Florida Tech to Reinstate Men’s Rowing Amid Lawsuit, Panthers Begin Search for New Head Coach
By Florida Tech Sports Information // February 27, 2023
panthers now re-join four other NCAA Division II rowing programs nationwide
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Pursuant to the direction of United States District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza, Florida Institute of Technology has reinstated men’s rowing as a varsity sport.
It now re-joins four other NCAA Division II rowing programs nationwide.
In addition to this official reinstatement, Florida Tech has also:
■ Identified and prepared to provide equipment previously used by the men’s rowing team for their exclusive use
■ Posted a job announcement for a head coach
■ Begun the interview process to hire an interim head coach
Florida Tech is communicating with club rowers regarding this reinstatement of varsity rowing and working with them on the logistics of the reinstatement.
Florida Tech announced on June 28, 2022, that the men’s and women’s rowing teams will become club sports. In response, the Friends of FIT Rowing Association alumni group responded by filing a federal lawsuit saying:
Immediately following that announcement, students, parents, alumni, and friends of rowing quickly began taking action to convince the University to reverse the decision as soon as possible. Upwards of 100 letters of support were written and sent to the Athletic Director, VP for Development, and Board of Trustees.
The students created an online petition that has garnered over 8,000 signatures. Students, parents and FFRA also contacted the media and were spotlighted in several news segments and articles. The Florida Tech Alumni Association and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee officially stated their support in letters to the Board of Trustees.
FFRA formed a Rapid Response Team that immediately engaged with the University and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
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