Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Dennison will now serve in an alternative role, while Williams will become the interim head coach.

August 22, 2017

Dennison to Fill New Role for Rowing, Former Olympian Williams Chosen as Interim Coach

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Athletic Director Andy Noel has announced that Liz Dennison will be stepping into the newly created role of Associate Director of Rowing after serving as head coach of the women’s team for three years. Former Canadian Olympic national team member Barney Williams will serve as the interim head coach of the rowing program in Dennison’s place.



Dennison’s new role will entail “supervision of the interim head women’s coach and the Boatman, coordinating the training information among the rowing coaches on staff, establishing a budget and facilities strategy for Cornell Rowing, and more,” according to the Athletics Department.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage in strategic planning and provide support for all of Cornell Rowing in this different role,” Dennison said. ”I am thankful to be able to continue my support of the Cornell women’s program, as well as heavyweight and lightweight men’s teams, in this new role.”

During her eight years with Cornell, Dennison has served the past three as the head coach of the women’s team and won the EAWRC Co-Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 before taking the helm.



Taking Dennison’s place is Barney Williams, who is coming off a summer in which he worked as the U23 Program Coach for the Rowing Canada’s men’s heavyweight program. Williams has also spent the past five years as the Lead Coach in Victoria for Rowing Canada’s Row to Podium Program. As an athlete, Williams won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the men’s coxless four and a gold medal at the 2003 FISA World Championships in the same event.

“We are thrilled [to] welcome Barney to the staff this year,” Dennison said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge with his own personal success as an Olympic medalist for Canada as well as his recent coaching successes on the national and international scene.”

“I would like to thank the Cornell University Athletic Department for this incredible opportunity to share my passion for rowing with the coaches and athletes of the entire Cornell crew,” Williams said. “I look forward to building on the foundations that have been laid by [Williams] and her team over the past couple years. This is an exciting challenge and I am committed to helping every student athlete realize their goals on and off the water.”