Speakers and Presentations WWS 2020

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Pre-Conference Workshops

ResizedImage130154 Erin McConnell Class of 2013

Dr. Erin McConnell - What injuries do you see? 

Erin is a physical therapist at Spaulding Rehab in Boston and she graduated from the IRL fellowship program in 2013. Her pre-conference workshop will address technique, injury prevention, and how to develop both in your athletes. Erin will be bringing video examples and hands on exercises for workshop participants to try as they reflect on coaching technique and preventing injury. 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, Senior 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.  

Tessa Spillane, Head Coach Wellesley College | (Presentation Coming Soon)

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 | (Presentation Coming Soon)

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 | (Presentation Coming Soon)

Hugo Gulliver, Senior 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 - Senior 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.   

Tessa Spillane - Head Coach Wellesley College (Bio Coming Soon)

Pojednic John

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 - Founder of Rocket Science Rowing (Bio Coming Soon)

Brian Dedominici - Head Coach Bromfield AB Boys Rowing (Bio Coming Soon)

Katie Lane - Assistant Coach with Penn Women’s Rowing (Bio Coming Soon)

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