Mark G. "Skip" Braatz begins his first year as the Director of Rowing. Braatz will oversee the crew program for both the Stanford men's and women's teams.
"I am looking forward to the challenges of reviving the Stanford tradition of rowing excellence as well as creating new levels of achievement within the university's crew program. The construction of the University's magnificent five bay boathouse is the dramatic first step in achieving those goals."
Braatz has achieved many goals in his coaching career. He has served as the head coach and rowing director of the highly successful Los Gatos Rowing Club since 1979. Braatz began the club, which now serves over 100 juniors each season, with 12 members in 1979. Former members of the club have moved on to row at Stanford and other prestigious universities such as Boston College, Boston University, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Georgetown, Princeton, Syracuse and Yale.
"We are pleased that we were able to hire Skip as the director of rowing at Stanford," said Stanford Athletic Director Ted Leland. "He is one of the most respected and highly thought of coaches in his sport."
Braatz also has coaching experience at the collegiate level as he established the women's crew program at Santa Clara in 1976. In addition, he spent five years involved with various collegiate and high school crew programs in the Buffalo area (1971-75).
Braatz received his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from San Jose State in 1977 and is currently working on his master's degree in Kinesiology with a Sport Psychology emphasis at San Jose State. He participated in competitive rowing both nationally and internationally until 1989 and was a member of a national championship team in 1971.
Braatz has served on the board of directors for the Southwest Junior Rowing Association (1989-99), was a junior men's representative for the United States Rowing Association (1982-84) and was chosen as SW Regional Coach of the Year in 1995.