WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College Athletic Director Lisa Melendy announced today that Peter Wells will be on leave this spring from his role as the Williams men's crew coach for the upcoming spring season.
Filling in for Wells this spring will be Christine Wilson. She has recently returned from England where she served as the Chief Coach of the Oxford University Women's Boat Club for four years, from 2012 through 2016. During this time, Wilson prepared the Oxford crews for an historic chapter of racing that included the first Women's Boat Race in London. In April of 2015, the women's crews from Oxford and Cambridge raced on the Championship Course, a stretch of the tidal Thames, on the same day as the men, modernizing an iconic British sporting tradition that has taken place since 1829.
"Chris comes to us with a wealth of coaching experience and I am confident she will be able to lead the team during this time of transition," said Athletic Director Lisa Melendy. "She impressed us with her depth of experience, but more so with her thoughtful approach to coaching this particular crew and in this particular academic setting."
Wilson's Oxford crews never lost to arch rival Cambridge University and in 2013, 2015, and 2016 the Dark Blues also posted victories at the British University and Henley Women's Championship Regattas. Six of Wilson's Oxford athletes were also named to British U-23 crews between 2013 and 2016.
Wilson has an extensive rowing resume that includes serving as an assistant coach with the U.S. Olympic team in preparation for the 2004 Games in Athens and with the Canadian Junior National Team as a coach for men's rowing and women's sculling.
She began her career as a teacher of English and as an assistant girls rowing coach at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., before she launched her career in collegiate coaching. At Yale she served as an assistant women's rowing coach from 1985 until 1987. In 1987 Wilson became the first woman appointed to coach male athletes when she served as Yale's assistant men's heavyweight coach.
From 1993-95 Wilson served as an English teacher and the Varsity Girls rowing coach at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., before becoming the Freshman Coach of the Cornell Heavyweight Men's Team in 1997. Wilson then served as Yale's head coach of Women's Rowing until 1999 and as Cornell's head coach of Women's Rowing from 2004 until 2007.
Before accepting the coaching appointment with the OUWBC, Wilson was the technical advisor and in-house coach at Concept2, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of rowing products and equipment for lifelong sport.
Wilson is a 1983 graduate of Yale University where she earned a B.A. in English