CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT has announced that Previn Chandraratna has joined the women's openweight crew coaching staff as the team's novice coach. He replaces Aaron Benson who was recently named the head coach at the University of Puget Sound.
"Previn brings 11 years of coaching experience as well as a high level of achievement towards national team aspirations," said Head Openweight Coach Holly Metcalf. "He also has tremendous experience working with and motivating athletes with all levels of experience. This team is on an upward trajectory and has done so with a combination of walk-ons and recruits. The team environment is one of high challenge and high support, so that "anything is possible" becomes a reality and not a pipe dream. Previn's positive energy, superb technical coaching skills, and experience bringing the best out of his athletes are the assets needed to help bring the MIT openweight Engineers to the next level."
No stranger to the collegiate level, Chandraratna was the freshman men's heavyweight crew coach at his alma mater, Columbia University, from 1999 to 2003. As Director of Recruiting, he tripled the size of the varsity squad, and he coached his crews to some of the program's fastest results in decades, including finishes ahead of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Cornell.
As a junior coach at Community Rowing, Row New York, and PCRA, Chandraratna helped his squads to achieve tremendous success, including over sixty medaling performances, ten state championships, and a national championship. As a Director of Programs and Head Coach at Row New York, he was a founding member of the US Rowing Task Force that focused on broadening access to the sport of rowing, he earned the 2008 PASEsetter Award for excellence in youth development across all New York City non-profit organizations, and his program earned the 2011 US Rowing Anita De Frantz Award.
A 1997 graduate of Columbia University, Chandraratna was a three-time member of the first varsity heavyweight eight, a team captain, and a Most Valuable Rower Award recipient. He was an accomplished sculler with Riverside Boat Club and Union Boat Club High Performance Camp and won a National Club Championship with New York Athletic Club. Shortly after graduating, he trained with the U.S. National Team at the National Sculling Center in Augusta, Georgia.