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 68)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationRowing coach
Years active1989–present
Medal record

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.