In 2017-18 Andy Card enters his 30th year with the Yale Lightweight Crew and his 29th as the head coach.
2017 saw the Yale Lightweight Crew ranked among the best in the nation. The first, second and third varsity eights all had outstanding records during the regular season, finishing 7-1 versus league opponents. At the EARC Sprints Championship the 2V won silver and the 3V won GOLD. The first varsity eight finished sixth at the Sprints, but then went on to reach the podium just weeks later at the IRA National Championship. The Y150’s top crew earned the bronze and secured the rank of third in the country.
The 2016 Bulldogs were the EARC and Ivy League Champions. After an undefeated regular season for the varsity eight, the team went on to a commanding performance at the EARC Sprints Championship. The varsity and junior varsity eights both won the GOLD medal and the third varsity won bronze. The combined performance of these crews made it possible for Yale to capture the Jope Cup for overall team supremacy. The varsity eight then went on to win the silver medal at the IRA Championship and reach the semi-final of the Temple Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta.
Andy’s program not only consistently puts Yale crews on the podium, but also does a remarkable job preparing the very best athletes for international competition. In the summer of 2016, Y150 Commodore William Van Fossen ’17 and Captain Austin Velte ’16 were selected to the USA U23 LM4-. In 2015, Matt O’Donoghue ’14 and Brendan Harrington ’14 were selected to compete for the United States at the Pan American Games, and Austin Velte '16 qualified for the U23 team by winning the trial in the LM2x. In the summer of 2014, there were five Y150 men who have been selected to U23 and Senior National Teams. Joseph Hanlon and Andrew Hakanson ’11 were selected to the USA LM8+. Joshua Mann ’14 and Matthew O’Donoghue ’14 raced in the USA U23 LM4- across from Matthew Segal ’16 who had been named to the U23 LM4- for Team Canada. These international appearances follow the recent success of Thomas Swartz ’13 and Rhodes Scholar recipient William Zeng ’11, each of whom were selected to the Oxford Blue Boat. Their Yale training served them well, as they won their seat races against heavyweight teammates to earn a place among the top boat. Swartz and his crew won the 2014 edition of the race by eleven boat-lengths over Cambridge.
During the 2015 campaign, all Y150 crews finished the regular season with winning records, and all crews raced in the grand finals of the EARC Sprints. Season highlights include a bronze and gold medal finish in the LM4- and LM4+ at the 2015 IRA Regatta.
In 2014, Card’s first varsity eight was yet again one of the fastest in the league, winning the silver medal at the EARC Sprints Championship and the squad finished 2nd in Jope Cup points after winning the overall team trophy in 2013 and 2012.
The 2011 to 2013 stretch has brought much team success to the Elis.
From 2000 to 2005, Andy Card's Yale Lightweights had a remarkable run of success:
Card began his varsity head coaching career in 1990 by leading the Yale lightweights to an undefeated season and first place at the EARC Sprints and the National Championship before traveling to the Henley Royal Regatta in England. During the 1991 and 1992 seasons, the Elis won two additional Harvard-Yale-Princeton races, marking the first time since 1930-1932 that Yale had captured three straight Goldthwait Cups. Card's J.V. crews have won the Sprints four times and have also been to Henley. The most recent trip to Henley in 2001 saw the Yale 2V make it to the semi-final of four crews in the Temple Challenge Cup before losing, going farther than four EARC varsity lightweight crews in the draw.
Card has had coaching success on the international level as well. At the 1993 World Rowing Championships at Roudnice, Czech Republic, Card's U.S. Lightweight 4- won the gold medal, the first gold medal ever for the United States in that event. Most recently, Card helped coach the USA Men's Lightweight 8+ to a Worlds silver in 1998 and America's first gold medal since 1973 at St. Catharine's in 1999.
A 1985 graduate of Princeton, Card rowed on three Eastern Sprints Championship crews. While serving as captain in his senior year, the varsity eight went undefeated and won both the Eastern Sprints and Kennedy Cup (IRA). In addition, he represented the Tigers on two trips to Henley in 1983 and 1985. Prior to attending Princeton, he had no competitive rowing experience.
Card also served as the Princeton freshman lightweight coach for two seasons (1986 & 1987) following his graduation. Both years the Tiger freshmen went undefeated and took Eastern Sprint titles.