USRowing signs Verdonkschot

Josy Verdonkshot appointed new USRowing Chief High Performance Director

2 minute read
Words Tom Ransley
Photography Steve McArthur
Published 23.12.21

Josy Verdonkschot has been appointed as the new Chief High Performance Director at USRowing. He brings more than two decades of international coaching experience and a strong track record of success. He starts in the new year.

“Josy brings an international reputation for excellence and forward thinking to this role and we can’t wait for him to get started,” says USRowing’s CEO Amanda Kraus. “This has been a long search with many qualified candidates. Josy’s coaching and managerial skill set, focus on athlete wellness and care, and his deep understanding of sport science and technologies set him apart. We are thrilled to have him aboard.”

Verdonkschot has coached crews to seven Olympic medals; two gold, two silver, and three bronze. He was the Netherland’s head coach of the women from 2014 to 2021. The former A.S.R. Nereus coach has a strong interest in the measurability of data, physiology and innovation.

Josy says, “This position is the opportunity that I have been looking for. I am excited to meet the USA athletes and to build a coaching team and national team structure and culture to help make them successful”.        

At Tokyo 2020 Verdonkschot was forced into isolation after testing positive for Covid, yet he still led the Dutch women to three podium finishes, a silver medal in the four, a bronze medal in the double, and another bronze medal in the lightweight double. These results helped Netherlands to finish third in the rowing medal table.

At Rio 2016 Verdonkschot coached Isle Pauli and Maaike Head to the Olympic gold in the lightweight women’s double. During the Beijing Olympiad Verdonkschot coached Marit van Eupen to three consecutive world titles in the lightweight women’s single, before securing the Olympic gold medal at Beijing 2008 in the lightweight women’s double.

In November 2021 the Dutch Rowing Federation appointed Eelco Meenhorst to overall head coach, he’d been the Dutch men’s sculling coach at Tokyo 2020. “It came as a surprise to many people,” according to a Dutch national team member. Verdonkschot found the reshuffle disagreeable and left the Dutch team in early December. Verdonkschot’s farewell message to his athletes was reported by nlroei:

“I can neither personally nor substantively agree with the new course that the rowing association is taking… It’s not an easy choice, I will miss you all. We have a lot of beautiful things to look back on. Have faith and trust in yourself, take good care of each other.”

With the Dutch door firmly closed. The American one opens.


The USRowing’s search committee tasked with finding the next Chief High Performance Director is: