Coach-Con Class of 2018

alison-fosterAlison Foster – Oregon State University Women’s Rowing

Allison Foster was named the assistant women’s rowing coach July 1, 2017 after serving as the interim head coach during the program’s transitional period.

Alison, a former Beaver rower, returned to OSU following a year and a half stint as the assistant rowing coach at the University of North Carolina. Her professional career started at the University of Puget Sound as the assistant men’s rowing coach, leading the team to a conference championship in 2014 on the way to being named the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Men’s Coach of the Year.

Foster rowed for four years at Oregon State after walking onto the team as a freshman and rowed under current head coach Kate Maxim. Foster served as volunteer assistant coach on the Beaver staff for a year following the expiration of her NCAA eligibility.

A 2012 graduate of Oregon State University, Foster earned her bachelor’s degree in public health and a minor in nutrition. She has also worked at YMCA’s in Washington as an Aquatics Director, and has experience leading youth and teen outdoor leadership programs. Foster is a certified US Rowing Level 2 Coach.



Anthea Barnett – UCLA Women’s Rowing

Anthea enters her second season as an assistant coach with the UCLA women’s rowing program in 2017-18.

Prior to joining the Bruins’ program, Barnett worked with Cleveland Youth Rowing Association and the Foundry High Performance Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Barnett’s impression was made through the development of several new rowing programs and her diligence to embrace Cleveland’s community.

Barnett began her rowing career at Ithaca College in New York, competing for the Bombers for four years. She helped lead her college program to the 2009 NCAA Championships.

Barnett continued coaching with the Ithaca women’s rowing program from 2009-14, while also pursuing graduate studies in sport psychology. She served as an intern with Chris Kerber and the Cornell University lightweight men’s team in 2014. That season, Cornell’s team had a consecutive undefeated season and won the IRA title.

Hailing from Augusta, Ga., Barnett graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics from Ithaca College in 2009. In her free time, she enjoys biking and hiking outdoors with her dog.


Audrey Kelley – Middlebury College Men’s and Women’s Rowing

Audrey is in her second year of coaching at Middlebury, primarily working with walk-on recruitment and developing freshmen and novice eights. In her first year she worked with the women’s team, and in 2017/2018 took on the novice men’s team as well.

Audrey rowed for Simsbury High School, and was a four-year varsity eight rower at the University of Connecticut where she captained the team her senior year (2015/2016).


Brendan Cunningham – University of Pennsylvania Men’s Rowing

Brendan is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s heavyweight rowing program in 2017-18, after joining the staff in the summer of 2014.

A 2010 Temple University graduate, Cunningham spent the 2013 season as a volunteer assistant at Yale University. The Bulldogs reached the Grand Final at both the IRA Regatta and EARC Sprints that year, finishing sixth overall in the Varsity Eight at each competition. The Bulldogs were also 4-1 in Cup races last year at the V8 level.

As a rower at Temple, Cunningham was a four-year member of the Owls crew team (2006-10).

After graduating, Cunningham remained on Boathouse Row as the novice rowing coach for Lower Merion (Pa.) High School, where he coached athletes new to the sport.

Cunningham has also worked as both the freshman/novice coach and recruiting coordinator for the men’s rowing program at Washington College in Maryland. While working at Washington, Cunningham expanded the scope of the team’s recruiting, bringing in the largest recruited class in the program’s history. He also trained members of the team with little to no experience in the sport, developing them into competitive oarsmen.


Chase Graham – Duke Women’s Rowing

Chase Graham joined the staff in August of 2015 and serves as the associate head coach. Graham served as a an assistant coach with the Blue Devils for his first two seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in June of 2017.

Graham joined Duke after four years as the head junior girls coach at Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, Conn. He has been involved in the sport for 18 years.

Graham began rowing at Parkersburg South High School in West Virginia, where he competed for Midwest and scholastic national championships. After high school Graham went on to row at Marietta College from 2003-07.

In 2009, Graham began coaching the women’s rowing program at Fairfield University. During his first year at Fairfield, he led his squad to the program’s first Dad Vail Championship.

Graham was named the Saugatuck girls head coach in 2010. His crews have consistently earned medals at regattas such as Head of the Charles, Northeast Regional Championships and the Youth National Championships.

In 2013, Graham coached the women’s single at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.


Erika Jorgensen – La Salle University Women’s Rowing

Erika Jorgensen is completing her first season coaching at the collegiate level with La Salle University. Prior to coaching the Explorers she was rowing with the Penn AC Rowing Association high performance team.

Jorgensen was a four-year member of the Washington State University rowing team, earning Pac-10 Conference All-Academic Team honors three times. During her sophomore and senior seasons, the Cougars advanced to the NCAA Division I Championships. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in biological sciences.


Joan Buck – Stanford Lightweight Women’s Rowing

Joan Buck begins her second season with the Stanford lightweight rowing program in 2018 as the Cardinal’s assistant coach. She completed her first year on The Farm by helping the program win its third-consecutive IRA National Championship in 2017.

Prior to Buck’s first season with Stanford, she spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach for the Dartmouth women’s rowing program. At Dartmouth, she worked with each of the boats, assisting with training on and off the water and coordinating all regatta preparations and team travel.

Buck also owns three years of coaching experience at the high school level as an assistant coach for the Boston College High School Boys Rowing program for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and the Brookline High School Boys Rowing program for the 2013 season.

She attended Wellesley College, where she earned a B.A. Russian Language & Literature in 2010.

Buck rowed for the Riverside Boat Club High Performance Group from 2010 through 2015, earning a spot in the USRowing Senior National Team Trials in the LW1x in 2013 and 2014. She was also an Elite Nationals Champion in the LW2x in 2013.


