IRL Instructors

 Meet the IRL Course Instructors!


Dan Bechard
Ph.D. - Western University
M.S. - Western University
B.S. - Western University

Courses: SS515 - Biomechanics; CM515 - Coaching Advanced Athletes and Technology

Dan Bechard is currently the Men's Head Coach of the Western University Mustangs in London, Canada and concurrently also is a Research Associate within the Hudson Boatworks team with a focus on the intersection of biomechanics and technology.

His recent experience comes from his role as a Talent Development Centre coach with the Row to Podium program in Canada and prior to this, earning a Ph.D. specializing in biomechanics. He has completed the National Coaching Institute Advanced Diploma Program and is a Learning Facilitator for Rowing Canada Aviron’s coaching education program. He is in the process of completing the Canadian National Coaching Certification Program, Level 4.

Wayne Berger

Wayne Berger
Ed.M. - Harvard University
B.A. - Cornell University

Courses: CM500 - Education & Instruction: Coach as a Teacher; CM520 - Training Program Design & Athlete Assessment

Wayne Berger couples a strong background in educational leadership with his extensive coaching experience at the junior, collegiate and international levels. With three IRA National Championships, five Eastern Sprints Championships and two Ladies Plate titles from the Henley Royal Regatta during his time at Harvard University, as well as a 2012 Youth National Championship with Deerfield Academy, Berger’s crews have regularly had their seasons culminate on the podium. In addition, under his leadership for five summers, the Boston Rowing Club program he established won seven championships at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta as well as four titles at the US Club National Championships. Most recently as Head Coach at the Sydney Rowing Club in Australia, Berger coached seven crews to national titles and led SRC to a fourth place finish overall.

Alongside his coaching success, Berger has devoted himself to the development of young men and women in his role as a teacher, admissions counselor and college advisor at the Hotchkiss School, the Loomis-Chaffee School, the Groton School and Deerfield Academy. As an admissions counselor and college advisor for over 18 years, his experience working with young people to find the best educational opportunity dovetails nicely with his coaching experience, as he is able to keep a common thread of maximizing students' potential. Berger has also coupled these experiences as a college advisor and Rowing Camp Director for the Sparks Consulting Group.

Brent Bode

Brent Bode
M.S. - Smith College
C.S.C.S. - National Strength and Conditioning Association
L1.S.P. - USA Weightlifting
C.H.C. - Institute for Integrative Nutrition
B.S. - Dowling College

Course: CM510 - Coaching Novice Athletes and Coxswains

Brent Bode is in his sixth year of coaching and teaching at Community Rowing, Inc. and the Institute for Rowing Leadership as the Assistant for Coaching Education and Head Coach of the Competitive Novice Girls Team. In his work, Bode specializes in coaching novice rowing and fitness enthusiasts of different ages from diverse backgrounds. He holds a Master’s degree in Exercise & Sports Studies from Smith College and is a long-time member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In addition, he has been studying and instructing within the disciplines of sports medicine, strength and conditioning and fitness/wellness for more than a decade.

Under Bode’s direction, the competitive novice girls team grew from 27 athletes to more than 50 athletes in just three years. Since 2010, his novice girls have not placed lower than 3rd in any event. Additionally, (and most importantly by his measure) the team continually meets its mission: “… to grow each student-athlete’s character respectfully, to inspire extraordinary performances and to improve one’s well-being through the pursuit of honorable victory in athletic competition.”

The earlier years: Bode served as an assistant auto racing instructor from 1993–1995 at the Bridgestone Racing Academy in Bowmanville, Ontario. After several years in pursuit of a career in auto racing, he returned to complete his undergraduate education at Dowling College. His need for speed and fascination with human performance combined fortuitously to land him a seat in Dowling’s lightweight 8+ and his crew set the course record at the Head of the Ohio in 1996. Bode’s success on the water was closely backed up by a bronze medal at the C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor World Rowing Championship in 1997.

 Will Congram

Will Congram
B.S. - Northeastern University

Course: RA510 - Team Management

Will Congram has been involved in the sport of rowing for most of his life. From an early age, he frequently rode in the launch with his father, Buzz Congram, who coached the Northeastern Varsity Men’s crew. Will started sculling when he was five years old and went on to row competitively in high school and college. He rowed three years at Northeastern, the third of which he enjoyed in the Varsity boat for the fall and spring race seasons.

Will began coaching high school rowers during his post-graduate year, and got involved with CRI during the summer of 2005. Since starting at CRI, Will has coached virtually every program at CRI at some point and now focuses his attention on the Competitive Boys program, which has seen it's greatest success in program history during his tenure throughout the entirety of the squad. Will employs in his coaching his father’s influence, experience training and racing at NU, principles of mindfulness and body awareness taught in Yoga, and sports psychology.

Patrick Larcom IRL at CRI

Patrick Larcom
Advanced Certificate in Rowing Leadership - Institute for Rowing Leadership
C.S.C.S. - National Strength and Conditioning Association
M.E. - Stevens Institute of Technology
B.S. - University of Vermont

Course: SS525 - Strength Training

Patrick Larcom is an ambassador for the Sport of Rowing and Fitness. He rowed for the University of Vermont and has been coaching competitive juniors and adults for the last eight years. He has combined his passion for rowing and fitness by offering rowing workshops and instruction to members and coaches at CrossFit Gyms across the Northeast. In 2012, Patrick graduated in the inaugural class of the Institute for Rowing Leadership at Community Rowing Inc.

By day, Patrick is the Business Engagement Manager at CRI with a focus on sharing his passion for rowing with the business community of Boston and beyond. By early morning, he programs strength and conditioning workouts and coaches the CRI Military Rowing Program. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, he has a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate, and he is a US Rowing Level III Certified Coach.

Patrick dreams of the day when racing on the water makes it to the CrossFit Games and every athlete has experienced not only the power and grace of flying across the water, but the power and speed developed in the Olympic lifts. As an instructor for the Strength Training course at the IRL, Patrick enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for both rowing and strength training in a practical and applicable way with the fellows by engaging them both in the classroom and in the weight room.

John Lindberg Headshot

John Lindberg
B.A. - Brown University

Course: RA525 - Recruiting

John Lindberg is in his eighth season as Associate Head Coach for the Boston University Men where he serves as the lead in the recruiting process alongside his coaching duties. At the 2016 Eastern Sprints, Lindberg helped lead the Terriers second varsity eight boat to a bronze medal, the second-consecutive year the 2V medaled at Sprints. In 2015, Lindberg helped Boston University win the programs' first IRA National Championship Regatta medal in eights rowing when the Terriers' second varsity eight won the bronze. The medal at the IRA came after winning a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints, which was the first for a second varsity eight at Eastern Sprints in program history.
With over 20 years of experience at both the Division I collegiate and high school levels, Lindberg joined head coach Tom Bohrer’s staff full-time after volunteering in 2009 with the Terriers. He previously served as an account executive with Resolute Racing Shells. Prior to his work with Resolute, John headed up recruiting efforts and the freshman team at Northeastern for more than three years, enjoying medal-producing performances by the squads. He also served as a coach for the U.S. U23 World Championship competition.

ErinMcBioPic small

Erin McConnell
D.P.T. - University of Connecticut
Advanced Certificate in Rowing Leadership - Institute for Rowing Leadership
B.A. - University of Notre Dame

Course: SS529 - Applied Sports Medicine & Injury Prevention

Erin McConnell is Doctor of Physical Therapy who currently works at Back on Track Physical Therapy in the Boston area. She received her DPT from the University of Connecticut where she did her doctoral research on ACL injury prevention and sports specialization in youth soccer players. Dr. McConnell is a 2013 graduate of the Institute from Rowing Leadership and she currently uses her knowledge from the IRL in the treatment of rowing related injuries.

After her rowing journey began in high school, Dr. McConnell went on to row for the University of Notre Dame where she helped the team earn four Big East Conference championships. At Notre Dame, she studied Science Pre-Professional and Psychology and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 2012.

Dr. McConnell is currently participating in a physical therapy residency program at the University of St. Augustine where she will earn her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification in 2019. She is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and a certified Spinning instructor.

Ellen Minzner

Ellen Minzner
M.A. - Tufts University
B.A. - Villanova University

Course: RA520 - Sport & Community Development

Ellen Minzner, the current Director of Outreach at Community Rowing, Inc., has been involved with rowing at the high school, collegiate, masters and elite levels for over 20 years. In her current role, she oversees rowing programs for inner city youth, adaptive athletes and military veterans. In addition, she and her team are currently executing Let’s Row Boston, a citywide initiative to bring indoor rowing into the Boston Public Schools as a component of anti-obesity campaigns in the community. Ellen is also the Head Coach of the USA LTA4+, which earned a silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio as well as silver medals at the 2015 & 2014 World Championships.

As a competitor, Minzner was a two-time world champion rower in the lightweight 2-, winning back-to-back gold medals in 1995 and 1996 at the World Rowing Championships. After retiring from competition, she was an assistant coach at Kansas State University and the University of California-Berkeley. In 2002, she returned to coaching at the youth level as program director and head coach of Girls Row Boston, a rowing and youth development program for urban girls started by Olympian Holly Metcalf. Furthering her interest in how sport impacts the lives of young people, Minzner earned a masters degree in Urban Planning from Tufts University in 2010 with a thesis on the role of youth sport in community development. She has also worked in city planning, managing the Community Development Department for the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts and also served as Executive Director of the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program prior to joining the staff at CRI in 2011.

ResizedImage130148 Laura Moretti Headshot

Laura Moretti
M.S. - New York University
R.D. - New York University
L.D.N. - New York University
C.C.S.D. - Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics
B.S. - Rutgers University

Course: SS520 - Sports Nutrition

Laura Moretti recently moved to Boston from New York City to join the Sports Medicine Team at Boston Children's Hospital where she is also the Dietitian for the Female Athlete Program. She previously worked as the Primary Nutrition Therapist at Columbus Park Collaborative and Appleman Nutrition in New York City and possesses a specialty in sports performance based nutrition as well as treating low energy availability, disordered eating and eating disorders in athletes. Laura has an extensive amount of experience in consulting and collaborating with local colleges, universities, professional sport and dance facilities. She also is the consulting R.D. for the Boston Ballet Company. 

Laura completed her Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition as well as her didactic program in clinical dietetics at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. She completed her dietetic internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital including intensive training at the Weill Cornell Medical Center inpatient eating disorder treatment program. She is also an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, International Academy of Eating Disorders, Massachusetts Dietetic Association, Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association, Co-Chair of the AED Sport and Exercise SIG, and the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. On a personal note, Laura is a competitive triathlete as well as a Boston Marathon Qualifier.

Adam Naylor Headshot

Adam Naylor
Ed.D. - Boston University
M.A. - Boston University
C.C. - Association for Applied Sport Psychology
B.S. - Trinity College

Course: SS535 - Sports Psychology

Adam Naylor leads Telos SPC, directs Northeastern University's Sports Performance: Mental Game division, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Sport Psychology at Boston University’s School of Education. Dr. Naylor has over a decade and a half of applied sport psychology experience (Olympic, professional, collegiate, and elite junior). Of note, his clients include US Open competitors, Stanley Cup champions, Olympic/International medalists, NCAA champions, and UFC martial artists. He is also currently the mental game coach for the The Bay Club (MA), Willowbend Country Club, and Junior Select Golf, consultant to True Sport, coach educator for USA Hockey, and part of the faculty of the Institute for Rowing Leadership.

