With more than 40 years of rowing experience Wieslaw Kujda enters his sixth season at the helm of the Santa Clara University men’s crew program. Kujda, who came to the Mission Campus in September of 2005, has done a tremendous job building Santa Clara into the top rowing program among its rival schools in the West Coast Conference.
The Broncos had a breakthrough season under Kujda in 2010, winning their first-ever West Coast Conference Trophy at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships (WIRA).
SCU placed ahead of all other WCC opponents in the WIRA Grand Final, including Gonzaga University, the University of San Diego and Loyola Marymount University. Other highlights of the 2010 season included placing first in the Petite Finals at the San Diego Crew Classic and winning the feature race at the Sacramento State Invitational in March.
In 2008-09 the Broncos also finished their season strong, winning both races at the 2009 Pacific Coast Rowing Championships and placing second in the American Specialty Health Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic.
The 2007-08 season was highlighted by the men’s team having six boats make the Grand Finals in the WIRA Championship and finishing just two points from first place in overall points at the meet. In 2007, Kujda’s team also won the Sacramento State Invitational.
In addition to being successful on the water, Kujda’s rowers are also excelling in the classroom. In his six seasons at SCU, the members of his crew teams have received numerous academic accolades.
While coaching at SCU from 2006-2009, Kujda also served as the head coach of the Los Gatos Rowing Club for nine years (2000-2009). There he oversaw the creation of a program that trained 200 high school rowers annually and supervised the development of high school coaches.
Previously Kujda coached at Stanford University for ten years (1990-2000). Kujda enjoyed great success on The Farm. Kujda’s varsity eight teams finished eighth at the IRA National Championships in 1999, second at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships in 1993 and seventh at the IRA National Championship in 1993. Kujda was named the Pac-10 Conference ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1994.
Before coaching at Stanford, Kujda was the Director of Rowing at the Cincinnati Rowing Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1987-90 where he directed the training and development of 20 elite athletes. Kujda was also the Head Coach of both the men’s and women’s programs at the University of Cincinnati from 1985-90. In 1989 his women’s lightweight team won the National title.
Aside from coaching at the collegiate and high school level, Kujda also has experience on the national and international stage. In 1999 he served as the U.S. National Team’s Assistant Coach, helping to guide the team to a gold medal finish at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada.
As a U.S. National Team Assistant Coach in 1998, his team won a silver medal and finished fifth at the Nation Cup in Ioannina, Greece. Again as an Assistant Coach in 1997 Kujda was a part of the U.S. Team’s silver medal finish at the Nation Cup in Milano, Italy.
Prior to becoming a coach Kujda excelled as a rower himself. He was a member of the Polish National team from 1972-85 and was a ten-time National Champion in single, double scull, pair and quad. Kujda raced in seven World Championships and competed at the 1980 Moscow Olympics where his team finished sixth in the double scull.
A native of Warsaw, Poland, Kujda immigrated to the United States in 1985 and became a U.S. citizen in 1990. In 1980 he graduated from the Academy of Physical Education in Warsaw with a M.A. in Physical Education and a First Class Rowing Coach Degree.
Kujda has been married to his wife, Katie, for 15 years and the couple has two sons.