta in Seattle. The Cougars also recorded wins against Stanford, Tennessee, and Clemson along with two spectacular wins against Washington, only the second and third in program history.
LaRiviere received professional recognition from her coaching peers for her outstanding coaching success in 2006. The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association named her the West Region Coach of the Year and the Pacific-10 Conference voted her the Women's Rowing Coach of the Year.
In the 2004 season (her second at WSU), LaRiviere guided the Cougars to a ninth overall finish at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars' NCAA appearance was highlighted by the second varsity eight's third-place finish. At the Pac-10 Conference Championships, WSU placed third overall under-scored by a runner-up effort from the second varsity eight squad.
During LaRiviere's first year with the Cougars (2002-03), third-place finishes by the varsity eight and varsity four crews led WSU to a tie for third at the Pac-10 Championships. Those results helped secure the program's first team bid to the NCAA Championships in school history. The Cougars' inaugural trip to the national championships resulted in a 12th-place team finish, which featured a top 10 performance by the varsity four crew.
LaRiviere came to the Palouse after spending eight years at Oregon State University where she served as the recruiting coordinator as well as the women's freshman and novice coach. While at OSU, LaRiviere guided the Beavers' novice eight to a 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championship and the varsity four to a second-place finish. In addition, LaRiviere directed the Beavers' novice eight to respective second and third-place finishes at the Pac-10 Championships in 2000 and 2001 and the varsity four to a second-place effort at the 2001 conference championships.
During LaRiviere's tenure at Oregon State , the women's rowing program posted third-place overall finishes at the Pac-10 Championships in 1998, 2001 and 2002. In addition, the Beavers' varsity eight placed 13th and 15th at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
LaRiviere began her coaching career in 1989 while attending graduate school at the University of Oregon. A native of Alberta, Canada, she went on to coach at the University of Western Ontario and for the London (Ontario) Rowing Club. While in Ontario, she assisted with the Canadian Women's National Team development camps. During the summer of 2001, LaRiviere was an apprentice national rowing team coach in Canada.
A U.S. Rowing Level III certified coach, LaRiviere earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Calgary (1986), a master's degree in athletic therapy from Oregon (1990), and her Ph.D. in biomechanics from Oregon State (2002).
Her daughter, Alice Jean LaRiviere, was born in August, 2003.
Note: LaRiviere is pronounced La-riv-e-a.