Rowing’s Bill Zack to be inducted into US Coast Guard Academy Hall of Fame

Oct. 18, 2017

SAN DIEGO - San Diego State rowing head coach Bill Zack was recently announced as an inductee to the United States Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. One of seven inductees in the 2017 class, Zack will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence at the Coast Guard Academy.

Zack is primarily being recognized for his coaching success as well as his leadership in the administration of his sport. As either a coach or team leader, he has been a part of ten U.S. teams in international competition, including the 1996 Olympic Games, 1995 Pan-American Games, senior and junior world championships, CanAmMex Regattas, and the I-Lan International Regatta. Zack has coached numerous crews to gold medals at the national championship level.

Zack started his collegiate coaching career at the Coast Guard Academy while finishing his MBA degree at the Yale School of Management. After six years as the freshman coach at USCGA, he was transferred to Long Beach, California and coached the Long Beach State University women’s team and the Long Beach Rowing Association.

Following a stint coaching the men’s team at Old Dominion University, Zack retired from the Coast Guard and chose coaching as his second profession. He was highly successful as the head coach at Sacramento State, the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at UCLA, and the founding head coach at University of Portland. Zack is in his fifth year as the San Diego State head coach. He is also a founder of the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association, is a past president, and currently serves as the CRCA’s vice president.

Zack was a four-year letter winner during his cadet career and won one gold medal and two silver medals at the season-ending Dad Vail Regatta. The summer after his freshman year, he attended a US Rowing Olympic Development camp and competed in the 1979 Pan-American Games Trials.

As a student-athlete, Zack was a member of the Superintendent’s List, Dean’s List, and Commandant of Cadets lists during his four years at the Academy. In addition to serving as the Cadet Honor Board Chair, he won a Wall Street Journal Student-Achievement Award and the Cadet Finance Award.

Zack served as an officer in the Coast Guard for more than sixteen years, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His assignments included Operations Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Walnut, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Loran Station Estartit, Spain, Chief of Military Personnel for the Eleventh Coast Guard District, and Controller of Integrated Support Command Portsmouth, Virginia.

Zack is a recipient of four Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Federal Maritime Commission’s Chairman’s Honor Award, and the Coast Guard Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

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