Beyond serving as an educational resource for athletes, coaches and organizations, Dr. Naylor has published in both academic and popular journals. His scholarly interests lie in understanding best practices for player development and how coaches, parents, and organizations create optimal growth environments for athletes. Scholarly publications of note are "The Coach’s Dilemma: Balancing Playing to Win and Player Development" in the Journal of Education (2006) and "Toward a Grounded Theory of Self-Regulation in Mixed Martial Arts" in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal (2013 with Massey and Meyer). He has developed books and workbooks for striving athletes, with the most recent being A Quick 9 for the Mind: Reflections from Public Links to the US Open. He is a regular contributor and sought out resource for a variety of print publications ranging from The Boston Globe to Psychology Today.

Dr. Naylor obtained his doctoral and master's degrees in counseling psychology and developmental studies (specializing in sport psychology) at Boston University. He earned his bachelors degree in psychology, minoring in human movement studies from Trinity College (CT). He is an Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Certified Consultant.

Danielle Nihill

Danielle Nihill, CPA, CIA, CFE
M.S. - Taxation
B.S. - Suffolk University

Course: RA515 - Financial Management

Danielle Nihill is an Engagement Manager for CliftonLarsonAllen LLP's Audit and Accounting practice. She has more than 18 years of experience in compliance, research, auditing and consulting with a focus on nonprofit organizations. She provides audit services to nonprofit clients throughout Massachusetts. Danielle has experience working with various health care and public sector nonprofit clients as well as her past employment in private industry in internal audit which enables her to provide various audit compliance and research services. 

Andrea Sobieraj

Andrea Sobieraj
M.S. - Brown University
C.S.C.S. - National Strength and Conditioning Association
B.S. - Framingham State University

Courses: SS500 - Exercise Physiology I; SS510 - Exercise Physiology II; SS540 - Skill Refinement & Athlete Adaptation

Andrea Sobieraj holds a Faculty/Staff position at Brown University and has been lecturing since 1995. She implemented Exercise Physiology into the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology curriculum in 2000, a course she still teaches at the graduate level. In addition to her teaching, Sobieraj oversees all Physiology courses as well as the teaching laboratories in the department. Her work is on the cutting edge of research trends; she has been measuring Exercise Physiological parameters for 15+ years.

Sobieraj graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Framingham State College and holds a Master's degree in Biology and Medicine from Brown University. Prior to her roles at Brown, she worked in research in several Boston based biotech companies and spent four years at Babson College Athletics. Sobieraj is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, International Skating Institute, and Professional Skaters Association. In addition to training many types of athletes, Andrea currently serves as a figure skating coach and is an avid figure skater, runner, sailor and ocean swimmer.

ResizedImage130150 Jon Wortmann

Jon Wortmann
M.Div. - Harvard University
B.A. - Carleton College

Course: CM509 - Coaching Philosophy & Ethics

A graduate of Carleton College, with a masters from Harvard University, Jon Wortmann is a coach, author, and speaker. He is the mental coach for the University of Connecticut Men’s Golf and Tennis as well as Dartmouth Women’s Golf. His professional golfers play on the PGA Latin America and PGA Canadian tours.

He is the author of five books, and Mastering Communication at Work and Hijacked by Your Brain have been best-sellers in 10 categories on Amazon including #2 in stress management, leadership, and communication. He blogs for Huffington Post, and his work has been featured in O magazine, Elle, Links magazine, Fox, Fast Company, The Globe and Mail, and Psychology Today.

His speaking and training clients include large corporations like Time Warner and Oppenheimer, non-profits like Habitat for Humanity and Builders Beyond Borders, and local government agencies throughout New England.

ResizedImage100100 IRL Seal ResizedImage100105 USCCE NCACE Accredited Program Logo

The Institute for Rowing Leadership is accredited at the highest level (Level 5) offered by USCCE-NCACE andis the only accredited US Coaching Education Program in rowing, ever.