The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club first would like to thank coaches Spencer West (GVSU '16), Allison Sobiech (Jacksonville) and Michelle Goodwin (Tennessee) for their service and efforts in building a legacy as well as fast crews at GVSU. Coach Spencer and Coach Allison were named the 2017 Women's Regional Coaches of the Year by the ACRA (American Collegiate Rowing Association). In 2016, Coach Michelle was named ACRA's Women's Assistant Coach of the Year. They have moved on to continued academic and coaching pursuits. The Laker Navy wishes them well and expects the time spent here has helped them build a stronger foundation as they pursue their lifetime goals.
New Year, New Staff:
The Laker Navy is proud to announce the hiring and restructuring of the Campaign 2018 Coaching Staff. John Bancheri will begin his 13th year as the head coach. He will again be coaching both the men's and women's varsity crew. Costas Ciungan '14 will begin his third year coaching the Novice Men while pursuing his degree in Masters of Public Administration.
Dan Martin – (1st year, University of Virginia '09), Varsity Assistant Coach and Novice Women's Coach
The new Varsity Assistant Coach is Dan Martin who comes from northern Virginia to further pursue his goals in coaching intercollegiate rowing. Dan will be Coach Bancheri's administrative assistant and will oversee the restructuring and rebuilding of our novice women's program.
"Dan has a long list of accomplishments in our sport. He understands grass roots development from his experiences at U.Va. and from the programs he helped develop at the secondary school level in northern Virginia. Dan comes well recommended and has the driven enthusiasm we were looking for to build on a great tradition here at GVSU. I expect we will compliment and learn a lot from each other over the next few years."
"Dan brings with him the success of building and fostering a great atmosphere for rowers with an in-depth knowledge of the technical and physiological aspects of rowing. As a rower from one of the top club teams in the country, his experience and knowledge of how a club team operates will help enrich our day-to-day functionality as a team."
Mike Stoll, M.Ed. Academic Advisor, Kirkhof College of Nursing,Grand Valley State University
Bio of Dan Martin – (1st year, University of Virginia '09), Varsity Assistant Coach and Novice Women's Coach
Dan started his rowing career as a junior at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. As a senior, his second varsity four went undefeated in the regular season and won a state championship, the school's first. Bitten by the rowing bug, he walked on to the team at the University of Virginia. While in Charlottesville, he was a part of gold-medalist crews at the GW Invitational, SIRA championships, and ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships.
After his collegiate career was up, Dan spent a fifth year at UVA to finish a master's degree in Secondary Science Education, aiming to become a high school chemistry teacher. Upon graduation, he started coaching learn-to-row classes with Sandy Run Scullers on the Occoquan Reservoir, and racing the single in fall head races. The last six years, he's taught and coached at Fairfax High School, working with the Varsity Women's squad throughout. Over that time, the team almost tripled in size, and both men's and women's squads found unprecedented success at the state and national level; twelve of the team's sixteen total medals at the Virginia State Championships were won in that period. The last three years, during which Dan also served as the team's head coach, saw the team successfully transition from racing primarily 4's to focusing on the 8+.
Dan is excited to work with Coach Bancheri and the entire staff to assist the Laker Navy's student-athletes and continue their long tradition of success.
Kate Castonguay – Graduate Assistant Coach
Our new Graduate Assistant Coach is Kate Castonguay who is a graduate of rival Mercyhurst University. Kate will assist Coach Bancheri with the men's and women's varsity squad as well as assist in administrative and boathouse duties. She will also be pursuing her Master's Degree in Secondary Education – Counseling.
"Having a successful NCAA Division II experience is a boost to any Dad Vail level program. Kate has medaled at the NCAA level and was an integral part of a highly successful program that was well coached by a respected peer, Coach Adrian Spracklen. Kate, also coached at various levels in our sport which has given her a variety of experiences from which to build as she further develops her talents here at GVSU. She also has grass roots experience in program development which is a definite plus. I expect Kate to be a quick study and a personal resource for our student-athletes."
"Kate was a successful rower at a NCAA Division II program and knows what it takes to compete at a high-level. She will bring a great perspective to our athletes and be able to share the work ethic and commitment necessary to achieve our goals. While Kate is newer to coaching, I am confident that she will play a crucial role in helping athletes achieve competitive greatness."
Mike Stoll, M.Ed. Academic Advisor, Kirkhof College of Nursing, Grand Valley State University
Kate Castonguay – (1st year, Mercyhurst '16), Varsity Assistant Coach
Kate first picked up an oar at National Learn to Row Day on Mercer Lake in 2006. What began as a recreational summer hobby quickly developed into a full-fledged passion in 2010, when she became one of the founding members of Northville High School's Rowing Club in Northville, Michigan. She has participated in summer programs at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Rowing Club, Mercer Lake, and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. In 2012, Kate was elected captain of her high school team, and she committed to row for Mercyhurst University. By the end of her freshmen year, she earned a seat in the Women's four that competed at the NCAA championship. Her work ethic landed her a seat at every NCAA Championship of her collegiate career, culminating her junior year, where she sat bow-seat in the eight that finished second in the country. She has also earned silver medals at both the Dad Vail Regatta and the Head of the Charles.
Kate graduated from Mercyhurst University in December of 2016 with a degree in French Education. She returned to the East Coast and served as the Head Master's Learn to Row Coach at Swan Creek Rowing Club on the Delaware River. Kate aims to continue her education by pursuing a Master of Education degree in School Counseling, while continuing to share her love of rowing. She is excited to join the Laker Navy.