Bebe (pronounced BEE-bee) Bryans begins her fifth season leading the women's openweight and lightweight rowing programs at the University of Wisconsin.
Bryans and the Badgers have been a successful marriage, with the Bryans-led openweights posting an eighth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships. The team's 10th-place finish in 2008 gave the program its fourth bid in five years and third under Bryans.
Under Bryans, the varsity openweights have succeeded and the novices have blossomed, with the novice eight posting perfect seasons in 2006 and 2008, winning Big Ten Conference and NCAA Central/South regional titles.
While the openweights ascend the collegiate rowing ranks, the UW lightweights have been dominant, winning four national titles under Bryans' watchful eye.
Bryans, the first women's rowing head coach in Michigan State history, spent seven years in East Lansing, leading the Spartans to five NCAA championship appearances as a team. Michigan State was represented at the NCAA championships by at least one boat in every year of the program's existence. In 2002, her second varsity eight placed fourth and the varsity four placed fifth. She was recognized for her team's success as 1999 Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Central Regional Coach of the Year as her crew placed eighth at the NCAA Championships.
Bryans, 50, was named Big Ten Rowing Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2003. Her teams earned Big Ten championships in the varsity four (2002), second varsity eight (2003) and the second varsity four (2004). She has also coached two Big Ten Freshmen of the Year (2001, 2003), one Big Ten Athlete of the Year (2002) and one MSU Medal of Honor winner (2002).
Prior to Michigan State, Bryans served as the varsity women's rowing coach at Georgetown from 1992-97. She was a member of the NCAA Women's Rowing Committee while at Georgetown and led the Hoyas' varsity eight boat to a berth in the inaugural NCAA women's rowing championships in 1997.
In addition to her head coaching experience, Bryans has been active in the coaching ranks of the USA Women's National Rowing Team since 1985. As the head coach at the Junior World Championships in 1992 and 1993, Bryans led the 1992 women's eight to a bronze medal, which marked the first medal won for the U.S. in a Junior World contest.
Bryans went on to serve as the women's elite sculling coach at the 1995 World Championship. She was a member of the Women's Olympic Rowing committee from 1992-94 and she took on the role as the chair of the committee in 1993-94. Most recently, Bryans led the U.S. women's four and the lightweight single at the 2000 World Rowing Championships.
Before joining the coaching staff at Georgetown, Bryans was the head rowing coach at Mills College from 1988-92. Prior to her stint as crew coach at Mills, Bryans was the assistant swimming coach at San Francisco State University from 1986-88. She also served as founder, executive director and head coach of the Pacific Rowing Club from 1980-92.
A 1986 graduate of San Francisco State University, Bryans was a 10-time Division II All-American in swimming. In 1986, she was named the SFSU Woman Athlete of the Year. Bryans was dubbed the Northern California Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1986 as well. A 1991 FISA Masters world champion in the eight and the quad events, Bryans received her master's degree in physical education from San Francisco State in 1989.