Florida Tech AD Jamie Joss Names Adam Thorstad Head Coach of Panther Men’s Rowing Program
By Christina Hardman, Florida Tech News Bureau // July 29, 2023
Thorstad served as the Florida Tech women's rowing head coach for 16 seasons
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Director of Athletics Jamie Joss announced Adam Thorstad as the next head coach of the Florida Tech men’s rowing program. Thorstad served as the Florida Tech women’s rowing head coach for 16 seasons.
“Thanks to Casey Baker for stepping up and leading the men’s rowing program the past five months, and during that time, Adam was also a major contributor to the success the men experienced in the Spring,” Joss said. “As an alum and former Florida Tech men’s rower, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge, passion for coaching with proven success, and unwavering dedication as we embark on this new chapter of Florida Tech men’s rowing.”
During Thorstads 16 seasons with the women’s rowing program, earned SSC Coach of the Year six times, five Boat of the Year winners, 56 All-SSC selections, 16 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans, and produced six NCAA appearances with a runner-up finish in 2019.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with the men’s program at my alma mater,” said Thorstad. “The dedication and fortitude these young men showed in the face of adversity last year is exactly the character we can build a strong program around over the next few years.”
In his first season at the helm, the Panthers placed second overall at the SSC Championships and third at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships and the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. They fared well against some of the best competition in the country, finishing sixth at the Dad Vail Regatta and the NCAA Division II Championships.
He guided the women’s varsity eight and four to the program’s second NCAA Division II Women’s Rowing Championship appearance in his fourth season in 2010. Tech finished fourth in overall points, with the varsity eight placing sixth and varsity four taking second.
Thorstad produced three of the program’s best finishes from 2017-2019. The Panthers won back-to-back-to-back conference titles and NCAA appearances.
In 2017, the Varsity 8 boat finished at NCAAs, while the team also accrued wins at Knecht Cup and FIRA for the first time since 1983.
The following season was comprised of winning back-to-back Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association and Sunshine State Conference titles, coupled by a Silver medal at SIRA, a Margaret McNiff trophy at Dad Vail’s, and a consecutive third-place finish at the NCAA DII Women’s Rowing Championships.
In 2019, Thorstad brought the Panthers to their most successful season in program history as the Tech finished runner-up at the NCAA Championship. The Panthers continued its domination of the FIRA and SSC regattas, which led his team to sweep the SSC awards and two members of the team to be named Pocock/CRCA All-America First Team.
Prior to stepping into his role at Florida Tech, Thorstad gained head coaching experience while teaching precalculus and geometry at Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami, Fla. At the institution, he was involved with coaching and training the varsity, junior varsity, and novice athletes, as well as recruitment and retention. During his one year, he helped lead the boy’s team to a fourth-place finish at the Florida Scholastic State Regatta.
Thorstad was a graduate assistant at Marietta College from 2003-05. His duties included recruiting and coaching freshmen and overseeing the student work-study program. At Dad Vail’s, his freshman eight crew bested its competition in 2004 and 2005, taking third.
Upon graduating from Florida Tech in 2001, Thorstad was the Panthers men’s rowing assistant coach for two years. Under his guidance, the 2002 freshman eight took fifth at Dad Vail, and his 2003 freshman four earned third place.
A men’s rowing alum, he served as his team’s captain for the 2000-01 season. He helped the men’s pair collect a fourth-place finish at Dad Vail in 2000. One year later, his varsity four took third place.
Thorstad earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Florida Tech in 2001 and his Master’s in Education from Marietta College in 2005.
He holds Level III Coaching Certification from the USRowing Association.
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