Speakers and Presentations WWS 2020

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Pre-Conference Workshop

ErinMcConnell WWS

Dr. Erin McConnell - Maximizing movement efficiency to minimize injury 

Erin is a physical therapist at Spaulding Outpatient Center in Brighton and she graduated from the IRL fellowship program in 2013. Her pre-conference, interactive workshop will address how specific technical flaws during the rowing stroke can contribute to injury. Erin will be bringing video examples and will focus on how to address common impairments that contribute to the breakdown of rowing technique, and how to address them in and out of the boat. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to actively participate in discussion and movement-based interventions that will help their athletes maximize their efficiency in order to minimize injuries. Dinner will be included and there will be a 20-person cap, so be sure to register today!


Mike Purcer, Founder of Purcerverance Coaching Development | The Effective Drive

Mike's presentation will review the drive phase of the stroke including rowing technique, bladework and rigging efficiency factors.  Video and speed curve geometry analysis will be presented to identify technique factors related to performance.  Mike will highlight the performance factors and discuss rigging and rowing technique drills to improve drive efficiency. 

Hugo Gulliver, Chief Coach @ University of London | Learnings from across the pond: Sharing the British development & performance pathway

Hugo will share how athletic skills & physical literacy are taught from age 11 through to performance at U23 World Championship & the collegiate level in Great Britain.

Kelly Evans, Assistant Coach of Heavyweight Crew for Harvard-Radcliffe | The Man in the Mirror Approach: How to Change Your Team by First Changing Yourself

The Radcliffe Heavyweight squad made some significant changes last year, including to their technical model, approach to the training plan, and team culture.  How do you, as a coach, help steer your squad in a new direction? Before you look outward, you have to look inward.

Adam Naylor, EdD, CMPC, Mental Game Consultant @ Northeastern University and Lead Consultant @ Telos SPCAthlete or Robot: What's your goal?

Boathouses and the water are dynamic environments where the seeds for competitive rowing success are laid. A wise coach considers the social-emotional-physio influences that drive and connect technique and teams. More specifically understanding the emotions and where focus is invested has a direct impact on how athletes learn and how boats move. This discussion will journey from a macro appreciation of “hidden” factors that shape team and athlete success to specifics of modern science’s understandings of how coaching cues impact athlete physiology and rowing technique. Coaches are encouraged to take this keynote as a time to step back, reflect, challenge themselves, and refine approaches to developing athletes that move boats.

Tessa Spillane, Head Coach Wellesley College | Mindfully Prepared - Setting the tone for excellence.

How do we start our practices?  What are some simple steps we can take to get our athletes present, prepared and focused for the most productive practices possible?  Learn a few mindfulness techniques that can help your athletes harness that mental potential and make significant gains on and off the water.

John Pojednic, Head Coach Northeastern University Men's Rowing | Successful Evolution: NU’s coaching journey

Northeastern University Men's Head Coach John Pojednic had to evolve as a coach to find what works for his athletes and his program.  From technique, to training, to mentality, John is always looking for ways to build fast boats and successful teams. John shares examples and stories from his journey, and he’ll answer an intriguing question: What long standing beliefs did he need to change? When that belief changed, how did it create better performance? Come hear from John on his coaching evolution and how you can challenge yourself to create more successful teams.

Jesse Foglia, Assistant Coach of Heavyweight Crew for Harvard |Creating a Pathway for Technical Progression

Often when addressing technical changes one of the biggest questions can be where to begin. Utilizing a few video case studies we will review, discuss and unpack how the crew started the season, the pathway chosen to move them on, and the resulting effect of that approach. Video submissions are welcome in advance for anyone who would like the group to asses a current crew they are working with. 

Linda Muri, Founder of Rocket Science Rowing | A Comparison of Rowing Styles - Fads, Classics, and Cutting Edge

Drawing on her experience as a coach of elite and developing athletes including her own efforts as a competitor, Linda will present and examine a range of successful sweep and sculling styles. During the session, attendees will explore what makes these styles work (or not work) for a variety of crews with the goal of being able to adapt them to your own team.

Brian DeDominici, Head Coach Bromfield AB Boy's Rowing | What we say vs. What they hear vs. What we mean

(Details Coming Soon)

Katie Lane, Assistant Coach with Penn Women’s Rowing | They can walk the walk, but are they talking the RIGHT talk?

Examining the relationships between identity and culture through the use of effective communication and how that relates to the creation of the vision (or messaging) of a program. Both coaches and athletes alike have the ability to impact the message in their own ways, but are they working collaboratively or very idependently from each other?

Hugo Gulliver, Chief Coach @ University of London | Coaching techniques: what can we steal from other sports?

Is rowing too insular? What technical coaching points, team management skills, and athlete care can we learn from other sports? Hugo will take us through an active session of what other elite sport coaches are doing to improve athlete performance.

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Mike Purcer - Founder of Purcerverance Coaching Development

Mike Purcer has been coaching for over forty years and has coached at all levels from novice high school to crews at the World Championships and Pan American Games.  Mike’s book RIGGING, first published in 1985 has helped coaches understand how to measure dimensions and how changes affect the rowing stroke.  His current research involves the analysis of performance factors in rigging and rowing technique where he uses video to develop boat speed curves.  Mike is certified as a Master Coach Developer by the Coaching Association of Canada, a Rowing Canada Performance level coach and is a regular presenter on rigging and rowing technique at conferences in Canada and the United States.


Hugo Gulliver - Chief Coach @ University of London

Hugo Gulliver is in his 5th year at the University of London. A 2015 IRL graduate, since Gulliver returned to the UK the University of London’s women have been crowned National Champions and the Men have risen to be one of the UK’s leading programmes. ULBC is a funded British Rowing High Performance centre and a number of athletes have moved from ULBC onto the British senior team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Gulliver works with the GB U23 team, most recently coaching the M4+ to Silver at the U23 World Championships in 2019.


Kelly Evans - Assistant Coach of Heavyweight Crew for Harvard-Radcliffe Rowing

Kelly is beginning her sixth year as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Radcliffe heavyweight rowing team at Harvard, where she assists Head Coach Liz O'Leary with the first and second eights.  Prior to coaching at Harvard, she coached rowing and cross country (and taught middle school science) at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA.  
Kelly walked-on to the Harvard Heavyweight men's team as a coxswain her freshman year.  In her senior year, she coxed the 1V to a Gold medal at Eastern Sprints, a win over Yale, and a win in the Ladies Plate at Henley Royal Regatta.  She earned an A.B. in Neurobiology from Harvard in 2010, and an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard in 2018.   

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Adam Naylor, EdD, CMPC - Mental Game Consultant @ Northeastern University and Lead Consultant @ Telos SPC

Dr Adam Naylor, CMPC leads the mental game services of Telos SPC (www.telos-spc.com) and is a Principal at Primary Leadership Development (www.primaryld.com). He is in his 8th year serving as the Mental Game Consultant to Northeastern University athletics. Beyond his work at NU, he has served as a resource to a variety of Boston-area university, national team, club, and high school rowing squads over the years. Furthermore in the rowing world, he is a consultant to the athletes of Hydrow by Crew and served as faculty of Community Rowing Inc’s Institute of Rowing Leadership for 7 years.

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Tessa Spillane - Head Crew Coach & Associate Professor of the Practice, Wellesley College

Tessa Spillane is the PERA Associate Professor of the Practice at Wellesley College. She is the Varsity crew coach and director of intramural rowing programs. In addition to rowing she teaches physical education courses in sailing and canoeing. Tessa serves as the New England representative to the NCAA Rowing Committee and is on the board of directors for the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association.

As for her other interests, essentially, if it has to do with water, she loves it. She also enjoys running, hiking, reading (particularly anything pertaining to 20th century history and/or politics), and walking on campus with her dog--who is also the rowing team mascot!

