Cox Phelan Hill insisted the Great Britain crew used the right strategy after having to settle for bronze medals in the men's eight.
They finished third behind Germany and Canada after leading the race at halfway at Eton Dorney.
"All our intention was to make sure we would be with the Germans through the race," Hill, 33, told BBC Look East.
"We've been a working a lot on the tactics and felt we had the plan to go and beat them and it was almost there."
He continued: "They're an excellent crew, they dug really deep, they changed their plan mid-race and just got their bows in front."
Bedford-born Hill has coxed the eight for three years and was desperate to add a gold medal to the two silvers he brought home from the World Championships in 2010 and 2011.
"I've got mixed emotions. On the one hand, it feels fantastic to have won an Olympic medal, in London as well, but at the same time our goal was gold," he said.
Hill revealed how he exhorted his team-mates to pull out all the stops to try and secure Britain's second rowing gold, following the success of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the women's pair.
"At 1,000 metres we were level [with Germany] and through the 1,250 we called a big move and I was telling the guys 'this is our moment, our opportunity' and we really started moving on them then - I think we took a couple of seats on them.
"Coming through 500 [to go], we were neck and neck. I was quite aware as well that we had the stands on both sides and I was saying to the guys 'we've got 30,000 people in the crowd and they're here for you - really feed on their energy and let's go with it'."
But rower Tom Ransley was equally pensive but could not hide his disappointment.
"We wanted to get gold and we set up to do that. We put our bodies on the line, backed each other and had total faith in our crew," the 26-year-old from Ashford said.
"I guess the only thing we can take out of it is that we did go for for it."
"Anyone who's close [to you] will know that it's not what you want or what you train for. I'm pretty gutted."
Hill added he had been "totally overwhelmed" by the support for the team both before and during the Games so far.
"I don't think my phone has ever gone quite as crazy with texts and phone calls, receiving messages on Facebook and Twitter.
"What I experienced is perhaps something I'll never ever experience again in my rowing career. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity," he added.