The Best American Rowing Coaches Of All Time… Jack Nunn was coached by 5 of the 12 coaches mentioned
The following blog was inspired by this article that was featured In The July 2010 Issue of Rowing News Magazine … ‘Top 12 US Rowing Coaches Of All-Time’
First of all I would like to recognize my father, John Nunn, as being one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life. He is the reason why I have taken up the amazing sport of rowing and began my future in the fitness world as a rowing instructor teaching classes to the masses with Roworx in Long Beach. After winning the bronze medal in the double sculls in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games my father became the U.S. Men’s Quad rowing team coach at the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montreal. He is was inducted into the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame for rowing in 2008. John Nunn was also inducted into the Ridley College High School Hall Of Fame in 2016.
My Father was also coached by Harrison Sanford at Cornell University from 1962-1966, who was listed in the US Rowing Magazine article as one of the best American Coaches of all time.
Harrison Sanford, who was known as ‘Stork’ and who coached the men’s heavyweight varsity crews at Cornell for 34 years until retiring in 1970. Yet his varsity eight won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta’s main event, tantamount to the sport’s national championship, six times within a period of eight seasons, from 1955 to 1962. His crews had an overall record of 164-64. He had never coached when Cornell hired him in 1937 on the strong recommendation of Tom Bolles (Former University Of Washington ‘Boys In The Boat’ Teammate), and the newly appointed Harvard head coach. Since my father was coached by Sanford whom in turn coached me in rowing all throughout my life I consider this to be important and relevant.
John Van Blom was listed as one of the best sculling coaches and you all see him in class rowing right next to us at the boathouse working out. It’s always an honor to be in his presence. He was involved in 5 Olympic Games! 68′ 72′ 76′ and was selected for the 80′ team as well but that was the boycott year. He was a US Olympic Rowing Coach in 1984 that helped Joan Lind Van Blom to her second silver medal in the Quad Rowing Event. John Van Blom is in the Wilson High School, Long Beach State, US Rowing, And Long Beach Aquatic Capital Of The World Hall Fame.
*John has helped me over the years while training on the Long Beach Junior Crew Team in High School as well as rowing with him over many years in College and Master’s programs within the Long Beach Rowing Association.
Ted Nash, was listed as one of the best club coaches in America. He was a fixture and an everyday, booming voice on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia at Penn and then for 30 years at the Penn A.C., where he coached and developed both men and women’s international champions. As an international coach, he helped guide crews to Olympic silver medals in 1976, 1988 and 1992, and assisted Mike Teti in the men’s eight victory in 2004. Pete Cipollone was the coxswain of that crew and remembers Nash’s role as assistant coach and motivator. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1960 and a bronze medalist in 1964 competing in the straight four event. Nash has coached 143 athletes who have made Olympic or national Teams in his 45 years as a rowing coach. Nash was the recipient of the 2013 USRowing Medal of Honor Award.
*Nash was one of my National Team Coaches from 2001-2005.
Todd Jesdale, was listed as being on the best High School coaches in America. In 1992 his junior men’s eight won the world championships. The 2014 US Rowing Jack Kelly Award winner is Todd Jesdale. The criteria of “superior achievements in rowing, service to amateur athletics, and success in their chosen profession, thereby serving as an inspiration to American rowers,” describes Jesdale’s commitment to the sport of rowing.
In 1964, while a young Cornell rowing coach, Jesdale incorporated his own version of interval training techniques and saw immediate impact. That year, Jesdale’s Cornell lightweight varsity eight won the Eastern Sprints by the largest margin ever before seen in a varsity event – a record that still holds.
*Jesdale was my Junior National Team Coach in 1997.
Steve Gladstone, was listed as being one of the best college coaches in America.
Since 1966, Gladstone, 74, has been a larger than life legend in rowing. He coached at Princeton University and served two stints as head coach at the University of California, where he was also Director of the Intercollegiate Athletic Department. He coached at Brown University, where he also served as the head of the University’s Sport Foundation after he stopped coaching, and he then helped found Resolute Racing Shells. Now he can add another tribute to his very long list, the 2015 USRowing Medal of Honor. Awarded to a member of the rowing community in the U.S. who has rendered conspicuous service to, or accomplished extraordinary feats in, rowing, it is the highest honor USRowing bestows. You all might be familiar with many stories I have of him. He was tough and a NO-BS kind of guy.
Gladstone helped produce 11 National Championship Wins between his stints at Brown and UC Berkeley. Steve Gladstone is currently coaching the Men’s Varsity Rowing Team at Yale and I believe he is on the verge of winning his record breaking 12th National Championship in 2017.
*Gladstone coached me at Cal Berkeley as I went on to win 3 National Championships and 4 Pac-10 Championships from 1998-2001.
Mike Teti, was listed as being one of the best National Team Coaches of all time.
He states “I don’t know who the best coach is, but I do know who coached the fastest crew ever” (His U.S. Men’s eight in Athens won the gold in a world record time of 5:19.85) Teti has personally won a silver medal in 1988 in the Men’s eight. He coached the Men’s National Rowing Team to 3 consecutive world championships from 97-99. His men’s eight won gold for the first time in over 50 years in 2004 Athens! Mike Teti is currently coaching at the University Of California Berkeley where he won the Men’s Varsity National Championship this year in May 2016. He is also the recipient of the 2008 USRowing Medal of Honor.
*Teti coached me throughout my national team rowing years from 2001-2005 when I went on to win the Silver medal in 2001 in Ottensheim, Austria in the men’s eight at the world championships in 2001.
Kris Korzeniowski has coached at the national level in his native Poland as well as coaching national teams for Canada, Italy, China, the Netherlands and the United States. The newly appointed rowing mentor recently became the first-ever Director of Coaching Education for the U.S. Rowing Association. For his tireless efforts and commitment to, and love of, American rowing, Korzeniowski has been named the 2016 recipient of the USRowing Medal. It is the association’s highest honor and is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of commitment and selfless contribution to the sport of rowing.
*Korzeniowski was my coach on the US National Sculling Team in Princeton, NJ from 2002-2005
With all of this experience I hope to pass along all of the information and coaching techniques in all of my rowing classes at Roworx. I have been given so much information about the perfect rowing stroke and how to effectively deliver the most power while on the rowing machine and/or water over the past 20 years from these various coaches. Call it timing or call it luck… I call it destiny that I came across such great coaches over my rowing career and I can’t wait to teach anyone who comes to one of my rowing classes at Roworx in Long Beach. At the Roworx Fitness Center in Long Beach my job to make everyone the best rower they can be and get the best workout possible and share as many stories as possible while rowing under such legends as all of these coaches listed above.
The two videos below are from my years of rowing under both Steve Gladstone at Cal Berkeley and the US Olympic Rowing Team Eight that won the Gold medal under Mike Teti in Athens, 2004.
Tags: Boys in the boat, coaching, Harrison sanford, Indoor Rowing Class, Jack Nunn, John Van Blom, Kris Korzeniowski, Mike Teti, Olympic Games, Rowing Class, rowing news, Roworx, Steve Gladstone, Stork Sanford, Ted Nash, Todd Jesdale, US Rowing