Rowing NZ suffers big blow ahead of Olympics as women's eight coach resigns

With the Olympics just over a year away Rowing New Zealand has lost yet another of its high-performance coaches.

Dan Kelly has been coaching the women's eight since 2017 but with the team set to depart for Europe in a month, he's suddenly resigned from the role.

1 NEWS understands his departure was unexpectantly announced to the women's sweep squad, who make up the eight and four, on Wednesday and he hasn't coached since.

Rowing New Zealand today declined to comment on an employment matter but in a statement on their website it says, "we had hoped he'd remain with us for another Olympic cycle" and cited family reasons for his departure.

Kelly's exit follows closely on the heels of former men's head coach Noel Donaldson who suddenly resigned in March after six years with the organisation.

High Performance Director Alan Cotter also departed the organisation in September.

Kelly had worked as a coach in the New Zealand system since 2008, and his departure just over a year out from the sports pinnacle event, the Tokyo Olympics, raises a number of questions.

The women's eight will now work under their third coach since Rio, Dave Thompson who coached the boat to an historic fourth at the 2016 Olympics, departed for Canada in December of that year.

Women's head coach Gary Hay will take over the women's sweep squad.

More From