Back for its seventh year, we are excited to announce the Coach-Con class of 2019! As always, the application process was competitive. This year we made the choice to expand the class from 12 to 14 attendees, and also to include two head coaches who are new to their positions. Attendees represent diverse programs, backgrounds, and experiences, but are united in their passion for rowing and their pursuit of excellence in their craft.
Megan Biging – USC Women’s Rowing
Megan Biging, a former rower for the Women of Troy as well as a former assistant coach, has returned to her alma mater to coach.
“I am very excited to welcome Megan back to the Trojan Rowing Family,” said Adam. “Megan’s previous experience as both a Trojan rower and coach for our program makes her a great fit. Her expertise and skill as a coach stood out in the interview process. She will be a great role model for our team, and I am looking forward to a great partnership.”
Biging returns to Troy after being an assistant coach for the USC women’s rowing program for five years from 2011 through 2016. While an assistant coach at USC, Biging helped the Women of Troy achieve a fourth place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships, the highest finish ever for the program.
Before coaching at USC, Biging was the head coach at the Radnor Girls Crew Club in Wayne, Penn. where she coached 30 young women to two first place finishes at the prestigious Stotesbury Regatta and her team qualified for the scholastic championships every year.
Biging also gained experience working at the Masters Rowing Association and coached at the Marine Aquatic Center in Marina del Rey, Calif.
In addition to her plethora of coaching experience, Biging is an accomplished rower.
Biging competed in the 2016 Great Pacific Race where she spent 57 days at sea rowing 2,400 miles from Monterey, Calif. to Honolulu, Hi. With her sixth place finish in the race, she holds the World Record for fastest all-female classic pair to row across the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Biging competed for the Women of Troy from 2002 to 2006 and was the team captain for the 2006-07 season. Her best performances include third place at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships and a sixth place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships. In 2006 she earned CRCA Second Team honors and the Trojan Spirit Award.
Biging graduated from USC in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in social science with an emphasis in psychology. She also has a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Gonzaga, which she earned in 2012.
Fiona Bourke – Harvard-Radcliffe
Fiona Bourke joined the Harvard-Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew staff as an Assistant in December, 2016. In her first year with the Black and White, Radcliffe won the Eastern Sprints and was fifth at the Ivy League Championships. Fiona guided the Varsity A Four to a silver medal at the 2018 Ivy League Championships.
Fiona Bourke was a member of the New Zealand Rowing Team from 2010 to 2015, earning a spot on the Olympic team in 2012. Under the tutelage of Richard (Dick) Tonks (World Rowing Coach of the Year 2005, 2010 and 2012) she took Gold at the 2014 World Rowing Championships (W2x), Silver in 2013 (W2x) and Bronze in 2011 (W4x). In addition, she captured two gold, one silver and two bronze medals at World Cup Regattas over her career and Silver at 2010 U23 World Rowing Championships.
Bourke grew up in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and began her rowing career as a walk-on to the Otago University Rowing Club (OURC) in 2007. She helped OURC to claim the New Zealand University Rowing Championship title from 2007-2009. Bourke is an eight time national championship title winner, a two-time Halberg Award nominee and was named New Zealand Maori Sportswoman of the Year in 2014.
Bourke earned a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accounting from Massey University (New Zealand) in 2014.
Patrick Burns – Florida Tech Women’s Rowing
Patrick Burns joined the women’s rowing in staff in the fall of 2018.
Prior to joining the staff, Patrick spent time on the Syracuse University staff. During the fall, he worked with 3rd Varsity 8+ and spent the spring working with the full team. During his time, Patrick was in charge of managing the team’s video library and assisted with the team at all levels. The Orange finished 2nd in the ACC and 16th at the NCAA Championship.
Before his time at Syracuse, he spent 2015-2016 volunteering with the Cornell Lightweight men. While at Cornell Patrick coached worked mostly with the 4V-6V. The 4V finished 3rd at Eastern Sprints and the 5V won Eastern Sprints at the end of an undefeated season.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience he has spent several years coaching at the high school level. In summer 2018, he worked with the Community Rowing Inc competitive boys’ team. In spring 2018, he was the varsity boys coach for Fayetteville-Manlius High School’s rowing team.
Much of his coach career was spent as an assistant coach at Albany Rowing Center from 2013-2015 and again in 2016-2017. During his tenure, Patrick worked in a variety of roles ranging from novice girls coach to masters coach. He also assisted with the junior rowing program at Albany Rowing Center. With his help the team thrived as it grew in size and won multiple state championships.
Patrick is from Syracuse, New York and started his rowing career at Fayetteville-Manlius High School. He graduated from SUNY Albany in 2014 with a degree in Economics.
