The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dan with UTC Coach Robert Espeseth, UTC Rowing Coordinator


Olympic medalist visits campus

The UTC Alumni Board and Alumni Office invited students, faculty and staff to meet Dan Beery, UTC’s first Olympic gold medalist. Beery was a member of the 2004 Men's Olympic Rowing Team. For the first time in 40 years, the USA Men's Eight Rowing Division won the gold medal in the summer 2004 Olympics with the help of Beery, class of 2000.

“It was very special. Three of the guys were in the boat of 2000, which self-destructed. So it was really special for them, and it was a great way to end our career,” Beery said. "I can finally say that if I want, I never have to row again. I don’t feel I have to prove anything else,” Beery said.

The USA Men’s Eight time was 5:42.48 in the 1,500-meter race. Beery and the USA Men's Eight won their opening heat with a World Record time of 5:19.85, beating the Canadian team, the defending World Champions and the Gold Medal favorite.

The team has hired an agent, according to Beery. “We are looking for an endorsement deal, and maybe do some commercials,” Beery said. Beery held a position with Boy Scouts of America, and he says he is looking for something new, perhaps with Johnson and Johnson.

While earning his degree in Exercise Science, Beery trained, held a job, and attended class full time at UTC for four years. Having grown up in Indiana, a nearly landlocked state, Beery did not begin rowing until he attended UTC. In fact, it was in Beery's first year that Coach Robert Espeseth, Rowing Coordinator at UTC, Olympic medalist and 1986 world rowing champion, introduced Beery to rowing.

“I feel really blessed,” Beery said. “And I am very proud to have graduated from UTC.”