Julia Vari – Rutgers Women’s Rowing

Julia Vari joins the Rutgers coaching staff after spending the 2016-17 season at Loyola Marymount with Head Coach Justin Price.

Vari began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater Ohio State where she worked with the Buckeye’s walk-on/novice athletes in the fall of 2015.

At Ohio State, Vari was a member of the coaching staffs that won the NCAA Championship in 2015 and back-to-back Big Ten Conference Championships in 2015 and 2016.

In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Vari also spent the summers of 2014 and 2015 as an assistant coach with the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA).

Prior to beginning her coaching career, Vari rowed collegiately at Ohio State and was a member of the Buckeye team that won both the Big Ten and the NCAA Championship in 2013. Vari graduated cum laude from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Sport Industry.


Karl Huhta – Washington State University Women’s Rowing

Karl Huhta enters his fourth year as a member of the Cougar coaching staff and his first year as the associate head coach. Formerly an intern coach at Washington State from 2008-10, Huhta returned to Pullman three seasons ago after a four-year absence.

In 2013-14, Huhta was a volunteer assistant women’s rowing coach at California. The Golden Bears were tabbed as the No. 1 team in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll twice in April and went on to place second at the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Prior to his time at California, Huhta spent three seasons as a graduate assistant with the Central Florida women’s rowing team, while completing his master’s degree in sport and fitness, with an emphasis in sport leadership and coaching.

As an intern coach at WSU, Huhta was a member of the staff that helped lead the Cougars to a 13th-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships at Gold River, Calif.

Huhta was also an assistant coach at the U.S. Rowing National Men’s Pre-Elite Camp during the summer of 2011. The camp was held at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Okla. The camp develops athletes for the U.S. under-23 and senior national teams.

A four-year member of the Washington State men’s club rowing team from 2004-08, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management with minors in business administration and history from Washington State in 2009.


Madison Keaty – Gonzaga Women’s Rowing

Madison Keaty begins her second season as an assistant coach at Gonzaga. A Gonzaga grad and former Zag rower from 2010-14, Keaty came back to Gonzaga from Ithaca (N.Y.) College where she was an assistant coach for two seasons.

During her time at Ithaca, Keaty served as a graduate assistant in 2014-15 and co-novice coach in 2015-16.

Prior to Ithaca, Keaty was a member of the Gonzaga Women’s Rowing squad from 2010-14 and served as the team captain during the 2013-14 season.

Keaty earned a Bachelor of Education degree in Sport Management in May 2014 from GU and a Master of Science degree in Sport Psychology from Ithaca in December 2015. Keaty also has club coaching experience as the head coach for Lake Union Crew in Seattle, Washington, from 2013-15 and as a volunteer assistant for the Dayton Boat Club in Dayton, Ohio, in 2011.


Melisa Ongun – University of Washington Women’s Rowing

Melisa Ongun joined the Washington coaching staff in July of 2016. Now in her second year with the Huskies, Ongun’s first season was full of accomplishments.

In 2017, the Huskies won the NCAA Championship in unprecedented fashion, sweeping all three grand finals for the first time in the 21-year history of the event. It was the fourth NCAA title in UW history and the Huskies’ first since 2001.

Washington’s women also won their first Pac-12 Championship since 2003, winning all five finals, and the UW coaching staff was named the Division I Coaching Staff of the Year by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association.

She coaches the Huskies’ third varsity eight, which won the Pac-12 championship last year, and also directs the walk-on program.

Ongun completed her outstanding career as a rower at Michigan in 2013. Since completing her undergraduate and master’s degrees, she worked with the Michigan program. She has also worked as a coach in the U.S. junior national team selection camp.


Ryan Hurley – University of Delaware Women’s Rowing

Ryan Hurley enters his fourth year as the assistant coach for the University of Delaware rowing program in 2016-17.

He brought to Delaware 17 years of sport specific experience to the Blue Hen coaching staff. Most recently he served as the head coach of Liberty University in 2012-13, working primarily with the women’s varsity and novice squads during his tenure with the Flames.

Prior to Liberty University, Hurley coached at Virginia Tech from 2005-2011. The team saw some of its best success in program history under his direction with the team ranking in the national top ten for Club Women’s Eights in 2008 and 2009.

Before his move to Virginia Tech, Hurley served as the head coach of the UMass-Lowell women’s team while also coaching the Lowell High School varsity men. He led the Lowell High School men’s eight to a sliver medal in the 2004 Fall State Championship.

Hurley starred his coaching in the spring of 2001, serving as the assistant novice coach for two years with Brandeis University in Boston.

He is a 2001 graduate of University of Massachusetts at Amherst, graduating with a degree in psychology and competing as a member of the club rowing team.

He has his Level III US Rowing Coaching Certification and is an AFAA certified personal trainer.


Stesha Carle – University of San Diego Women’s Rowing

Stesha Carle rowed for the University of Michigan from 2002 through 2006. She was a four-year varsity athlete, including a 2006 team captain honor. She earned her bachelors in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology.

After she graduated in 2006, she began coaching for her alma mater as the Novice Women’s Assistant Coach. Even though she went into coaching, Stesha kept on competing.

In 2007, she started training with the US National Team. Her National Team honors include runner up at the Olympic Trials in 2016, gold medals in the W1x, W2x and W4x at the 2014 National Championships, silver medals in the W4x at the 2008, 2009 and 2011 World Championships.

In 2013, Stesha became the Assistant Director of Operations for the Southern California Sculling Club in Huntington Beach, CA. She was responsible for assisting with travel logistics for the regattas, selecting and organizing winning teams for Red Bull High Stakes and Head of the Charles, and provided mentorship to the new rowers at the club.