Michiel Bartman
Michiel Bartman
Title: The Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach for Men’s Lightweight Crew
Phone: (617) 495-7775
Email: mbartman@fas.harvard.edu
Previous College: College of Economic Studies, Amsterdam 1992
Experience: First Season

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard athletic department has announced the hiring of Michiel Bartman as the Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach for Men’s Lightweight Crew.

“We are pleased to announce that Michiel Bartman will become the next head coach of men’s lightweight crew,” said Bob Scalise, the Nichols Family Director of Athletics. “Michiel has provided excellent leadership to our student-athletes over the last two years with Radcliffe, and we are always happy when we can hire from within.”

“I am very excited and honored to be the new The Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach for Men's Lightweight Crew, but I am also sad to leave the lightweight women’s program,” Bartman said. “In the past two years we have accomplished a lot and I know that they will continue to be successful.

“It is great to become part of such a strong program and I want to continue to build on those strong successes of the past years,” Bartman continued. “I am also looking forward to working next to Charley Butt and the other coaches at Newell. Harvard and Radcliffe have four highly nationally ranked programs, plus such a tremendous wealth of coaching knowledge and strong rowers that I feel very honored to be part of the long rowing tradition here at Harvard.”

An Olympic champion, a three-time Olympic medalist and a 15-year coaching veteran, Bartman improved the Black and White’s performance in each of his first two seasons. Harvard-Radcliffe earned a silver medal a season ago at the IRA National Championship, while also finishing undefeated in duals, capturing the Head of the Charles Regatta title and capturing gold at the EAWRC Sprints Championship. At the Sprints, the group produced the largest margin of victory since 1998, finishing 8.259 seconds ahead of the field. 

In his first season, Bartman guided Radcliffe to third-place finishes at Eastern Sprints and at the IRA National Championship. It marked the program’s best finish in four years at IRA’s.

Before heading to the Charles, Bartman spent six years as the head coach at Vesper Boat Club, preparing elite athletes to compete at the World Rowing Championships and Olympic Games. His crews won more than 100 gold medals, and he led the women’s lightweight quad to bronze at the 2008 World Rowing Championships. His squads won club and elite national championships, as well as titles and points trophies at Canadian Henley, the Head of the Charles and other top regattas.

A native of the Netherlands, Bartman coached many Dutch national crews during his outstanding competitive career as a rower. At Vesper, he also coached individual athletes who went on to great success, including Andrew Byrnes, who won a gold medal as part of the 2008 Canadian men’s eight. During his tenure, Bartman increased the number of full-time elite rowers from seven to 25 and oversaw more than 100 rowers in five different summer programs.

With his boat mates in the Dutch men’s eight, Bartman reached the pinnacle of competitive rowing by winning a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The gold came after setting a world record and several course records during an undefeated 1996 season.  He later won silver in the quad in 2000 in Sydney and in the eight in 2004 in Athens. Bartman was a part of medal-winning crews at the world championships in the coxed four in 1994, the eight in 1995 and the quad in 2001.

Bartman took part in two Henley Royal Regatta championships. He raced in the eight that won the Grand Challenge Cup in 2004, and in the quad that won the Queen Mother Cup in 2000. The Grand Challenge win was the first by a Dutch crew in Henley’s signature event.

A graduate of the College of Economic Studies, Amsterdam, Bartman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1992. He studied marketing with a minor in accounting. 

A leader off the water, Bartman also served as chairman of the Dutch National Olympic Committee Athletes Commission from 2002-04. He has received great recognition in his native country for his accomplishments. He was named Amsterdam’s Male Sports Personality of the Year, along with teammate Diederik Simon, in 2004 and was part of the city’s Team of the Year in 1996 and 2004.