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UCF Hires Mara Allen as New Rowing Head Coach

Four-time NCAA champion Allen tabbed to lead UCF Rowing into Big 12

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

The UCF Knights Rowing program hired former Texas assistant coach Mara Allen to be its new head coach as they transition into the conference, the program announced Wednesday evening.

Allen has coached at Texas since 2014 under six-time Big 12 Coach of the Year Dave O’Neill. She spent seven seasons as an assistant coach before getting promoted to associate head coach last summer. During her tenure in Austin, the Longhorns won eight consecutive Big 12 titles, two team NCAA National Championships in 2021 and 2022, and an individual NCAA Championship with their Varsity Four boat last season.

Allen takes over a rowing program that will transition into the Big 12 on July 1.

“I believe the rowing team is poised to do great things,” Allen said in a press release. “There is a lot of work to be done and I am excited for all the challenges ahead.”

Before she coached under O’Neill, Allen was a student-athlete of his during his days at California. According to the California Rowing Info Guide, Allen was an All-American in 2007 and 2008, Pac-12 All-Conference three times from 2006-2008, and won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2005 and 2006.

After college, Allen joined the United States Rowing National Team from 2008-2012, earning a gold medal with the Women’s Eight boat at the 2009 World Rowing Championships and a bronze medal with the Women’s Four boat at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. Allen was recently involved once again with the U.S. National team, serving as a Women’s Sweep Assistant for the 2022 World Rowing Championships.

“Those experiences, combined with her familiarity with the Big 12 and her ability to communicate and motivate, will make her the perfect fit for our rowing program,” UCF athletic director Terry Mohajir said.