Megan Cooke Carcagno turned in arguably one of the finest first-year coaching performances in Duke Athletics history during the 2015-16 campaign, receiving nearly every coaching award and leading the Blue Devils to their first NCAA Championships appearance.
Cooke Carcagno was named Duke University’s second head rowing coach on July 28, 2015, by Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White. She arrived in Durham after spending seven years as a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff.
In her initial campaign with the Blue Devils in 2015-16, Cooke Carcagno brought home a host of awards with Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) National Staff of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Head Coach of the Year, CRCA Region 3 Staff of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year. She helped Duke to its first NCAA Championships appearance in program history as well as a second-place finish at the ACC Championship. The Blue Devils entered the NCAA event with their highest ranking in program history, at No. 12.
Duke completed Cooke Carcagno’s initial year ranked 16th by the CRCA and was ranked for five weeks, tied for the most in a year by the Blue Devils. She engineered the performance by facing some of the best programs in the country, taking on No. 9 Princeton in a dual, No. 3 Virginia in a dual and No. 9 Stanford at the Pac-12 Challenge.
Within the ACC, Cooke Carcagno lifted the Blue Devils from a seventh place finish in 2015 to second in 2016, their highest since coming in second in 2006, and claimed the ACC Coach of the Year award. Aiding Duke were two photo finishes that went in its favor, in the V8 and 2V8. The Blue Devils’ V4 also finished second at the ACC event.
Cooke Carcagno helped seniors Katie Dukovich and Alex Stonehill receive CRCA Pocock All-America accolades as Dukovich was a First Team selection while Stonehill was a CRCA Pocock Second Team honoree. The pair were Duke's first All-Americas since Emily Theys was a second team recipient in 2013. Dukovich became the third First Team All-America in program history, and she and Stonehill were the two were the 11th and 12th Duke rowing All-Americas. Sophomore Katherine Maitland received CRCA Region 3 Second Team accolades and junior Phoebe Donovan, sophomore Jessica Findlay, senior Sarah Wall and senior Mary Wilson were named CRCA Scholar-Athlete Award winners.
Cooke Carcagno was with the Badger program for seven years, one as an associate head coach, one as a varsity assistant and five as the freshman coach. After her first campaign in Madison, she was named the CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year for directing the UW novice crews to Big Ten titles in the N8 and second N8 events in 2009. The N8 also took first in the NCAA Central Regional regatta. She earned a second CRCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2012.
In the spring of 2015, Cooke Carcagno helped the Badgers ensure their eighth consecutive NCAA Championships selection and primarily coached the 2V8, which placed ninth at the NCAA Championships.
During each of her five seasons coaching the UW freshmen, her N8 placed in the top three at the Big Ten Championships, while the second N8 won four titles and finished second the other season. In 2010, Cooke Carcagno helped the UW novice crews to their fifth and eighth Big Ten titles, respectively, on the way to a Big Ten Championships crown for Wisconsin in open weight rowing. She also directed the N8 to a win in the grand final and the second N8 to a win in the petite final at the NCAA Central/South Sprints.
Prior to joining Wisconsin, Cooke Carcagno coached for six years following her graduation from California, culminating with a stint coaching the masters rowers at the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association, USRowing's Club of the Year.
She spent her first year out of Cal as an assistant freshman coach for the Bears, while also coaching the Oakland Strokes, Inc. club and at Marin Rowing Association during the 2002-03 season. Cooke Carcagno moved on to New Jersey to train with the U.S. national team, all the while giving private instruction to numerous high school athletes in the region.
As a rower at Cal, Cooke Carcagno twice earned first team All-American honors to go along with a pair of first team all-region and first team All-Pac 10 accolades. Co-captain as a junior and senior, she helped the V8 to third at the 2002 NCAA Championships and fourth at the 2000 event.
Cooke Carcagno, a Los Gatos, Calif., native, spent four years with the U.S. national team, from 2004-07. As part of the 2006 U.S. World Champion women's 8, she helped establish a world record for Team USA. A 2006 Henley-on-Thames champion, she also won a gold medal at the 2006 Lucerne World Cup in the women's pair and a silver in the women's 4 without coxswain at the 2001 World Under-23 Championships.
Cooke Carcagno earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from California in 2002.