Joel Furtek enters his first year as the assitant coach for the UCF women's rowing team for the 2009-10 season.
Previous to becoming the newest addition to the UCF rowing staff, Joel spent one year as rigger/boatman and assistant coach at the University of Miami. During his time with the Hurricanes, he was responsible for maintaining all racing and athletic equipment, as well as designing and improving all equipment and accessories needed for the team. Mid-season, after the head coach resigned during spring training, Furtek led the second varsity eight team to it best finish in program-history at the ACC Championships with a third-place showing.
Furtek originally launched his collegiate coaching career in 1993 as the head novice coach at the University of Virginia. As the novice coach, Furtek directed recruitment, training and athlete development efforts, along with building awareness and interest around campus in regards to future rowing student-athletes. His exertions resulted in multiple Southern and Central Champion crews and eight National Championship medals for the varsity team.
Furtek eventually returned to Virginia in 2002 as the assistant coach. Throughout his seven years at Virginia, he took charge in designing and implementing training plans and developing the fitness, strength and skill of the second-tier varsity rowers. Furtek also assisted in recruitment efforts, planning and execution of official visits and prospective phone calls. In his final year with the team, Furtek served as the squad's rigger/boatman. His responsibilities included maintaining inventory of racing shells, athletic equipment, maintenance and repair, building and improving equipment and transporting boats.
In between his years with the University of Virginia, he accepted the position as head rowing coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1997-2002. During the five-year period, Furtek directed the start-up and operation of the Division I rowing team, put into action training and academic programs and recruited student-athletes and staff. In addition, he was directly responsible for all fundraising while he maintained equipment and inventory. Under Furtek's guidance, the UNC Varsity 4+ won the bronze medal at NCAA Tournament in 1998.
Prior to his coaching days, Furtek was the coxswain at the lightweight selection camp and open-team trials for the U.S. National Team in 1993. He was at the camp which produced a World Champion 4- lightweight team. He also placed second in the open 4+ event at national team trials.
Following his stint as a rower, Furtek was positioned as the sports equipment technician for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. There, he installed and removed the rowing, canoe and kayak venue and provided on-call support to the Olympic venue during the games. He also assisted in planning the original bid packages for Olympic contract.
Furtek completed his bachelor's degree in history at Yale University in 1990. While at Yale, Furtek coxed for four years in the collegiate sport and earned two varsity letters. In his final season, the team was the undefeated national champion and went on to race at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. In 1990, he received the Babcock Award for outstanding spirit and also earned All-Ivy honors.