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Coaching Staff 2005:

Coach SpoonerHead Coach Tom Spooner:
Coach Spooner attended Gonzaga his freshmen and sophomore years before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in Andover, NH. where he won the New England Championship in his senior year.  Coach Spooner then rowed all four of his years at Cornell University on their lightweight team.  From the fall of 1996 till 2002, he coached the successful Walt Whitman H.S. varsity girls program.  He coached the Water Street Rowing girls to a scccessful season with a win at the Head of the Schuykill in the fall of 2002.

Coach O'ConnorCoach Kevin O'Connor:
Coach O'Connor, a recently retired naval officer, brings considerable rowing experience to the Gonzaga program.  He rowed fall and spring his four years at St. Joseph's Prep and went to St. Joseph's University on an athletic scholarship where they won the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta just before he graduated.  During his Navy assignment in Philadelphia he rowed in the Masters program at Undine Barge Club.  Coach O'Connor and his wife, Lynn, live in DC.

CoachCoach Jonathan Kidwell:
Coach Kid rowed for two years at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.   He was captain of the men's rowing team his senior year.   A 2002 graduate from Yale University and a 4 year rowing member of Yale Heavyweight Crew.   Coach Kid is a new addition to the Gonzaga Crew Program, we are very glad to welcome him.   Coach Kidwell both works and resides in Washington D.C.
e-mail:   Coach Kid

CoachCoach Scott Gorman, nSJ:
Coach Gorman rowed fall and spring his four years at
St. Joseph's Prep where he was a part of many championship boats including a 1998 Stotesbury victory with former Gonzaga coach Pat McCloskey.  After graduating from The Prep in 1998, coach Gorman rowed at Boston College his freshman year.  He is assisting Coach O’Connor with the Freshman Squad this spring.  Coach Gorman will be working with Gonzaga’s Campus Ministry and Christian Service Programs until the end of May 2005, when he returns to the Jesuit Novitiate in Syracuse, NY.

Coaches Comments

Training Rules
  • No alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.
    Use of these will automatically cut you from the team.
    You cannot be at your best if you are using these substances while training.
  • The team is a self-policed group.
    You must watch out for each other.
    You have a responsibility to yourself and your teammates to keep yourselves from being in a position where you could be cut from the team.
    You also are obliged to let the coaches or captains know if somebody is breaking the training rules.
Workout Rules
  • If you are physically unable to do the land training,
    you will not be allowed to row until you are able to do so.
  • If you are able to practice fewer than four days a week, you probably will not race.
    The final decision is up to the coaches.
  • Come prepared and ready to work out.
    If you don't have workout clothes, you will not practice.

  • Be considerate of your teammates and coaches.  Disrespect toward a teammate, coach, or member of another team will not be tolerated and is grounds for removal from the team.
  • Practices are not optional.  Expect to be at the boat house Monday through Saturday.  Practices are from 3 PM until 6 PM each weekday afternoon.  Saturday practice times will be announced.
  • If you know you cannot attend a practice, tell the coaches well in advance if at all possible.  Just not showing up will be greatly frowned upon.
  • If you are sick, please call and let the coaches know.  You can call them at home and leave a message.
  • Keep things in their proper priority:
    1. Family
    2. School studies (not clubs, etc)
    3. Crew
    4. Other
      If you are unable to do this, you should consider quitting crew and doing whatever is number 3.  Furthermore, you are aware of how much time it takes you to maintain your studies.  Don t make excuses for not getting things done.  If not coming to practice so you can study or catch up becomes a regular thing, you may want to consider dropping crew.  Manage your time!

Spring break practices are mandatory
  • The exception is trips related to classes at Gonzaga.  Consider this last statement when trying out for a boat.  Although you are not being penalized, your seat cannot be held for you while you are on a school trip.