Brandon Campbell – Washington State University
Brandon came to Washington State University in the fall of 2015. He began the Master’s program in Sport Management through the College of Education. While pursuing his degree, Brandon was the graduate assistant with the Women’s rowing team. In the fall of 2017, Brandon was promoted to the Novice Assistant Coach position. The Freshman/Novice 8+ finished 3rd at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships.
Brandon began coaching the Heavyweight Men at Brock University in the fall of 2012. During the three years he was at Brock University, the Men’s team won the points trophy at the Ontario University Association Championship in 2014, won the Men’s 4+ at the OUA Championships in 2014, came 2nd in the Men’s 8+ and Men’s pair at the 2014 Canadian University Rowing Championships and won the Men’s 2- at both the 2013 and 2014 National Rowing Championships in the Under 23 event. Brandon also represented Canada at the 2014 FISU University World Championships as a team coach.
Brandon started his coaching career in 2010 at the South Niagara Rowing Club located in Welland, Ontario, Canada. During his time there, he coached crews to gold medal performances at the Canadian Henley Regatta, and a second place finish at the Head of the Charles regatta in the Junior Men’s 4+. Brandon also brought a crew to the Henley Women’s regatta that won the Junior Women’s 8+ in 2013.
Brandon started rowing at E.L. Crossley Secondary School located in Fonthill, Ontario, Canada. He was a four time national champion while competing for the Cyclones. During his junior years, he also spent time on the Canadian Junior National team, finishing 7th in the Men’s Pair at the 2003 Junior World Championships.
Sarah Caruthers – Franklin Pierce
Sarah (Potts) Caruthers enters her second season as head coach of the Franklin Pierce University rowing program in 2018-19 (hiring release). As of April 2018, she also serves as the Department of Athletics’ Director of External Operations.
Sarah graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and was a member of the Women’s Varsity Lightweight Rowing team under Coach Jim Dietz. During her time at UMass, her accomplishments included winning several A10 Championships and competing at the prestigious Dad Vails and Head Of The Charles Regatta. Upon graduation, Caruthers rowed on the Lightweight High-Performance Group at Riverside Boat Club in Boston. During her time at Riverside, Caruthers competed at the Canadian Henley and placed 2nd in the Lightweight 4 at the Head Of The Charles. Caruthers has been an active member of the rowing community donating her time and talent to various organizations and events, including the Head Of The Charles Regatta as a consultant.
Caruthers has also seen competitive success outside of rowing. In 2004, she finished fourth at the World Synchronized Skating Championships. She is also a two-time first-place finisher at the United States Synchronized Skating Championships.
Caruthers also brings significant administrative experience from the professional sports world with her to Rindge. She previously spent nearly four years (2011-15) with the Boston Red Sox in a variety of roles. In her time with the club, Caruthers spent time as an Executive Assistant and coordinated special projects, including her role as the Event Director of the team’s 2014 Hall of Fame induction.
Most recently, Caruthers spent five months as Director of Special Projects for the Boston 2024 Partnership. She helped plan all special events and fundraising opportunities for the group, which sought to bring the Olympics to Boston in 2024. In her role, she helped to oversee activities associated with the bid including activations for the 2015 Boston Marathon and Olympic Day at Fenway Park.
She currently resides in Jaffrey, N.H. with her husband, Alex, and their daughter, Isabelle.
Russell Garrett – Marietta College Men’s Rowing
Russ Garrett enters his second year as the Assistant Coach of Men’s Rowing at Marietta College in 2018-2019 where he is primarily responsible for the lower boats.
In 2016-2017, Garrett served as the assistant girl’s coach at his alma mater Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey.
Prior to returning to coach at Mainland, Garrett spent two years as the men’s freshmen lightweight coach at the University of Delaware. His crews claimed four Dad Vail medals including the 2016 men’s freshmen lightweight 8+ gold and silver medals, and a pair of 2015 silvers in the men’s freshmen heavyweight 8+ and lightweight 8+ divisions.
Garrett rowed collegiate at Delaware where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. He spent three years in the varsity lightweight 8+ shell. The Blue Hens captured Dad Vail gold in 2013 and silver in 2012 and 2014. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Oarsman in his junior and senior years.
Sarah Jordan – Rutgers University
Sarah Jordan is completing her first season coaching at the collegiate level with Rutgers University. Prior to coaching at Rutgers, she coached at Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.
Jordan was a four-year member of the University of Virginia Women’s rowing team, where she earned First Team CRCA All-South Region, All-ACC Honors, and was coxswain for the ACC Crew of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Jordan was a member of the team that won four consecutive ACC Championship Team Titles and the 2012 NCAA Championship team.
Dustin Kraus – Cal Women’s Rowing
Dustin Kraus enters his second season with California rowing, having previously served as a volunteer assistant in the 2009-2010 season.
Kraus is a graduate and former rower at the University of Washington. While rowing with the Huskies, Kraus won a Pac-10 title and two National Championships in the four.
Kraus coached the Varsity Boys at the Marin Rowing Association from 2012-2016. Under his tenure, the varsity eight won the Head of the Charles three times. The varsity eight and lightweight eights placed top five in the nation at US Rowing Youth Nationals every year. In 2014 the Marin Boys swept the San Diego Crew Classic. The lightweight eight were undefeated National Champions in 2014 and the varsity eight took second in the nation in 2016.
Kraus also coached the Marin Masters Men from 2011-2016. Under his guidance the Masters team won multiple titles at the Head of the Charles, San Diego Crew Classic and Veterans Henley regattas.
In 2013 Kraus helped the Marin Rowing Association win the Head of the Charles points trophy by leading five crews to gold medal performances (Junior and Masters crews).
Dustin coached the Marin novice boys in the 2011-2012 season, with the A, B and C eights, as well as the freshman eight all going undefeated.
Kraus coached the Penn AC junior men in ’14, ’15 and ’16. The team won the 8+, 4+ and U17 4+ at US Rowing Club Nationals in 2014. The 8+ was 3rd and 4+ was 2nd in ’15. The U17 8+ won in 2016.
Kraus was head coach of the Sacramento State men’s program in the 2008-2009, 2010-2011 seasons, leading the Varsity 8+ back in to the grand finals at the San Diego Crew Classic for the first time in a decade in 2009. Kraus also guided the program to its first-ever national ranking, climbing as high as 5th in the American Collegiate Rowing Association poll.
Kraus began his coaching career in the ’07-’08 season as novice boys coach at his high school program Capital Crew, where he served as co-team captain in 2003.
A native of Carmichael, Calif., Kraus graduated with B.A. in English Literature in 2007 and a Masters in Education: Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership in 2010, both at the University of Washington.
Jen Pavlik – University of Central Oklahoma Rowing
In her second season as a Graduate Assistant for the UCO rowing program is Jen Pavlik.
Jen helped guide the UCO Bronchos to the NCAA Division II women’s rowing national championship last season.
Originally from Tampa, Fla., Pavlik graduated from Jacksonville University in 2017 with a degree in Aviation Management. She was a walk-on novice at Jacksonville and soon became a four-year varsity rower for the Dolphins. Pavlik served as team captain for the 2016-2017 season and was on the MAAC All-Academic Team all four years. She was also a four-time MAAC Champion and NCAA Finalist.
She was a part of the varsity 4 freshmen year and second varsity 8 sophomore-senior year. Pavlik was also part of the second varsity 8 All-MAAC Boat of the year in 2015 and 2017.
Pavlik is currently pursuing her masters in business administration.
Jake Power – Loyola Marymount University Women’s Rowing
Jake Power completed his first year as an Assistant Coach with LMU Rowing, where he primarily worked with the fours group. Prior to LMU, he spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant coach with Stanford Women’s Rowing while completing a post-baccalaureate program at the Graduate School of Business. Jake began his coaching career following his time as coxswain with the University of Virginia men’s rowing program, and began his rowing career at Camp Randall Rowing Club in Madison, Wisconsin.
Julia Rigothi – Marist Women’s Rowing
Julia Rigothi is in her second year as an assistant coach for the Marist women’s rowing program after four years as a student-athlete for the Red Foxes. Rigothi was a four-year member of the Varsity Eight and a two-time team captain for the Red Foxes. She was named the Marist College 2017 Sportsperson of the Year and won the Women’s Crew Captain’s Award from 2015-17. She was a member of MAAC All-Academic Team and was named a CRCA National Scholar Athlete D1 and was a 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Program in 2017 after majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Mathematics. She is a co-author of a publication in a 2018 issue of the Genetics Journal, after working for three years as an undergrad in a molecular biology research lab. She graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration with a Healthcare Concentration from Marist this May of 2019. She plans to pursue her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in due time but is currently enjoying coaching at her alma mater.
Rigothi competed at the 2016 and 2017 U23 World Championship United States National Team Trials in the Women’s 2x. At the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, Rigothi earned a gold medal in the 2016 U23 Women’s 4x and 2018 Women’s Dash 8+ as well as a close second-place finish in the 2018 Senior Women’s 4x. She won the 2018 USRowing Club National Championships in the Women’s Senior 2x. She has competed at the Head of the Charles for eight continuous years, finishing in 4th place as a freshman in Marist’s Club 4+ in 2013, second place in the Women’s Club 1x in 2017, and 9th place in the Women’s Championship 2x in 2018.