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John Pojednic - Head Coach Northeastern University Men's Rowing

The 2020 season will be John Pojednic’s 20th year as the head coach of The Northeastern Men’s
Rowing Team. At 44 years old, Pojednic is among the younger head coaches in the country.
However, with 20 years at the helm, he is also the second longest-tenured head coach in the
EARC. Pojednic was selected in the summer of 2000 to lead the Huskies’ program and continue
Northeastern’s tradition of excellence and competitive success at the highest levels of
intercollegiate rowing. Since then, Pojednic has guided the Huskies into the national and
international spotlight. His crews have reached the Grand Final of the 1st Varsity Heavyweight
8+ at the IRA National Championship on seven occasions (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2015,
2019), finishing fourth in the nation in both 2008 and 2013, and, 5th in 2019. Additionally, the
1V has competed in the Grand Final at the Eastern Sprints 14 times since Pojednic’s first season
as head coach in 2001, highlighted by a silver medal in 2015 and three bronze medal finishes in
2001, 2005 and 2013. Under his tutelage, the second varsity eight has medaled twice including a
gold medal in 2014. The third varsity, meanwhile, took third in 2015 and second in 2014, while
the freshman eight won medals in 2006 (silver), 2011 (bronze) and 2012 (silver). Internationally,
Pojednic has lead the Huskies to the final round of premier 8+’s events at the Henley Royal
Regatta in 2013 (Ladies’ Plate) and 2019 (Temple Challenge Cup).

Pojednic credits the success of the Northeastern rowing program to a tradition of developing
determined young athletes into varsity oarsmen — a process that has also yielded numerous
second varsity and freshman crews that have made competitive appearances in the Grand Finals
of the Eastern Sprints and IRA Championship. Pojednic’s oarsmen have also been successful in
international competition. Since 2001, 12 Huskies oarsmen have competed at the FISA U-23
World Championship and five have earned places on FISA World Championship Teams. Most
notably, Marshall Godschalk ’07 (2008), Chris Jarvis ’03 (2004), Will Miller ’07 (2012), and
Dan Walsh ’02 (2004, 2008) have distinguished themselves at the highest level of their sport by
competing at the Olympic Games. Walsh, a former assistant on Pojednic’s staff, won a bronze
medal for the United States in the Men’s 8+ at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

As an undergraduate, Pojednic was a member of the lightweight rowing team at Boston College.
After graduation, Pojednic coached at Boston College and Riverside Boat Club prior to his
arrival on Huntington Avenue. He resides in Charlestown with his wife, Rachele, and their two
Jack Russell Terriers. When he is not busy training the Northeastern crews and searching for the
next generation of Huskies oarsmen, Pojednic can be found cycling, sailing, or stealing a ski day
in the New England backcountry.


Jesse Foglia - Assistant Coach of Heavyweight Crew for Harvard

Jesse enters his fourth season with the Harvard men’s heavyweight team, after spending three years with the Columbia University lightweight men. Outside of his time working as a university coach he has also been part of the Men’s U19 program since 2009, coaching development athletes as well as preparing crews to race at the World Championships.

Linda Muri

Linda Muri - Founder of Rocket Science Rowing

Linda Muri began her love affair with rowing on the Novice team at MIT. Following her graduation from MIT, she worked for the esteemed and local boat builder Ted Van Dusen at Composite Engineering, Inc., where she helped design and build racing shells and flatwater canoes and kayaks for World and Olympic competition.
In addition to her own experience as a 9-time US National Team athlete (3 golds, a silver, and a bronze), Linda has coached and trained World and future-Olympic champions at 15 World Championships including the Junior, U23, and Senior World Championships. She has spent 20 years coaching Division I rowing at Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, and MIT. Overall, during her 35 years of working with rowers, coaches, and coxswains, Linda has had experience with all ages (4-80+), all levels (novice, recreational, elite), as well as both para and able bodied athletes.
Linda is a USRowing Level 3 certified coach. She is a regular presenter on “how to coach” and “how to row in college” at conferences and clubs around the US. In 2017, she founded Rocket Science Rowing where she continues to work with high school, club, collegiate, and national team oarsmen and oarswomen, as well as industry leaders such as Concept2 and USRowing. Her most recent project has been as a technical advisor and director of rowing with the movie Swing.


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Brian DeDominici - Head Coach Bromfield AB Boys Rowing

Brian DeDominici has been the Head Coach for the Bromfield AB Boys Team since 2014. In his first two years, the team recorded first place finishes in the Boys Jr. Four at The Head of the Fish Regatta, US Rowing Northeast District Championships, and US Rowing Youth National Championships. The team also sent a total of four crews to Nationals in two years and finished second, as a squad, at the Massachusetts Public Schools Rowing Association Championships in 2016.

