Shelagh Donohoe
Shelagh Donohoe
Phone: 401-874-7895
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 14th year
Education: UMass Lowell '88

The 2019-20 season marks head coach Shelagh Donohoe's 14h year with the Rhode Island rowing program.

In 2019, Donohoe was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career after leading Rhode Island to its second straight conference title. It was the seventh A-10 title overall for Donohoe, whose team qualified for the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in program history and placed 21st nationally. The Varsity 4+ boat finished 19th in its flight, the best finish ever by a Rhode Island boat at the national championship.

Rhode Island seniors Erika Pena, Allie Reilly and Maddie Van Ummersen were each named to the 2019 Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team, while classmate Katie Shattuck earned second-team honors. The Rams also had three women named to the 2019 Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team, as senior Mekenzie Mattheson, junior Emily Winslow and sophomore Katie Usher were among 10 women to receive the honor. In addition to her success with the Rams, Donohoe also coached with Team USA, leading the national team's PR3 Mix 4+ boat - which included Rhode Island rowers Allie Reilly and Karen Petrik - to a gold medal at the World Cup II in Poznan, Poland in June of 2019. 

Rhode Island won its sixth Atlantic 10 Championship and earned the program's third bid to the NCAA Championship in 2018. The Rams placed 21st in the country at the national championship. Donohoe was named the A-10 Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career, and four of her rowers earned all-conference honors. Kiana Anderson, Meghan Ellis and Katie Shattuck all earned first-team recognition, while Lucy Moyes was a second-team honoree. During their championship season, the Rams also raised more than $40,000 to fund a trip for the program to compete in the prestigious Henley Women's Regatta in England during the summer of 2018. It marks the second time Donohoe and Rams will compete at Henley. The Rhode Island coaching staff was named the CRCA Region I Staff of the Year, one of five staffs nationally to earn regional staff of the year recognition. A program-record eight Rams earned CRCA Scholar Athlete Award recognition, and four rowers - Meghan Ellis, Lucy Moyes, Mckenzie Mattheson and Emily Winslow - were named to the A-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

In 2017, The Rams placed second at the A-10 Championship and had four rowers named to the all-conference team. Kiana Anderson and Katie Shattuck were on the first team, while Meghan Ellis and Erin Sweeney garnered second-team honors. Ellis and Lucy Moyes were named to the A-10 Academic All-Conference Team. Both women were among a group of seven Rhode Island rowers to earn CRCA Scholar-Athlete Award recognition.

Donohoe coached the Rams to the program's fifth Atlantic 10 Championship and second NCAA Championship appearance in 2016. Four of her rowers - Lily Herberger, Marisa Landry, Leah McGlynn and Alissa Margraf earned all-conference honors. Herberger also was one of 11 women named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Division I Region I First Team, while Margraf was an academic all-conference selection. Donoahoe earned her fourth A-10 Coach of the Year selection. Over the summer, Donohoe also coached Team USA to the 2016 Paralympics silver medal in LTA 4+ in Rio. 

Donohoe coached Rhode Island to a second-place finish at the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship. Four Rams earned all-conference honors, as Hannah Milam and Kate Capistran were named to the first team and Chloe Beach and Lily Herberger received second-team honors. Herberger also earned CRCA Division 1 All-Region Team recognition, while Capistran, Milam, Alyssa Margraf and Danielle Wolf received CRCA Scholar Athlete distinction.

During the 2013-14 season, Rhode Island placed second at the Atlantic 10 Championship and placed four rowers on the all-conference team, as juniors Kate Capistran and senior Lindsay Stephenson earned first-team honors while Chelsea Paulin and Meghan Sickinger was on the second team. Capistran also earned a spot on the CRCA Division I All-New England Team, and she and Paulin were part of the A-10 Academic All-Conference Team as well.

Donohoe's team performed well off the water as well. Six Rams - Paulin, Capistran, junior Hannah Milam and sophomores Avery Cohen, Alissa Margraf and Quinn Snyder all earned CRCA Scholar Athlete recognition. Following the 2014 season, Donohoe coached the U.S. ParaRowing LTA Mixed Doubles Boat at the at the 2014 World Championships in Amsterdam. 

