Coaches

 

Justin Ochaljo
Mercer Rowing Program Director, Varsity Boys Head Coach

Coach Ochal started his rowing career as a junior rower at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School.   In 2005, he represented the United States at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Brandenburg, Germany as a member the Men’s Double Sculls.  He continued his rowing career at Northeastern University.  His coaching experience includes Northeastern University and Roman Catholic High School.  Coach Ochal was recently promoted to Rowing Program Director and will oversee all the Mercer masters and junior rowing programs in addition to being the Head Boys Varsity Coach. Prior to coming to Mercer, Justin worked with Shimano Rowing Dynamics.

matt-carlsenMatt Carlsen
Varsity Girls Head Coach and Masters Coach

Matthew Carlsen joins the Mercer Rowing Program coaching staff after coaching at Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.  Coach Carlsen started the rowing program at Saint Edward in 2012. Since then, the program has grown to over 70 athletes and enjoyed increasing levels of success.  In 2015 the Saint Edward Men’s Junior 8+ placed 1st at the Scholastic National Championships (SRAAs) and in 2016, the Saint Edward Men’s Varsity 8+ placed 3rd at SRAAs.

Coach Carlsen began his rowing career in high school as a coxswain.  He continued his rowing career at Miami University of Ohio where served as team captain for three years.   He graduated in 2012 with a degree in Marketing and Decision Sciences from the Farmer School of Business.

amanda-klaiber-shortAmanda Klaiber-Short
Novice Coordinator and Head Novice Girls Coach

Amanda Klaiber-Short attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where she was a member of the rowing team for four years. She was in the 2V8+ that placed 1st at the 2012 ACRAs, and the V8+ that placed 2nd at ACRAs in 2013. She graduated from UCSB in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Applied Psych.  After graduation she was an Assistant Coach at ZLAC Rowing Club in San Diego, CA and most recently served as the Assistant Girls Coach and Summer Program Manager at Camp Randall Rowing Club in Madison, Wisconsin. Coach Amanda also received her Level 1 Yoga Certification and Substitute Teaching license in 2014.

Zach Spitzer
Outreach Coordinator and Head Novice Boys Coach

Zach started his rowing career at rowing for his High School in Niskayuna New York, where he was the team captain for two years. His team placed 2nd in the Senior Eight at the New York State Championships in his final year on the team. He also competed in the Empire State Games in 2008 and 2010 earning gold in 2008 in the 4x and silver in the 2x in both 2008 and 2010.

Zach went onto row for Syracuse University his freshman year. While at Syracuse Zach worked for the Syracuse Athletic Department as a Football Equipment Manager, while finishing his undergrad in History, and went onto get his Masters in Secondary Education while working as a Graduate Assistant for the Equipment Staff. He began coaching in the summer of 2011 for Aqueduct Rowing Club and Niskayuna High School, and would return there each summer. After graduating from Syracuse in 2015, he returned to coach at Niskayuna High School.  Zach joined the PNRA staff in March 2016.

Jamie Hamp
Varsity Boys Assistant Coach

cocoKyle Peabody
Varsity Boys Assistant Coach

Maddie Wanamaker
Varsity Girls Assistant Coach

Alex Spaulding
Varsity Girls Assistant Coach

Anna Kalfaian
Varsity Girls Assistant Coach

Susan Voorhees
Novice & 8th Grade Girls Assistant Coach

Hilary Gehman
Novice & 8th Grade Girls Assistant Coach

Max Borghard
Novice & 8th Grade Boys Assistant Coach

Al Kleindienst
Novice & 8th Grade Boys Assistant Coach