Native Philadelphian Jeanne Friedman has been a pre-eminent and active member in the world of crew for over 30 years. She is a founding member of Boston University’s crew team where she twice led them to gold medals at the U.S. Nationals. The former Penn assistant and Lower Merion coach is currently Mount Holyoke’s head coach where she has served for the past eighteen years.
Jeanne Friedman graduated from Girls High in 1972. During her time there, this all-around athlete was a force in her school’s Basketball, Lacrosse, Softball, Swimming, Gymnastic and Volleyball teams. She excelled in all and was honored her senior year as the 1972 B’nai B’rith “Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award”.
Ms. Friedman is as active in her religious life as she is dedicated to her sport. As a young girl, she often attended the West Oak Lane Jewish Community Center where she was both a bat mitzvah and confirmed. As a young adult, she continued her Jewish education by graduating from Gratz College. At Mount Holyoke, she is a valued member of the Jewish Faculty Committee.
In her undergraduate years at Boston University, Ms. Friedman was instrumental in founding the University’s crew team in 1973. As their captain, she led them to the National Women’s Rowing Championship in both Open and Lightweight Fours in 1974 and Lightweight Eights in 1975. Ms. Friedman earned her B.A. degree in Health Dynamics and earned her M.S. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Washington.
Before her appointment as leader of Mount Holyoke’s crew team, she coached at Lower Merion High School from 1983-88. For the following three years, she served as the assistant crew coach at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1990, she returned to Lower Merion, this time as its head coach.
In her eighteen years coaching the Mount Holyoke College Lyons she has led them to new heights. Her teams have won five “Seven Sisters” Championships, one New England Regional Championship and four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Championships.
“Jeanne’s induction into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame is a significant honor and recognizes her many contributions to rowing and women’s sports in general” said Mt. Holyoke’s Athletic Director Laurie Priest. “She is a true pioneer, who fought for equal rights for female athletes as a college student in the ’70’s and has committed her entire professional life to providing opportunities for women to grow and develop through sport. We at Mt. Holyoke are extremely honored to call her “one of our own”.