Donohoe coached the Rams to the first NCAA Championship appearance in program history in 2013. Rhody earned an automatic bid to the 22-team field after winning its second straight Atlantic 10 title. It was the fourth conference title in six seasons for the Rams.

The 2012-13 Rams earned several indivudal accolades. Sophomore Kate Capistran was a CRCA Second-Team All-American and a First-Team All-Region honoree. Four women were named to the A-10 All-Conference Team, as seniors Anne Mulholland, Lotte Sherman and Alice Murray garnered first-team honors. Senior Ari Wakeman was a second-team selection. Junior Chelsea Paulin and sophomore Hannah Milam earned A-10 Academic All-Conference honors. 

In 2012, the Rams won their third Atlantic 10 title in five seasons. Donohoe coached four players to the 2012 Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team. Caitlin Dowd, Lindsay Stephenson and freshman Kari Tomeny were named the first team, while Megan O'Brien was a second-team selection. It was the second straight season on the all-conference team for O'Brien. All four women were members of the Varsity 8 boat. Tomeny also was one of 12 rowers named to the CRCA All-New England First-Team.

Donohoe also placed three team members on the 2012 A-10 All-Academic Team. O'Brien made the team for the second year in a row, while Zoe Gentes and Kelley Woodacre also made the 10-person team.

Following the successful spring season, Donohoe brought team members to England to compete in the Women's Henley Regatta in June of 2012. It was the first time a Rhode Island team has competed at Henley in the 25-year history of the event.

In 2010, Donohoe guided the Rams to their second Atlantic 10 Championship in three years. In addition, to the Rams' team championship, Donohoe was named Coach of the Year for the third time in her career. Following the Rams' 2010 Atlantic 10 Championship, Rhode Island earned a No. 6 ranking in the New England region, which marked the first time in school history URI had been ranked in the New England region. Donohoe believes that success in the A-10 is a stepping stone in the journey to national success.

Prior to coaching at URI, Donohoe spent 10 successful years coaching at Northeastern University. She was part of the coaching staff which saw the Huskies earn invites to four NCAA Championships.

Named New England Assistant Coach of the Year in 2004, she has previously served as an assistant at both Boston University and Harvard. In addition, she coached the U.S. Junior Women's National Team in 1994, where the team rowed at the Junior World Championships in Munich, Germany.

Donohoe has an extensive rowing history of her own. A member of the U.S. National Rowing team from 1989-92, she competed in three World Championships (1989 in Bled, Yugoslavia; 1990 in Tasmania, Australia; and 1991 in Vienna, Austria) and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

At the 1992 Olympics, she earned a silver medal as a member of the USA's four-without team. She also won silver medals at the 1990 (women's eight) 1991 (women's four without) World Championships.

A 1988 graduate of University of Massachusetts-Lowell with a degree in business administration, Donohoe was the first member of the rowing team inducted into the UMass Lowell Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.


- Has coached Rhody to the program's four NCAA Championship appearances (2013, 2016, 2018, 2019).
- Directed Rhody to seven Atlantic 10 championships (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019).
- Six-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2018, 2019).
- Coached 48 All-Atlantic 10 First Team and 14 All-Atlantic 10 Second Team student-athletes.
- Coached Kate Capistran to CRCA All-American honors in 2013.
- Guided nine of her student-athletes to CRCA All-New England Region honors.
- In the classroom, 61 of her student-athletes have received National Scholar-Athlete recognition.
- Coached Team USA to the 2019 World Cup II gold medal in PR3 Mix 4+ in Poznan, Poland.
- Coached Team USA to the 2016 Paralympics silver medal in LTA 4+ in Rio. 
- Coached the U.S. ParaRowing LTA Mixed Doubles Boat at the at the 2014 World Championships in Amsterdam.
- Coached the U.S. ParaRowing LTA 4+ team at the World Championships on Lake Aiguebelette in France.
- Since the fall of 2006, the team has achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or above.

updated: 8/25/19