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INDUCTED

24/11/1999

ACTIVE ERA

2001 - Current

LIFE

16/12/1955 -

Noel Donaldson was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1999 as a General Member for his contribution to the sport of rowing.

Without question, Noel Donaldson is best known as the coach of the world conquering ‘Oarsome Foursome’ since their inception in late 1989. With three World Championships (1990, 1991, 1998) and back-to-back Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996), they were the most feared coxless four in the world.

Donaldson was the coach of the men’s pair of James Tomkins and Matthew Long in their bronze medal performance at the Sydney 2000 Olympics games and inn 2004, he was the men’s head coach of the Australian rowing team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

In 1979, Donaldson was selected to represent Victoria and Australia as the coxswain of the men’s heavyweight eight. Victoria won the Kings Cup, and the Australian crew finished fourth in the World Championships.

After the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Donaldson took a position as a senior rowing coach at the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS), and in 1993 became the head coach of rowing at the Institute.

From February 2001, Donaldson held both the VIS position and the national men’s head coach position with Rowing Australia.

In September 2004, Donaldson was appointed the High-Performance Director of Rowing Australia to lead the rowing team towards the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He resumed the national men’s head coach role again between 2009 to the 2012 London Olympics where he was also the coach for Scholarship Holder Nicholas ‘Nick’ Purnell (2011).

After a stint overseas as Head Coach in New Zealand, Donaldson returned to the Victorian Institute of Sport in 2019 where he was the coach for Scholarship Holder Harrison ‘Harry’ Fox (2022).

 

Honours and Awards

  • 1992: Australian Coaching Council and the Confederation of Australian Sport’s Coach of the Year
  • 1996: Victorian Coaching Centre Coach of the Year
  • 1998: Victorian Coaching Centre Coach of the Year
  • 1999: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2000: Australian Sports Medal
  • 2020: Life Member of Rowing Australia

Coaching Palmares

 Olympic Games

  • 1992: Barcelona Olympics – men’s coxless four coach, gold
  • 1996: Atlanta Olympics – men’s coxless four coach, gold
  • 2000: Sydney Olympics – men’s coxless pair coach, bronze
  • 2000: Sydney Olympics – women’s single scull coach, 5th
  • 2012: London Olympics – men’s eight co-coach, 6th

 World Championships

  • 1990: World Championships – men’s coxless four, gold
  • 1991: World Championships – men’s coxless four – gold
  • 1993: World Championships – men’s eight, – 4th
  • 1995: World Championships – men’s coxless four, 5th
  • 1998: World Championships – men’s coxed pair, gold
  • 1998: World Championships – men’s coxless pair, silver
  • 1998: World Championships – men’s coxed four, gold
  • 1998: World Championships – women’s scull, 8th
  • 1999: World Championships – men’s coxless pair, gold
  • 1999: World Championships – women’s scull, 8th
  • 1999: World Championships – men’s coxed pair, 4th
  • 2009: World Championships – men’s eight coach, 7th
  • 2010: World Championships – men’s eight coach, bronze
  • 2010: World Championships – men’s coxed pair coach, gold
  • 2011: World Championships – men’s eight coach, 4th
  • 2011: World Championships – men’s coxed pair coach, silver
  • 2013: World Championships – NZ men’s pair coach, gold

U23 World Championships

  • 1994: Nations Cup – men’s eight coach, 4th
  • 1997: Nations Cup – men’s eight coach, 4th
  • 2003: U23 World Championships – men’s single scull co-coach, gold
  • 2003: U23 World Championships – men’s lightweight single scull co-coach, silver

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Bio image credit: ABC News

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