John P Sekulich – UC Santa Barbara
JP learned to row in high school at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, and continued to row in college for the University of California, Berkeley. After college, he began coaching at SI as the freshman coach. In 2006, he accepted a graduate assistantship at Marietta College, where he earned a Master of Arts n Education and coached the novice crew. Upon graduating from the program in 2008, he worked as a sales agent for Vespoli USA for nearly a decade, covering the Midwest and West Coast regions. In 2017, he found his dream job (and current appointment) as the Head Coach of Men’s Rowing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he’s also pursuing a PhD in Education.
Monica Whitehouse – Wisconsin Women’s Rowing
Monica Whitehouse, a Badger rower from 2010-14, is back as an assistant coach for the Wisconsin rowing program. She serves as the program’s novice coach.
“Monica is a young coach with a passion for rowing and all that it can bring to those who take it on,” head coach Bebe Bryans said. “She knows how to take athletes with potential and help them to develop collegiate-level skill, whether she is working with top rowing recruits or athletes who were born to row, but haven’t had the chance to experience it yet. She understands the Wisco Way because she’s lived it – it’s in her blood. Our freshmen will be fortunate to have her as their first Badger coach.”
Originally from Muskego, Whitehouse rowed as a walk-on at Wisconsin from 2010 through 2014, and reached the international level by representing Team USA at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands in the women’s lightweight quadruple sculls. She rowed with the Badgers’ varsity eight at three NCAA rowing championships and took home three medals from Big Ten championships during her college career.
The two-year captain was named one of two University of Wisconsin Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners in 2014 after taking home the award for the women’s rowing team that year.
A 2014 Second-Team Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-Central Region rower, Whitehouse earned first-team All-Big Ten honors that same year as stroke of UW’s varsity eight. She was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2013.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten team member as a psychology major, Whitehouse also earned team recognition as 2014 winner of The Graves Family Award, which goes to a senior for her contributions to the success of UW crew. She was also a two-time winner of the Simonds Award, voted on by her teammates in recognition of toughness, work ethic and commitment.
Since her time at Wisconsin, Whitehouse spent much of her time in Sarasota, Florida, as regatta director for Sarasota Crew and as an assistant rowing coach. Helping with a program that boasts eight consecutive Florida state championships, she coached over 120 athletes annually in training, nutrition and recovery practices. She also managed six yearly regattas and assisted with course operations at Nathan Benderson Park, site of past NCAA and World Rowing Championships.
While in Florida, Whitehouse kept her connection to the Badgers as a Sarasota/Manatee Chapter board member of the Wisconsin Alumni Association.
Hanna Wiltfong – K-State Women’s Rowing
Hanna Wiltfong begins her seventh year on the K-State coaching staff in 2018-19. She spent five years rowing for the team from 2007-12 after which she was brought on to staff to spend three years as the graduate assistant coach from 2012-15. She was promoted to full-time assistant coach in the summer of 2015 and has acted as the lead recruiter and assistant coach ever since.
After training as a member of the team from 2007-12 and serving as a team captain from 2010-12, Wiltfong is the first point of contact for most incoming student-athletes and teaches the sport to K-State’s beginners.
“It means something to me to work with this team. In many ways, K-State Rowing built me and it is my privilege and my challenge to attempt to help these young women to be as empowered by this sport as I was. This program has a grass roots approach that is so rare in division one sports and I am proud of how far we have come and the student-athletes who continue to push our program forward. After 10 years here, I can say that K-State Rowing team members are tough kids who want to work hard, together; and that’s who I want to work with,” Wiltfong said.
There exists a long-standing tradition of student-athletes moving into coaching roles for K-State rowing – when Wiltfong first joined the staff she worked alongside Stephanie VanMatre and Grace Ure who had both competed for the Wildcats as undergrads. The tradition continues still as the rowing team has since added Beth DeMars, Noelle Dykmann and Kayla Brock, all former rowers and team leaders, to the coaching staff. Wiltfong had a strong career with K-State, serving as a co-captain her junior and senior years, and most notably being the first Wildcat rower to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team. She also excelled off the water, earning Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2011 and 2012 and was a two-time CRCA Scholar-Athlete.
“Having Wiltfong on staff has made a tremendous impact on our recruiting. She is passionate and invested in this program and it really comes through in her coaching and recruiting style. She works well with the younger coaches and is playing a large role on staff,” Sweeney said.
In her three years as graduate assistant coach, Wiltfong was part of perhaps the best seasons in program history. Assisting the staff in recruiting, as well as teaching and coaching the novices in the sport, Wiltfong has played a role in the development of top-three finishing Wildcat squads at Big 12s in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Wiltfong earned two bachelor’s degrees in her five years as a student-athlete. The first in Mass Communications – Public Relations and the second in Sociology, both in 2012. While picking up a minor in Leadership Studies. She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in College Student Development – Administration complimented by a Master’s certificate in Advising in 2015.