James W. Dietz is a two time Olympian in rowing (1972, Munich; 1976, Montreal), a silver medalist at the 1972 world rowing championships, long time coach of the University of Massachusetts rowing team and a 1988 NYAC Hall of Fame inductee.
James Dietz’s illustrious rowing career began when he was15 years old, when he won the Canadian National youth single sculls championship in 1964. He won that same title two more times before he enrolled at Northeastern University and joined the rowing team.
It was at Northeastern, rowing on the Charles River, that Dietz molded himself into one of the country’s top scullers.
In 1972, Dietz qualified for his first Olympic Games in the single sculls event. Although he failed to medal, his strong performance – he earned fifth place – imbued him with confidence that carried him for the rest of his athletic career. Two years later, at the 1974 world rowing championships, Dietz won the silver medal in the single sculls.
Dietz is also a two time Olympian in single sculls. He finished in fifth place at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and seventh place in the 1976 Games in Montreal. He also qualified for the 1980 Games in Moscow, but did not compete because of the American boycott.
Currently, Dietz is the head coach of the University of Massachusetts women’s rowing team, a position he has held for the last 23 years. In addition to his coaching duties, Dietz served as Male Vice Chair of USRowing. Previously, he served as head coach for the rowing team at the Coast Guard Academy.
For his litany of accomplishments, Dietz was inducted into the NYAC Hall of Fame in 1988.