Ramirez Stepping Down As Loyola Rowing Coach
June 30, 2017 BALTIMORE – Al Ramirez will step down this summer as head men's and women's rowing coach at Loyola University Maryland after 16 seasons with the Greyhounds.
Ramirez has overseen all aspects of the women's rowing program since 2001, and he added men's duties a year later. Ramirez led the Greyhounds to four Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women's Rowing Championships during his first nine years at Loyola.
During this time, the women's team had a gold-medal winning boat and a grand finalist at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, had two runner-up finishes in the conference and many strong regional finishes. Ramirez also earned MAAC Coach of the Year honors four times during his tenure.
The men's team had two top-10 finishes at IRA Championships, earned a conference Varsity 8 title in 2009 and were the conference team runners-up six times. Both teams produced noteworthy Dad Vail Varsity 8 finishes during his tenure.
"Al has been a valuable member of our coaching staff and a mentor for many student-athletes," said Chris Archacki, assistant athletic director at Loyola. "He has been tireless in his dedication to Loyola Rowing and we thank him for his efforts with our program as he has laid a strong foundation for our team and was integral to our transition into the Patriot League. Al has helped lead many men and women to great achievements on the water and in the classroom over the last 16 years. As the rowing sport administrator, I wish him well personally and professionally, and we are excited about the future of rowing at Loyola."
He helped the fledgling rowing program win its first MAAC Championship on the women's side in his third season at Loyola. The Greyhounds entered the final race of the 2004 Championships needing a win in the Varsity 8, and they came away with the league title.
The Greyhounds went on to win a second-straight MAAC crown in 2005 before winning back-to-back titles in 2009-10.
"I have been privileged to work with some incredibly driven athletes over the years," Ramirez said. "Some earned captainships, but many more earned reputations as tenacious competitors and trusted, life-long friends. Seeing them take ownership of team goals, achieve great things on the race course – such as Dad Vail and IRA gold medals – and progress to earn graduate degrees, professional degrees and even onto parenthood has provided many satisfactory career moments. I am grateful for the many good friendships that I have been able to develop through the program over the years."
Ramirez also helped Loyola compete at many highly-regarded regional and national regattas with excellent showings. After leading the Greyhounds to the 2010 MAAC Championship, the women's Varsity Lightweight 4 won the Grand Final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships; the boat had a top-four finish in the same event a year later. He also helped lead the 2003 men's pair to a sixth-place finish at the IRA Championships and the 2009 Varsity 4 to ninth place.
The men's team won Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Championships in the Varsity 8 from 2005-08 and also had considerable success in other races. That side finished runner-up six times in the MAAC, as well.
Ramirez's teams also had considerable success in the classroom and earned the athletic department's award for the highest team grade-point average in 2012. Since 2007, seven women's rowers earned Scholar Athlete Awards from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). Following the last two seasons, Natasha Murray of the women's program earned Academic All-Patriot League for her classroom and competition excellence.
A national search for the Greyhounds' next head coach will begin immediately.