Nick Hughes, a 1994 graduate of Dartmouth College, has directed the St. Lawrence University rowing program since its inception in 1999, leading the transition from club to varsity status, overseeing the construction of the St. Lawrence University Boathouse and facilitating the growth of the team and coaching staff. Since he took sole head coaching responsibilities for the women's squad in 2005, they have become one of the largest teams on campus, rising to regional and national prominence in their sport.
In 2009, Hughes guided the Saints to their second-consecutive Liberty League Championship and second straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, where the team finished sixth in the nation. In recognition of the team's performance the Varsity Eight repeated as Liberty League 'Boat of the Year," as did Hughes and his staff by recapturing Coaching Staff of the Year honors from the conference.
A philosophy major and member of the men's lightweight crew team while at Dartmouth, Hughes attended a Ph.D. program in philosophy at UMass Amherst before serving as product manager for Seligman Financial Services. At St. Lawrence, he has taught in the First-Year Program and in the philosophy department, as well as in the Sport Studies and Exercise Science minor.
"I believe that intercollegiate athletics is an opportunity for student-athletes to learn. Certainly, some of these lessons involve the technical elements and the physiological requirements of the sport in which they compete. The more important lessons, however, are universal to all sports: lessons of teamwork, fair play, poise, dedication, exhilaration, disappointment and self-sacrifice. In short, these are lessons of self-discovery."
As a coach, my role is to establish a practical framework for this process of self-discovery. As an instructor in the Sport Studies and Exercise Science minor, I can help students build a theoretical framework for this same process. Sport can serve as a lens through which we examine timeless questions of meaning and value."