Land Training
  • Always train in groups.
  • Always be in the area designated by the coach.
  • Be aware of what is going on around you.  If someone bothers or confronts you, turn and walk away.  Return to the boat house immediately and tell a coach!
Boat House Rules
  • Do not use or move things that do not belong to you.
  • Everybody must help in getting the boats on and off the water, and setting up and taking down the motor launches every day.  When it's your turn, be ready to do it.  We have limited space and time to get things done; let's not waste it.
  • No running or horseplay is allowed in the boat house or on the docks and ramps.
  • Do not interfere with another team's practice.  To ensure you are not in anyone's way, be in the area designated by the coaches at all times!  Don't wander off.
Safety Rules
  • Everybody must take a swim test before going on the water for the first time each year.  You are excused if you can provide valid certification as a lifeguard.
  • All oars are flotation devices.  They will keep you afloat.
  • If your boat swamps (fills with water) or turns over, stay with the boat!  It will not sink.  Hang on to it until you are picked up by a coaches' launch.  NEVER LEAVE THE BOAT.
  • If you catch a crab, and are thrown overboard, try to keep your head down until the boat has passed.  Try not to panic. Come up and tread water.  The coaches launch will pick you up.  Also, the crew should stop immediately and provide help.
  • When in the boat and on the water, follow the instructions of the coxswain and coaches quickly and properly.  The coaches and coxswain know how to control the boat and keep practices as safe as possible.
  • You are responsible for your own equipment, boat, oars, and uniforms.
  • Your racing uniform is for racing only!  It is not to be used as a workout shirt, and it is not to be traded. At a championship regatta, you may bet another school your shirt, but be very certain of winning.  If you lose, you must give it up.
  • Bring nothing valuable to the boat house; there is no secure place for your things.  When at the boat house, place any bags upstairs in the ball room.
  • We practice rain or shine.  The only things that will keep us off the water are extreme cold, flooding, lightning, or high winds.  In these events, you will be given instructions as to what we will do.
  • Always bring extra dry, warm clothes.

Guidelines for Receiving a Varsity Letter
  • To receive a Varsity letter, you must row consistently, on the Varsity 8 or Varsity 4.  This includes practices and races.
  • It is the coaches' prerogative to give varsity letters to other boats or individuals based on outstanding effort or accomplishments during the season.
  • All seniors who have been in the program for two or more years will receive a varsity letter.
  • Anyone not receiving a Varsity letter who completes the entire season will be awarded a junior varsity letter.
  • Freshmen will receive freshman letters.

These rules and guidelines are for your benefit.  The coaches are here to teach and guide each rower, but success ultimately lies with the individual.  If all Gonzaga's rowers work to the best of their abilities, keep a positive attitude, and support each other, then we will have a winning crew team.  You get what you put into it.  Good Luck.

Coach's Expectations for Gonzaga Rowers
Simply put, commitment is all that can ever be expected from any member of this team.  No coach will ever care how good or bad a rower is, but just that he really cares about what he is doing.  Just because someone shows up every day, that doesn't mean that they are committed.  Showing up is just the first part; it is expected of everyone.  What you do after you show up is what matters.  Are you really going to try, really going to push yourself, or are you just going to go through the motions?  Everyone thinks that they try hard and will always say that, but deep down inside they really know exactly how much effort they have put into something.  Being committed means that you will always put in everything you have and don't hold anything back.   In order to have a successful team, we must be committed.  Gonzaga's other teams are successful not because the players simply view themselves as participants, but because they care deeply about what they are doing.  There are great possibilities ahead for Gonzaga's crew, not only this year, but in years to come.  Without a committed group, though, it will be difficult to attain this success.

Experienced Rowers: Gonzaga's Cut System
Cuts for experienced rowers (i.e., not freshmen, but those with at least one year of experience) may be made, based on ergometer testing and the coaches' knowledge of a rower's previous performance.  The term "performance" includes physical conditioning, technical ability, personal attitude, and behavior.  Each rower will be judged on an individual basis, and emphasis will be put on current abilities.  Illness and other special circumstances or situations will be taken into consideration.  It is likely that several spare rowers and coxswains also will be kept as part of the varsity squad.  The coaches reserve the right to make final decisions concerning the status of all rowers and coxswains.

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