Sara Nevin started advising and part-time coaching EBRC in December 2013. She’s been instrumental in getting the EBRC Learn To Row programs running strong, sharing her love of rowing with those who’ve never seen the inside of a racing shell. Sara became head coach for the Mills Cyclones in 2011; before Mills, Sara spent 10 years as Assistant Coach for the Cal Golden Bears. At Cal, Nevin led the varsity 4 through an undefeated season to win NCAA championships in 2011. She also led the novice crew to multiple top finishes at the Pac-10 Championships. The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) acknowledged Nevin’s ability and success by naming her the 2008 CRCA Assistant Coach of the Year as well as the 2008 CRCA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Before coaching at UC Berkeley, Nevin served as the executive director and head coach at the Lake Lanier Rowing Club in Gainesville, Ga. During her five years in Georgia, Nevin coached all levels of rowers from beginners to U.S. national team members. In addition to her coaching, Nevin acted as the full-time boathouse and rowing club director, as well as Regatta Director for the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships in 1998 and 2001. Before arriving at Lake Lanier, Nevin spent seven years coaching in Seattle, Washington. Between 1989–92, Nevin coached at the Seattle Training Center, coaching a group of elite and pre-elite rowers. Her stint culminated with all eight women earning spots on the 1992 Olympic team.
From 1990–96, Nevin also coached the varsity boys rowing team at the Mount Baker Rowing Club. There, Nevin grew a program of 16 athletes to over 50 and won four USRowing Junior National Championships, including the school-boys’ eight in 1991 and 1993. Nevin earned a BA in political science with a minor in pre-medicine from the University of Washington in 1985. During her rowing career at UW, Nevin won three varsity 8 national championships between 1983–85 and was undefeated in U.S. collegiate competition. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1985 and 1986.
Jess LaFrank began coaching in the fall of 2011 after graduating from Mills College. At Mills, Jess was a a four-year coxswain and an asset in maintaining cohesion within the team, as three different head coaches led the rowing program. Senior varsity coxswain for three of her four years, she was awarded the peer-elected Cyclone Award in 2008, 2010, and 2011 for exemplary effort, attitude, and actions in support of the team; she also received the Coaches Award in 2008.
With a double major in poetry and psychology, Jess earned the Scholar-Athlete award each of her four years at Mills while enrolled full time, living off campus, and working various jobs to help pay for tuition and expenses. Before Mills, Jess did not participate in athletics; it was at Mills she found a love for sport, competition, and teamwork. As an alum, she enjoys working with students at Mills discover the ample opportunities there are to participate in athletics, and raising the competitive standard of Mills athletics has been, in a word, rewarding.