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  • Sport

Skibb rowing legend Casey lauded as best coach in the world

Saturday, 1st December, 2018 1:00pm

Story by Kieran McCarthy
Skibb rowing legend Casey lauded as best coach in the world

Rowing coach Dominic Casey contemplates a question at a recent press conference. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

COACH Casey has got his just rewards.

Long recognised as one of the best coaches in the business thanks to his work with Skibbereen Rowing Club and, in recent years, with Rowing Ireland, Dominic Casey has been named World Rowing Coach of the Year.

The Skibbereen man, well known for his preference to shun the spotlight, took centre stage as he picked up his well-deserved accolade at a gala awards evening in Berlin.

His two most famous rowing students, Gary and Paul O’Donovan, were thrilled to see Coach Casey’s hard work and talent recognised.

‘This is an award that Dominic deserves,’ Gary told The Southern Star.

‘No matter what the feat or achievement has been, Dominic just keeps going forward.

‘From getting the first boat to the junior world championships to getting Skibb to 100 national championships and then to top of the championships’ list, from getting Orla Hayes to the world U23s, to getting Eugene (Coakley), Rich (Coakley) and Timmy (Harnedy) to the Olympics, then getting us to the Olympics and then a medal, nothing is ever enough for him. 

‘He keeps going and going, year after year. He’s relentless. It’s remarkable.’

Casey’s most famous achievement was coaching Gary and Paul to Olympic silver medals in 2016 and he also oversaw their terrific gold success in the lightweight double at the recent World Rowing Championships.

In Casey’s time as lightweight coach with Rowing Ireland, Paul has also won back-to-back world lightweight single titles, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan won world and European gold in the lightweight pair in 2017, and Denise Walsh took home silver from the 2017 Europeans. 

It’s a golden era for Irish rowing and Casey is the man in the background, busy coaching and improving the county’s elite rowers.

‘We are so proud of him,’ Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter says.

 ‘Dominic is a home-grown coach and it’s fantastic that we have a home-grown coach supporting an Olympic team and that he has been recognised by World Rowing for the work he has done. We are thrilled for him. It’s great recognition for all he has achieved and continues to achieve.’

It was the third year in a row that Casey was shortlisted for the World Rowing Coach of the Year award, while Gary and Paul were in the running for the Male Crew of the Year award that was won by the Australia four.