Jan. 23, 2012
BERKELEY -California women's crew assistant coach Sarah Puddicombe was promoted to associate head coach as announced recently by head coach Dave O'Neill. Puddicombe will begin her fourth season as a member of the Golden Bear coaching staff in 2012, serving as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator the previous three seasons.
"Coach Puddicombe has done tremendous work within our program as both a coach and the coordinator of our recruiting efforts," O'Neill said. "She has had an impact on every member of our team, and has proven to be talented in developing the women into successful student-athletes. She has taken on new responsibilities this year, and I appreciate everything she does."
In 2010, Puddicombe was named the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Bears achieve an undefeated regular season and a conference championship.
"I am thankful to Dave O'Neill for this opportunity to grow and develop my coaching career," Puddicombe said. "I love my job and this team. I get to work with fantastic coaches and student athletes."
Cal has enjoyed tremendous success in the first three years that Puddicombe has been a part of O'Neill's staff. In that time, the Bears have finished in the top three as a team every year at the NCAA Championships, captured an NCAA title in the varsity four and three straight Pac-10 Championships, part of the current four-year streak the Bears are currently enjoying.
Puddicombe competed at UC Davis and graduated in 2002. She won the Division II championship with the Aggies in 2002 under her maiden name of Sarah Whipple. She was a team captain and All-America honoree while helping the Aggies win varsity eight and overall team championships at the national regatta in 2002, the first year the NCAA sponsored a Division II title.
O'Neill is thrilled to have Puddicombe and assistant coach Lincoln LaRoe on a staff that he feels will take the Bears to the top in 2012.
"I really think we have the best staff in the country," O'Neill said. "The addition of coach LaRoe this year has been terrific, and our volunteer assistants Vanessa Tavalero and Mary Jeghers bring new perspectives, experience and some youthful insight. I heard someone call our staff a collection of 'superstars' earlier this year and I'd have to agree."