Prior to BHRA, Brian was an Assistant Coach for Temple University Women's Rowing after serving from 2009-2013 as the Head Junior Boys Coach at Wayland-Weston Rowing Association, where the team won six out of eight fall and spring Massachusetts Public Schools Rowing Association Championships. Brian sent crews to US Rowing Youth Nationals each of his four years at WW and finished in the grand final twice including a fourth place finish in the Men’s Youth Lightweight Four.

DeDominici also coached at the Pennsylvania Athletic Club Rowing Association in Philadelphia during the summers of 2013 and 2014 as the Women’s U23 Head Coach and 2012 as the Women’s Assistant. During that time he helped the team to 20 top three finishes, including first place finishes in the Women’s Intermediate Four and Lightweight Four at US Rowing Club Nationals and second place finishes in the Senior Women’s eight at Club Nationals and Canadian Royal Henley Regatta. 

During the 2008-09 season Brian was an assistant at Hobart College where he coached the freshmen and served as the Boatman for both men’s and women’s teams. Prior to that, in the 07-08 seasons, he served as the Novice Women’s Coach for Clark University and Wayland-Weston Rowing Association.

After graduation in 2001, he served as Assistant Coach at the Savannah College of Art and Design where he coached freshmen women and varsity small boats.

DeDominici earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design. In college he rowed and coxed for four years, capturing third place in the 1998 Dad Vail Regatta in the open novice 8+ (rower), first place in the 1999 John Hunter Regatta in the open men’s 8+ (rower), and first place in the 2001 John Hunter Regatta in the open men’s 4+ (cox).

He holds a Level III coaching certification from US Rowing and has a master’s degree in art education from Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts.

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Katie Lane - Assistant Coach with Penn Women’s Rowing

Katie Lane has been an assistant coach with the Penn women's rowing program since 2017. She helped the program's Varsity 8 to a best-ever third-place finish at the 2018 Ivy League Championship, and all four Penn boats (two Eights, two Fours) finished the spring with winning records. At the 2019 Championship, Lane helped the Varsity Four beat its seed with a fourth-place finish and both of the Quakers' Fours ended the spring with winning records.

In addition to her Penn duties, Lane also coaches the under-23 openweight women at Vesper Boat Club. In 2018, her crews won the Senior 8+ and U23 8+ at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta and had other medal-winning performances at the Independence Day Regatta and the USRowing Club National Championships.

Lane came to Boathouse Row from Fordham University, where she spent the three years as an associate head coach and helped lead the Rams to their best team performance at the Atlantic 10 Championships in 2016 (third place). She led the lightweight women’s 4+ to a win at the Princeton Chase in 2015 followed by a third-place finish at the IRA Regatta later that year.
Prior to Fordham, Lane was the first female head coach of men’s rowing at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. She was instrumental in developing rowing at Wentworth, serving as club head coach from 2011-13 before being named the first head coach when the program went varsity in 2013-14. Under her direction, the program earned its first medals at the Head of the Charles, the Dad Vail Regatta, and the New England Rowing Championships. Wentworth went on to win the New England Rowing Championships in 2014 in both the Varsity 4+ and Second Varsity 4+.
Her rowing/coxing career started in 2007 during her freshman year at the University of Vermont. She helped the Catamounts win three-straight championship titles in the Men’s Varsity Fours at the New England Rowing Championships from 2009-11. Lane also has international experience, as a member of the University College Dublin (Ireland) men’s squad in the fall of 2009 and has been a masters men’s competitive coxswain since 2009 with Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, Conn., and Community Rowing Inc. in Brighton, Mass.
She currently holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont, an M.S. in Marketing Intelligence from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University and an Advanced Certificate from the Institute for Rowing Leadership at Community Rowing Inc. Additionally, she attended and graduated as part of Class #46 from the NCAA’s Women Coaches Academy (WCA). She holds a Level 2 and 3 USRowing Coaching Certification.

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