Robert Espeseth
Robert Espeseth UTC.png
Espeseth coaching the UTC rowing team
Personal information
Full nameRobert Douglas Espeseth Jr.
Born (1953-10-25) October 25, 1953 (age 69)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationRowing coach
Years active1989–present
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1984 Los Angeles Coxed pair

Robert Douglas Espeseth Jr. (born October 25, 1953) an American former competitive rower and Olympic medal winner. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1]


Espeseth was a participant in the 1976 Summer Olympics and an alternate on the US rowing team for the 1980 Summer Olympics[1] but did not compete due to the U.S. Olympic Committee's boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia. He was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal many years later.[2] Espeseth and teammates Douglas Herland and Kevin Still won the bronze medal in the Men's Pair with coxswain (2+) event with a time of 7:12.81 at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[3]

World championship

At the 1986 World Championships in Nottingham, England, he placed first in the coxless 4 (4-) boat and took third place the following year in the same event in Copenhagen, Denmark.[citation needed] He was considered one of the favorites to win the coxed pair in the 1988 Summer Olympics with partner Daniel Lyons, but became sick and was unable to compete.[4]

Halls of fame

A University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnus, Espeseth is a member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame, UW Rowing Hall of Fame,[5] and the US Rowing Hall of Fame.[6]

As of 2014, Espeseth is currently the coach of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Rowing Mocs.

Coaching positions


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Robert Espeseth Jr". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  2. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  3. ^ "1984 Summer Olympics: Rowing". Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  4. ^ Mergen, Mike (August 15, 2004). "Rowing teaches teamwork lessons". USA Today.
  5. ^ Taylor, Bradley (2005). Wisconsin Where They Row. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 143. ISBN 0-299-20530-4.
  6. ^ "Rowing Hall of Fame". Hickok Sports. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  7. ^ "UTC Campus Recreation". University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Retrieved March 21, 2011.