Beth DeMars, Madi Haney Named Assistant Coaches

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Former rowers Beth DeMars and Madi Haney have been named assistant coaches for the women’s rowing team heading into the 2016-17 season, head coach Patrick Sweeney has announced. 

DeMars, who served as a graduate assistant last season, will step into her role immediately, while Haney will begin her duties on August 1 per a new NCAA policy allowing rowing programs to have four full-time coaches on staff. 

The team is also using the two hires to replace former assistant coach Stephanie Van Matre, who is leaving the program after serving in the role for eight seasons to pursue other career opportunities. VanMatre was also a member of the team, racing as a coxswain from 2000-04. 

“This was a very logical step for these two positions,” Sweeney said about the two new coaches. “They are two former student-athletes that we trust. This is the normal thing for our program, hiring women who have been through it. They know how we work and how we recruit.”

DeMars was a member of the team from 2011-15 and a two-time letterwinner. She was part of best seasons in program history as the squad recorded back-to-back top-three finishes at the Big 12 Championships. As a senior, she helped the 2V8 capture a gold medal at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships (SIRAs) and a bronze at the Big 12 Championship to go with a victory over Kansas at the Sunflower Showdown.

The Shawnee, Kansas, native also excelled off the water, earning Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors all four seasons while twice being a CRCA National Scholar-Athlete. In addition, she received the prestigious Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, which is the highest academic honor in the Big 12 Conference.

“We were really pleased with the job Beth did as a graduate assistant and how she fit in,” Sweeney added about DeMars. “It was an easy decision to make bringing her on as an assistant coach. She did a great job learning how to recruit.”

DeMars is looking forward to the opportunity to continue coaching and will embrace her new role as an assistant coach for the team. 

“It was nice to have a year to figure out coaching and understand that side of it,” DeMars said. “I am excited to be a full-time coach. I think the team in general is unique and coming from the inside has made the transition into being a coach very easy.”

Haney was also a member of the team during some of the program’s best years. A member of the team from 2012-16, she raced in the 1V8 that won three gold medals over the course of her career at SIRAs. She was also a member of the 1V8 that took silver at Big 12s in 2014 and bronze at the conference meet in 2015. This past season, she was named to the All-Big 12 Rowing Team for her outstanding performances throughout the year. 

Like DeMars, Haney was extremely successful in the classroom. She was named First Team Academic All-Big 12 all four years she competed, made the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll her first two seasons and has been a mainstay on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She is also a two-time CRCA National Scholar Athlete. 

“Haney has a great work ethic and knows how we recruit,” Sweeney said. “It is very easy to slot her into the system. Even though we are teaching her, she is not going to have to learn how somebody else does it. She knows how we do it.”

The Lenexa, Kansas, native, who has not held a coaching position before, is excited for the challenge of transitioning into her new role, which she plans on using to help her former teammates succeed. 

“I am really excited for the opportunity,” Haney said. “I am wanting to go to graduate school at some point but I did not really know where I wanted to go. I am excited to still be part of the team and to play a role in helping the team from a coaching role.”

For the latest on K-State women’s rowing, follow @kstatesports and @KStateROW on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateROW or on the team’s Facebook page.