Kevin Gruber, who served four seasons as an assistant at the University of Connecticut, was named the new women’s rowing head coach at the University of Delaware in August, 2012.
He begins his fifth season at the helm of the Blue Hens in 2016-17. During his tenure, he has led the team to a pair of fourth place team finishes at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships in 2014 and 2016.
His Varsity Four crew earned a third place finish at the 2016 CAA Championships and he has coached seven first team All-CAA selections, two College Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) All-Mid-Atlantic Region picks, and numerous members of the CAA Academic Honor Roll, and College Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete. His teams are annually one of the highest achieving academic squads among UD athletics teams.
Gruber, who became just the third head coach in school history, replaced Laura Slice, who served the previous nine seasons. Jinny Jang led the team as interim head coach during the 2012 campaign.A 2000 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Gruber served four seasons at Connecticut under head coach Jennifer Sanford-Wendry, including his role as associate head coach in 2011-12.
"I’m thrilled to be a Blue Hen,” said Gruber. “It was clear to me throughout the interview process that Delaware would be a great fit for me and I’m happy that the search committee felt the same way. I’m looking forward to working with the student-athletes and building on UD’s tradition of Dad Vail and CAA success under Coach Kukla and Coach Slice."
Connecticut finished fifth as a team at the Big East Championships each of the last three seasons and enjoyed success at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta. In 2009, Gruber coached UConn's Second Varsity Eight to a fifth placed finish at Dad Vail and a fourth place finish at the Big East Championships.
In both 2010 and 2011, UConn's Second Varsity Eights crew advanced to the Dad Vail semifinals with the 2011 crew also finishing fifth at both the Big East Championships and the Knecht Cup Regatta.
Gruber coached UConn’s Novice Eights in 2012, leading the team to a second place finish at the Big East Championships and a semifinal berth at the Dad Vail Regatta. Another highlight came in Fall 2011 when Gruber helped coach UConn's Varsity Eights boat to a third place finish at the Head of the Charles Regatta. In addition, several UConn student-athletes earned academic and all-region honors over the past four years.
Prior to coming to UConn, Gruber served in the same position at Southern Methodist University for four years. He was the primary coach for the freshmen and novice boats at SMU and had various other responsibilities in the program.
Gruber served as the head coach of men's and women's rowing at the University of Charleston (W. Va.) from 2002-04. At Charleston, he also was a games management coordinator and served as the school's sports information director. He began his coaching career by serving as a men's assistant coach at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine) in 2000-01 followed by a year as graduate assistant coach with the West Virginia University women's program.
While a student at UMass, Gruber was a four-year member of the men's crew club team and earned his undergraduate degree in sport management and journalism. He earned a master's degree from West Virginia in athletic coaching education.
Gruber was also involved with the Riverfront Recapture rowing program in Hartford, Conn., coaching men's masters rowers, adult-learn-to-row, and youth summer camps.
Gruber and his wife, Kate, welcomed the birth of their first child, Jack, on Aug. 15, 2015.
Gruber's Career Year-by-Year at Delaware
|2012-13||Head Coach||Delaware|| 5th Place
|2013-14||Head Coach||Delaware|| 4th Place
|| 19th, Dad Vail Regatta
|2014-15||Head Coach||Delaware|| 5th Place
|| 9th, Dad Vail Regatta
|2015-16||Head Coach||Delaware|| 4th Place