DI Regional Staff of the Year Ballot

DI Regional Staff of the Year Ballot

Below is a list of the nominees and head coach comments for each Division I Region Staff of the Year.  All CRCA members in good standing may vote within their region.  Please fill out the form by Wednesday, June 1 at 5:00pm EST.

Region 1

Fordham University

Fordham has a small staff and my assistant Katie Lane serves as both coach, recruiting coordinator and trailer driver. She is in her second year at Fordham and has had a tremendous impact on he program. This year our team jumped up from 8th in the A-10 conference last year to finish 3rd. In addition, all shells were more competitive in all regattas then the previous year’s with the V8 winning the Murphy Cup for the first time ever and the 2nd 8 finishing third at bot the A-10 and Dad Vail.

University of Rhode Island

Jessica Lizzi and Jenna Hetzell.  We won the Atlantic 10 conference and had a very successful season.  Jess had a baby a month ago and she was back coaching with in a week!!   That is something!  My staff is dedicated to what they do and I am very thankful to them.

Yale University

Jamie Snider and Laura Simon have done a great job this year. Laura coaches our 3V which is ranked #1 in the Ivy league going into the Ivy Champs. As a veteran coach who is in her first year she has transitioned very smoothly into our program and brought a high level of professionalism to our program. Jamie is a veteran who has been coaching our fours for the last 11 years. This year our V4 has been consistently ranked in the top 5 nationally and is currently second in our league. Both coaches are extremely active in every aspect of YWC and are deserving of the honor of staff of the year. Both Jamie Snider coach of the V4 and Laura Simon coach of the 3V eight won their respective events at Ivy Champs.

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Region 2

Boston University

My staff has been a consistent source of support and positive challenge this past year. We have helped one another stay focused on what I believe will make the team faster no matter the daily distractions that are inevitable in our profession. Matt Hanig coached our varsity fours through the spring and worked with different lineups every few days and still made good progress this season. Lynn Ratte led our novice squad from a group of strangers to a cohesive team unit with a strong foundation to return this fall and train hard. Malcolm Doldron coaches our lightweight team and has done outstanding work with them – he also coordinates our recruiting efforts, in which all coaches take an active role. Abby Knight is our lightweight assistant coach and is a great contributor on and off the water. Russ Cone is our boatman and is extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy.  We were able to achieve a solid victory in the varsity 8 event at the Patriot League due to my entire staff’s active support and confidence in our team’s mission. I believe in my staff’s good intent, strong character, and great work ethic and I am grateful to have each of them on board.

Canisius College

Erin Neppel has been the single greatest change to our program since its inception in 2011 as our lead and eventually only assistant coach. She spearheaded the turn in our team dynamic that led our V8 to rise from 5th in our conference to a close 2nd, posting program-best finishes at every regatta we contested including a win over cross-town rival Buffalo by nearly a minute in the Fall . She succeeded in the recruitment of 6 talented student-athletes for 2016-17 with an average of just .06 scholarships each; six of her 2016 recruits made a direct impact in the V8 (3) and 2V8 (3) as freshmen. She works tirelessly for the betterment of the program despite being a graduate student herself; she is unquestionably the best assistant coach I have had in a 20-year career — and four of those coaches have gone on to be D1 head coaches. Already redlined heading into the Spring season, she took on additional coaching duties with our varsity four and guided them through a two-week montage training program that ensured they made the final at our conference championship. Without Erin, we do not have a program at Canisius!

Northeastern University

This is a nomination for Staff of the Year for Andrew Wieler, Sarah Ivey, and Kathryn Averwater, for Region 2, the region formerly known as the Mid-Atlantic. These three coaches are primarily responsible for recruiting and developing young athletes to prepare them to make a positive impact on our NCAA squad. While we all work together to develop the team through the fall and winter, during the spring season, Andrew is primarily responsible for the 2V8 while Sarah coaches the Four, and Kate the 3V8. In our last two regattas, we won four medals at the Eastern Sprints, and ended the season sweeping our conference championship. Our varsity and 2nd varsity 8’s are ranked #1 in the region, and the four was ranked #2 before this weekend.

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Region 3

Duke University

Duke’s recent success is the result of a team oriented approach to coaching. Chuck Rodosky, Chase Graham and I work as a team to emphasize our collective strengths. Without ego or dominance, we worked together to completely reform the culture of the program and have it reflect our values of work ethic, passion and racing. Chuck has most closely worked with the 2V, and they’ve had a phenomenal season. The boat is stroked by a walk-on, includes 3 freshman, and has as much grit as the man himself. Chase has worked primarily with the development group and the varsity fours. His top four has had numerous wins all season against highly ranked opponents, and echo his characteristic winning style. Without a boatman or GA, we’ve relied on the three of us to do all of the repairs, rigging, trailer driving, development, selection, recruiting, and on the water coaching. Duke would not have the success that it’s had without this staff working so cohesively and meticulously. I chose Chase and Chuck to help establish a winning culture at Duke. They have done just that.

