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Coaches and Captains

Head Coach
Boys Varsity & JV Coach
Kirk Beckman
Kirk rowed as a member of the Michigan State University men's Rowing Team from 1979-1983 where he was the captain of the Men's Heavyweight team, Rowing Club President and a coach on the Learn to Row Program. He attended the National Team Rowing camp in 1981-1983. After moving to Philadelphia in 1983 Kirk became a member of the Vesper Boat Club and began rowing on the Senior Elite Team until 1987. In 1988 he became a Vesper Boat Club Master's Men's Rower and continues to row with Vesper Boat Club where he also serves as a third term Board of Directors member. Kirk has rowed in and won numerous regattas throughout North America as well as in Monaco. Outside of continuing to row as many mornings as possible he works with Boy Scouts of America troops and has two children in the Lower Merion School District.
 
Varsity Girls Coach
Alair Holdsworth
aaholdsworth@gmail.com
Coach Alair started rowing in middle school, and continued into high school where she helped to create the crew team at Sacred Heart. Focusing mostly on sculling events, she raced for the Vesper Boat Club Juniors during the club season and Sacred Heart during the scholastic season, traveling as far as Florida to compete in the finals of Scholastic Nationals. While racing for Vesper in high school, she earned silver and bronze medals at Club Nationals. Coach Alair was recruited and received a scholarship to row for Fordham University, where she began sweep rowing and made the A10 Commissioner's Honor Roll each of her four years. She began her coaching career at Sacred Heart, her alma mater, and has since coached for Philadelphia City Youth, Whitemarsh Boat Club, Randor High School, and The Shipley School. Outside of coaching, Coach Alair rows for Vesper and occasionally competes with the Vesper Masters' Program, sometimes racing in boats with her mother Catherine. She is also an English teacher at Bensalem High School, and has completed her Master's degree in Secondary Education.
 
 
Freshman/Novice Boys Coach
Amy Lane-Beckman
Adbeckman@yahoo.com
A former  four year Lower Merion Rower with many years of other rowing experience, who stroked her Varsity four to a Bronze medal at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, in 1984, Amy went on to row at Washington College, making the Varsity Boat as a Freshman Rower. In the summers she rowed at Bachelors Barge Club, competing in Canadian Henley Regatta. Though her primary competitive experience is Sweep Rowing, Amy also sculls, presently out of Vesper Boat Club with her husband and children and occasionally sweeps with the Masters Women. She was coxswain of an Open Ocean Quad, in the Prince Albert Challenge in Monaco, taught Learn to Row at Vesper and Whitemarsh and has been a Assistant Coach at Lower Merion High School. She is presently the Freshman Boys Coach.
 

Boys Varsity & JV Coach
Bill Bragdon
billbragdon@gmail.com
Affable and knowledgeable, Coach Bill Bragdon has achieved tremendous success as an athlete and as a coach. In high school, Bill’s Kent School team won the New England Championships three years in a row, won the Stotesbury Cup in 1980, and competed at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1979 and 1981. As captain of the team, Bill’s crew set many records and was unbeaten by US School Boys.

Bill won a full athletic scholarship to Syracuse University. While there, Bill medaled at the IRA in 1982, was selected for the Pre-Elite Team selection camp in 1983, and returned to The Henley Royal Regatta in 1985.
  In his first year of coaching, Bill took a women’s Four to the Junior Championships to win gold and set a course record. He subsequently coached a Lightweight Four from Lower Merion High School to the Canadian Royal Regatta in 1987, placing as the fastest United States crew.

Returning to coaching four years ago, Bill started the Lightweight program at Radnor High School. His Varsity Lightweight Eight won invitations to the National Championships in 2012 and 2013. Bill looks forward to capitalizing on the Silver and Gold medals won this fall, his first at Lower Merion.

In his time with our program, Bill has displayed a knack for teaching our athletes about life lessons that transcend their time on the water.
 Bill is married to Patty.  They have three rowing children: Jacob at Syracuse University, Katherine at Radnor High School and Peter who is in middle school.
 
Girls Coach
Liz Miller

coachliz1082@gmail.com
Coach Liz began her rowing career at Harriton High School where she was a captain her senior year.  She also raced during the club season for Bachelors Barge Club (earning a silver medal at USRowing Nationals) and for the USRowing National Development team.  Coach Liz was recruited and rowed for the University of Miami where she medaled in many championships, including the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association, the Big East, and the Southern Intercollegiate.
Coach Liz began her coaching career at Harriton High School as the novice/freshman girls’ coach and then returning girls’ coach.  She moved to Radnor Girls Crew Club as the first assistant coach and then head coach.  Coach Liz was also the Director of Rowing and Head Girls’ Coach for Harriton Boat Club (HBC), a club team that she founded in 2010. During her scholastic season coaching tenure, at least one of Coach Liz’s crews has medaled in the City Championship every year. At the Stotesbury Cup one of her crew earned bronze (HHS 2012 JV 4+), 2 of her crews earned silver (HHS 2013 V 4+, Radnor 2014 2nd 8+), and this past spring at Radnor her v4+ won gold in lane 6. At the 2013 S.R.A.A. National Championship, her Harriton v4+ won gold, the first national championship since 2001. In June of 2013, Coach Liz brought an HBC women’s varsity 4+ to the Women’s Henley Regatta in England where they advanced through to the final, narrowly losing to the British National Champion crew.
In her time outside of rowing, Coach Liz works at Bala Cynwyd Middle School as an instructional assistant, and a machine sewing instructor at the Handwork Studio. She is also the costumer for the BCMS fall play and music.

Novice Girls Coaches
Julia Barol (juliabarol@me.com) and Deirdre Mullen (dmmullen1111@gmail.com)
 

2016 - 2017 Student Captains                                         
Mackenzie Beckman
Jarod Estacio
Maxwell Koerner
Jake Nibauer
Sarah Wilson-Leslie
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