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Welcome to the James River Crew 2019-2020 Season!

Our Coaches

Chuck Alexander - Head Coach
Chuck Alexander brings 25 years of rowing experience which began on the James River as an oarsman at the University of Richmond.  He was a competitor at the national and international level for Vesper Boat Club as a part of their Olympic and National Team Development programs in both sweep and sculling events.  Chuck participated in the World Championship trials 1999 - 2001 in the lightweight men’s single.  He coached Learn to Row programs at Vesper for adults and high school students.  Chuck was the captain at Vesper Boat Club and a member of the board of directors, as well as the managing director at the Masters Rowing Association and remains a current competitive member of the Virginia Boat Club.  Chuck and his family of 5 returned to the Richmond area in 2015 and he joined the James River Crew coaching staff in 2016.  His eldest daughter (Class of 2019) currently rows with James River Crew.  

Tom Barbieri - Assistant Coach
Tom Barbieri has been a math teacher at Cosby teaching all levels of Geometry for three years. Before that he was at Charles City teaching Geometry and Trigonometry. Tom rowed for the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!) from 2004-07. He rowed starboard, and in his favorite position as a 3-seat in the eight boat. Tom started his freshman year over the winter and experienced rowing on the water in the spring and training in Austin rowing against the University of Texas. The Gophers trained in the spring and fall rowing on the Mississippi, and winter training on the ergs. His boat was invited to row at the Head of the Charles.

“I love crew because it is the ultimate team sport. You need to anticipate every move your teammates do, rely upon each other for emotional strength when you get tired, and learn from each other about the techniques needed to succeed and be competitive.”

Ali Thomas - Assistant Coach
Ali Thomas joined the James River Crew team as a high school freshman in 2010. After rowing for a year, she switched to coxing and never looked back. She coxed at Christopher Newport University for two years before transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University. While she was not on the rowing team at VCU, she found more collegiate rowing opportunities with UVA Men's Rowing through friends in Charlottesville. At UVA, she coxed during the summer for junior camps hosted by UVA Men's Rowing, lead by UVA rowers and coaches. While in Charlottesville, she also coxed Masters rowers at Rivanna Rowing Club. Occasionally, she travels to Charlottesville to help with professional team building programs put on by UVA Men's Rowing. Outside of coxing, Ali has interned with Special Olympics Virginia, volunteered with Sportable's rowing program, and will graduate from VCU in December 2018 with a degree in Public Relations.

Lauren Phelps - Teacher Sponsor
Lauren Phelps is in her eight year of teaching, but only her third year teaching biology at James River High School.  Lauren graduated from Radford University with a BS in Biology and a MS in Curriculum and Instruction.  She has a MS in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University. She decided to join the Crew Team as a school sponsor in 2017 because she loves interacting with students outside of the classroom and she also loves being in, on, or around water. She is originally from Roanoke, but she currently lives in Moseley with her husband, Eric, and their Goldendoodle puppy, Mason. Lauren and Eric enjoy taking Mason to the river for a picnic or exploring the city in their free time.  


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Welcome to the James River Crew 2019-2020 Season!
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