Amy Fuller Kearney enters her 14th season at the helm of the UCLA women’s rowing program in 2014-15 and has established the Bruins as a consistent national competitor. After making a successful transition from a club team to a varsity program in 2001-02, UCLA earned its first-ever team bid to the NCAA Championships in 2010. The Bruins have advanced to the NCAA Championships each of the past three seasons – 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The last three years have produced consistently top marks and strong results for the UCLA women’s rowing program. In addition to three consecutive team appearances at NCAA Championships, UCLA has routinely been ranked among the nation’s top 15 programs on the weekly CRCA collegiate polls. The Bruins have finished as high as third at Pac-12 Championships (2012) and have competed with resounding success at national events such as the San Diego Crew Classic and the Clemson Invitational.
Most recently, UCLA finished 12th overall at the 2014 NCAA Championships, with the team’s second varsity eight finishing second in the Petite Final (eighth overall). The Bruins’ varsity eight crew advanced to the Grand Final at the San Diego Crew Classic and won each of its three races against the nation’s top competitors at the Clemson Invitational.
UCLA posted its two highest team finishes at the NCAA Championships in back-to-back seasons. The Bruins finished eighth in 2012 and were ninth in 2013. UCLA’s varsity eight crew finished first in the Petite Final (places 7-12) at each of those two NCAA Championships. Britta Syverson capped her four-year career in 2013 by becoming UCLA’s second three-time All-America selection, along with Vanessa Teff.
The Bruins’ 2012 squad not only secured the program’s best-ever finish at NCAA Championships (eighth), but also raced to a third-place team finish at Pac-12 Championships, the highest such finish of any UCLA team at the season-culminating event. Not only did UCLA’s varsity eight finish first in the Petite Final at NCAA Championships, but the Bruins’ second varsity eight finished sixth in the Grand Final, and the varsity four was first in the Petite Final.
Fuller Kearney helped UCLA break into its first-ever NCAA Championships as a team in 2010, when the Bruins finished 12th overall at the national event. UCLA’s eight finished ninth at the 2010 NCAA Championships, placing higher than any Pac-12 program in the Petite Final.
UCLA’s previous NCAA Championship appearances included varsity eight at-large selections in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The eight crew’s highest finish in that three-year span was a 12th-place finish in 2006.
Fuller Kearney led the Bruins’ top two varsity eights to the Pac-10 Championship Grand Final from 2004 through 2007. UCLA’s second varsity eight won the silver medal in 2005 and 2006 at the Pac-10 Championships.
Over the last seven seasons, Fuller Kearney has guided UCLA to a consistent place in the national rankings. UCLA has secured a ranking as high as No. 3 in 2012, No. 5 in 2013, No. 9 in 2014, No. 11 in 2010, No. 13 in 2008 and 2009, and No. 17 in 2011. Most recently, the Bruins finished the 2014 campaign ranked No. 12 in the CRCA national poll.
Upon conclusion of the 2009 season, UCLA’s Vanessa Teff was honored as an All-Pac-10 selection for the fourth consecutive season, becoming the first women’s rower in program history to accomplish that feat. In addition, Teff secured CRCA All-West Region honors.
UCLA’s 2007 team earned an at-large varsity eight bid to NCAA Championships, where they finished 14th overall. The Bruins helped earn the at-large entry after finishing fourth overall at Pac-10 Championships in May.
In 2006, the varsity eight raced to a 12th-place finish as an at-large selection to the NCAA Championships. Racing at the 2006 San Diego Crew Classic, UCLA advanced to the Grand Final in all three events and finished fifth in the varsity eight race.
The Bruins made history in 2005, sending their first-ever varsity eight to NCAA Championships as an at-large bid. The Bruins’ crew finished 15th overall. Earlier that season, UCLA advanced to the Grand Final in each event at Pac-10 Championships. The first eight raced to a top-16 ranking and an at-large invite to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history. The second eight made history, bringing home a silver medal from the Pac-10 Championships, a first at UCLA since rowing was elevated to NCAA varsity status.
Named UCLA’s head coach on July 2, 2001 – the sport's inaugural NCAA season – Fuller Kearney came to Westwood after having served one year as assistant coach for the Stanford women’s crew program (2000-01). At Stanford, she guided the Cardinal to its first top-20 national ranking in the program’s NCAA history.
Prior to serving as assistant coach at Stanford, Fuller Kearney was an assistant coach at San Diego State for two years (1998-2000). She worked with the Aztecs while training for the 2000 Olympics with the U.S. National Team. Fuller Kearney has also spent time working as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (1996-98) and for the U.S. National Team (1997).
From 1993-96, Fuller Kearney served as a motivational speaker for Champion International, a U.S. Rowing sponsor. She began her coaching career at UC Santa Barbara, her alma mater. From 1990-91, she led the women's novice program. Two years later, from 1992-93, she was the head coach of the women's team.
A three-time Olympian and world record holder, Fuller Kearney has accrued a strong national and international rowing background. In 1993, she earned U.S. Rowing Female Athlete of the Year honors. Two years later, she was a finalist for the Sullivan Award, presented annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete. She spent the fall and winter of 1995 competing with the America's Cup Syndicate, America 3. She was a member of the first ever all-women's team to challenge for the America's Cup.
As a starboard aft grinder, Fuller Kearney used her strength and endurance to earn a starting spot among the world's top female sailors. In the spring and summer, Fuller Kearney again turned her focus to rowing and helped the women's eight to a World Championship in Tampere, Finland.
Fuller Kearney earned trips to the Olympics in 1992, 1996, and 2000. In 1992, she brought home a silver medal in the Women's 4-. In 1996 and 2000, she placed in the top 6 in the Women's 8+.
Additionally, Fuller Kearney has competed in eight World Championships, earning one gold medal and six silver medals (1989, 1991, 1993-94, 1997-98 and 1999). An extension of Fuller Kearney's international experience includes the Goodwill Games, the Lucerne International Regatta, and the Henley Royal Regatta. At the 1994 Goodwill Games, her women’s 8+ team captured the bronze. Competing at the Lucerne International Regatta (1991, 1994-96 and 1998), she brought home five medals - three gold, one silver, and one bronze. At the 1998 Henley Royal Regatta, Fuller Kearney added another gold medal.
Fuller Kearney continued her rowing success at the C.R.A.S.H. B Sprints. She was the 2000 and 2001 World Record holder on the rowing ergometer and placed first for open women. On the national level, Fuller Kearney rowed for the U.S. National Team for 11 years (1989, 1991-2000). During this era, she recorded 12 gold medals, two silver and one bronze.
As a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara, Fuller Kearney discovered a passion for rowing. She later earned one gold medal and one bronze medal on the collegiate national level. In 1990, she was honored with the school's Associated Students Athlete of the Year Award. In 2006, Fuller Kearney was an inaugural inductee into the UC Santa Barbara Recreational Sports Hall of Fame.
A Westlake Village, Calif., native who prepped at Westlake High School, Fuller Kearney graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in biology. She earned her masters degree in education from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 1998.
Fuller Kearney has also been certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health Fitness Instructor and is a U.S. Rowing certified coach. She resides in Newhall, Calif., with her husband, Joe, and daughter, Shannon.