Old Dominion University

Laura Miller is the varsity assistant at Old Dominion. This past season we were without our first assistant and she did much to offset the loss. She was responsible for coaching the novice group and recruiting as well as handing ops for team travel and apparel.

University of Texas

The staff has been terrific in building on the success from last year. Tireless work ethic and talented coaches. It’s fun to work on staff where everyone is fully committed to making TEXAS Rowing the best it can be.

University of Virginia

Brett Gorman and Joshua Gautreau work in all aspects of the Virginia program with shared responsibilities of coaching, recruiting and off the water training. They have showed the highest degree of expertise and professionalism as well as integrity in their interactions with our student-athletes. We have 21 new rowers and coxswains coming into the program next year and they both have had a big impact on that class. They have also helped me immensely in all areas of managing the program.

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Region 4

University of Central Florida

UCF would not be where it is today (2 conference championships) without my staff of Conny Kirsch, Megan Mitchell, Kristen Larson, volunteer coach – Kayla Thieken, and Boatman Brad Woodrick. They do such a great job of all the behind the scenes things (travel, admin, academics, etc) that we can focus on coaching. They have worked tirelessly to recruit experienced rowers who are the right fit, out of sport recruits who can contribute quickly and find true novice off campus. We have been working hard to change the culture and they have been instrumental both in who we bring in to how we lead our current team. Megan and Kristen work with the novices in the fall, and Megan works with the 4’s in the spring – this spring our Varsity 4 that won the AAC championship had 3 walk on novices in their first year. Conny works with the 2nd varsity 8 who went from finishing 7th by a significant margin at Clemson Invite (28″ behind Clemson) to finishing within 6″ of Iowa and 5″ in front of Clemson two weeks later. Kristen works with our 3V8, which is constantly changing, but she keeps them pushing hard and excited about racing.  I am lucky to have them as my staff and I would like to honor them for all their hard work and the speed they bring to UCF.

University of Michigan

We have a young team this year and the staff has done an incredible job with the development of these young athletes. Our top two eights are made up of almost all Freshmen and Sophomores and the staff has brought these athletes up to an extremely high level in a very short amount of time. They work tirelessly with recruiting and are a big reason for the success we have seen this season.

University of Wisconsin

The Badger women’s rowing team is finishing up it’s best season since 2010, and is looking forward to it’s highest finish ever at NCAA’s. This is due in large part to the selfless, talented and unified coaching staff of Nancy LaRocque, Jim Mitchell and Joanna Poinsatte. Jim, in his first year as freshman coach, started with 120 kids and honed them into racers, with the first and second freshmen 8’s completing an undefeated season and winning the Big Ten Championships. He also learned the true meaning of wind chill. Nancy and Joanna, along with Head Coach Bebe Bryans, team coached the varsity boats, making sure that each boat received attention from many different sets of experienced eyes and rowing knowledge. This approach, a new one for us, showed the team we were serious about the message of team over boat, and boat over self. As a result, all of our boats have gone at least 10 seconds faster than ever before and the Badgers are on the move. Looking forward, Nancy has helped the Badgers land the deepest recruiting class in Wisco history for 2016-17.

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Region 5

Gonzaga University

Kari Durgan and Marissa Wortman are responsible for all of the recruitment and development of our student athletes. Their unique contributions to our program have resulted in our most successful season ever. There is no way our program would be performing at the level that is has without the efforts of both Kari and Marisa.

Stanford University

I’d like to enthusiastically nominate Becca Carlton & Kelsie Chaudoin. We’ve got a super young team this year and BC and Kelsie have busted their tails to bring the frosh up to college-level rowing speed. The erg and fitness PR’s with this group were significant. With frosh in every one of our lineups, this was key in getting all of our NCAA boats on the Pac-12 podium this year. Becca coaches the 2V8 and is our in-house rigger, personally handling all boat repair and equipment maintenance, as well as logistics for travel. Kelsie coaches our V4 and oversees all walk-on instruction in addition to handling all recruiting duties. We’re a lean coaching staff and both have worked tirelessly this year, providing additional support with strength and conditioning training as well. (BC has a masters in exercise physiology and Kelsie is a certified yoga instructor). I hope you’ll honor them with your vote for Staff of the Year!

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