- Director of Rowing Programs and Facilities/Head Coach
Coach Kucik has been Purdue University’s Head Rowing Coach since August 1995. He began rowing in 1964 at Marietta High School. Since then, he has never been far from the sport. His high school crew earned bronze medals at the US Schoolboy National Championships in the spring of 1966. He attended college at Marietta College for one year before acceptance to the United States Naval Academy in 1969. As a collegiate rower, Kucik won all three major regattas; the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Regatta, Eastern Spirits and the Dad Vail Regatta.
In 1973, he graduated from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering and immediately accepted Admiral Rickover’s offer to join the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Program. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal in 1978 for exemplary service as the USS Daniel Boone’s, SSBN 629, Diving Officer and Auxiliary Division Officer.In May 1979, Kucik made a career change. He resigned his Navy commission and accepted the freshman coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As the freshman rowing coach, his crews won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta twice, the varsity won two national championships, and the team won 6 IRA Regatta Tim Ten Eyck team point trophies in 9 years. In 1983 and 1985, Coach Kucik was the USA National Team Manager at the World Rowing Championships in Duisburg, Germany and Hazelwinkle, Belgium and was an Assistant Coach/Manager at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
In the late fall of 1988, Kucik accepted the Head Coaching position at Cornell University. While at Cornell, his crews restored trophies to the boathouse that had been absent for many years; the Goes Trophy (Navy & Syracuse) absent for 14 years and the Carnegie Cup (Princeton) for 9 years. During his six years at Cornell, the heavyweight men earned various medals at the IRA Regatta and the lightweight men’s varsity eight-oared crew won a national championship. During the summer of 1990, he was invited to coach the Kyoto University Crew in their final preparation for the All Japan Championships in Tokyo. Additionally, he coached two Cornell crews that competed at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.
In response to his parent’s failing health, Coach Kucik moved back to the mid-west to become Purdue University’s Head Coach in 1995. In 1997, the Purdue Womens Varsity eight-oared crew was invited to represent the United States at the 10th Anniversary of the Women’s Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-the-Thames, England. In December 2006, he was the guest speaker at the 100th Anniversary of the Kyoto University Rowing Celebration in Kyoto, Japan. Over the several years, Coach Kucik has presented a ‘Coaches Perspective’ for Purdue’s Center for Food and Agriculture Business annual Management and Leadership Conference. In 2001, he married his wife Lonni and they adopted their 3 year old daughter Elizabeth-Marie QuiLan from China in November 2007. He proudly calls Purdue University and West Lafayette, IN his home.