Amy Fuller Kearney, who was the head coach of UCLA women’s rowing head coach from 2001–02 through 2020–21 and a senior advisor for UCLA Athletics, died March 11 in Los Angeles due to complications from breast cancer. She was 54 years old.
Fuller Kearney guided the team through its transition from club sport to varsity status and established the Bruins’ program as a consistent national competitor. She shared Pac-12 Women’s Rowing Coach of the Year honors in 2021–22 with Yasmin Farooq of the University of Washington.
She transitioned into her senior advisor role in the summer of 2021 while continuing to support the women’s rowing program, before retiring in April 2022.
Under her leadership, UCLA’s team finished as high as third at the Pac-12 Championships (in 2012) and had success at national events such as the San Diego Crew Classic and the Clemson Invitational. UCLA earned its first-ever team bid to the NCAA Championships in 2010 before making consecutive appearances in the national event in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Fuller Kearney routinely produced high-level rowers on the international scene, with multiple student-athletes earning medals at the U-23 World Championships and qualifying for Olympic teams.
Fuller Kearney joined UCLA after coaching at Stanford University; San Diego State University; University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; the U.S. national team; and UC Santa Barbara, her alma mater. She was a three-time Olympian and world record holder, and, in 1993, was named U.S. Rowing female athlete of the year. She also was a member of the first ever all-women’s team to challenge for the America’s Cup.
She is survived by her husband, Joe, and daughter, Shannon.