Brian Perkins, a two-time Dad Vail champion rower under legendary Temple coach Gavin White, will take over the program as head coach beginning with the 2016-17 season.
Perkins spent the last six years as an assistant coach and principal recruiter for his alma mater, helping to guide the program back to the national stage. In 2016, the Owls earned a team bid to the IRA National Championships for the first time since 2008. The 2016 squad also earned a Dad Vail medal in the varsity eight event, while rowing to the program's first ever win in the event at San Diego Crew Classic.
"When we started thinking about who would be the perfect person to take over the Temple Crew program from Gavin White, we realized we already had the right man in the fold in Brian Perkins," said Larry Dougherty, Senior Associate Athletic Director. "Brian has lived and breathed Temple Crew, as a student-athlete as well as the last six years as Gavin's top assistant. He helped lead the Varsity 8 back to the Dad Vail medal stand this past year, and we are looking forward to him revitalizing the program with the re-opening of the East Park Canoe House this fall."
"I am humbled to be offered this opportunity," said Perkins. "I am looking forward to the challenges on our horizon. With Coach White staying on as a mentor, the staff and student-athletes we are lucky to have, and the facilities and support of Temple University, I feel like we can accomplish very big things."
As an assistant under White, Perkins' crews have done well, with his Freshman 4+ winning gold at the 2010 Dad Vail Regatta and his Varsity Lightweight 4+ taking the silver medal at the 2011 Dad Vail Regatta. His 2012 Freshman 4+ went undefeated and also won the Dad Vails, with the 2015 Lightweight 4+ also earning Dad Vail gold, and a 12th-place national finish at the IRA's.
A 1993 cum laude graduate with dual degrees in history and political science, Perkins built an extensive coaching resume following his first stint with the Temple program. After serving as Temple's novice men's coach in 1992, he was hired as the head varsity boys' coach at Harriton High School in 1993, where, after one season, he guided his lightweight 4 to the 1994 National Championship. He was the freshman coach at St. Joseph's Prep (1995), and then returned to Temple as a graduate assistant coach from 1995-98. He also served nine years as the head coach/director of rowing at Upper Merion High School (1999-2009).
As a rower, Perkins was a four-year member of the Owls crew team (1988-92). Besides helping the Owls win two Dad Vail championships, he also was a two-time recipient of the Sean Brennan Memorial Dedication Award. He also earned the Gavin White Academic Award and served as the team captain as a senior in 1992.
"Brian has demonstrated that he is ready to take over the reins of the Temple Crew program," said White. "He brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, and he is able to communicate that knowledge to the young men and women on the team. Temple Crew could not be in better hands."
A native of South Philadelphia, Perkins started his rowing career at nearby St. Joseph's Prep ('88). At SJP, he served as team captain as a senior in 1988 and helped the Prep win the National Championship in 1988 as well as compete at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. He helped SJP win the 1987 Stotesbury Regatta as a junior.
Perkins, who earned a Master of Arts degree in History in 1998 from Temple as well as an Education degree from Saint Joseph's University in 1999, resides just minutes from the river in Philadelphia's East Falls neighborhood