Newman Crew: A historical perspective by Nigel Gallaher (Head Coach)

Newman Crew provides the students with an opportunity to row on the Charles River out of the Community Rowing (CRI) Boathouse, one of the largest rowing facilities in the country with excellent rowing equipment. It provides the opportunity to develop rowing skills and fosters team spirit amongst the rowers.

When I joined the coaching staff at Newman in 2012 Tom Tiffany, who was past captain of the Harvard Crew in 1970 was the head coach of Newman Crew and a teacher at the school. That year the crew participated in the CRASH B Sprints (World Indoor Rowing Championships), spent Spring Break in Florida rowing out of the Sarasota Rowing Club and in the Fall Newman rowed a coxed 4+ in the Youth 4 event of the Head of the Charles Regatta.

I took over as head coach in 2016 after Tom Tiffany suffered a stroke and had to return home to Minnesota. The headmaster, Mr. Harry Lynch and I would meet the members of the crew at Newman at 5:30 AM, drive them to CRI for an outing that would last from 6 AM to 7:30 AM and have them back to school by 8:00 AM. This would take dedication from the crew especially in cold and wet weather, but we were often rewarded with beautiful sunrises which would make these early outings worth getting up for!

Ironically, Covid 19 has had a positive impact on the Newman Crew Program. CRI has imposed very strict protocols to keep all the rowers safe. All oars and boats have to be thoroughly washed and disinfected before and after use. Rowers must all use single sculling boats in order to maintain social distance and masks must be used until out on the water. Outings have been scheduled for late morning for the senior rowers and early afternoon for the junior rowers when the boathouse and the river are relatively quiet. I have had both teachers and parents ride along in the launch with me so that they can have ‘an up close and personal’ view of the rowers.

Over the eight (8) week Fall rowing season all the participants have made 

remarkable progress from Tubbies (training boats) to B Boats and some to A 

(racing) boats. They all said they really enjoyed the experience.

 

Special thanks to my assistant coach from CRI, Melinda Neale and to Michael 

Schafer and Michael Fortino for helping to make the Fall Program happen.