Heather O'Rourke, a 1999 graduate of Fordham University, returns to her alma mater in 2012 after serving as an assistant coach at Columbia in 2009 where her main focus was the Varsity 4, 3rd Varsity 8, and B4. Her guidance of these boats was instrumental in Columbia's most successful season to date which included it's first Top 20 National Ranking.
Prior to her stint at Columbia, O'Rourke, a four-year member of the women's crew as an undergraduate, was an assistant at Fordham. She started her coaching career as the head novice coach in 2000-01 and she also served as the Rams' Recruiting Coordinator from 2000-04.
In 2005, O'Rourke returned as an assistant novice coach and with Coach Wolleben lead the Novice Women to one of the most successful seasons in history.
In 1996-97 as club president of the women's crew her sophomore year, she was instrumental in bringing the women's program from a club to a varsity status. Fordham elevated the women's rowing program to a varsity sport the following year and O'Rourke served as captain of the varsity team her junior and senior year.
During her sophomore year she won the lightweight varsity event at the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre ergometer race. As a junior, she went to the US Rowing ID Camp, won a silver medal at the A10 Championships and was named MVP of the Fordham team. As a senior, she won a bronze medal at the Atlantic 10 Championships and was a finalist at the Dad Vail in the varsity lightweight eight. As a member of the Senior National Team Development Camp in the summers of 1996 and 1997 with ESRA in the Bronx, O'Rourke won gold, silver, and bronze medals in senior and intermediate events at US Rowing Nationals and was a finalist at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.
O'Rourke received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Fordham, with a minor in Business Administration and a certificate of concentration in Peace and Justice Studies. During her sophomore and junior years O'Rourke was the sports editor of the Fordham Yearbook and served as editor-in-chief her senior year. While at Fordham O'Rourke was also involved in community service activities both as a tutor for children and with the Global Outreach Program. She continues with community service today through similar programs.
O'Rourke is currently a part owner and VP of Sales and Marketing of Coast-Line International which services the aerospace and composites industries.