ANNAPOLIS, MD. – Mr. J. Duffy The Navy’s heavyweight rowing program was recently recognized by the Intercollegiate Rowing Coaches Association as the 2021 IRCA Returning Athlete of the Year. A four-year-old rower for Midshipmen, Duffy was chosen by the association as the most deserving individual who has shown significant improvement with his persistence, determination and dedication during the 2020-21 season.
Duffy (Fairfield, Connecticut) began his career in the second college eight in freshman before moving into the first boat for the 2018 IRA National Championships. In his sophomore year, he continued as a staple of the first crew racing in all eight competitions in the spring of 2019. As a junior in the 2019-20 school year, Duffy had major complications with his rowing and military training and had to be hospitalized for overtraining. After undergoing a battery of medical exams and tests, he finally underwent surgery to repair a valve in his heart. Seeking to leave his mark on the program as a senior in 2020-21, Duffy has slowly worked on improving his fitness, while continuing to be a leader for the aspirants of Hubbard Hall. Starting as a member of the ground squad, he progressed through his senior season from sixth to fifth college and eventually to the coxed fours seat at the IRA Nationals in May. The V4 + crew placed ninth in the country with a time of 7: 13.259.
“MJ is a calm and intense athlete who has become the vocal and spiritual leader of our entire team,” said the head coach. Rob friedrich. “His dedication and willingness to sacrifice himself has earned him the highest honor for a male rower at the Naval Academy, the Rusty Callow Award.”