Archived News: 2015: Spring

January 11, 2015

Farewell to Coach Rob

    On Monday, January 5th Rob Canavan resigned from his position as head coach and varsity men’s coach of the Georgia Tech Crew Team.
    Coach Rob brought heart to the team. His dedication, his sacrifices, and his unwavering faith in his rowers have allowed us to not only survive for 21 years but also thrive. He provided the stability a once-small club team needed to become one of the most successful college rowing programs in the south. It has now reached the age were we can confidently allow Coach Rob to tackle new challenges in the rowing world, while we diligently continue to show others the strength in his teachings.
    For the remainder of this season, Coach Jay Skuban will carry out the administrative duties of Head Coach, with Coach Chase Powell and Coach Ben Loeffler instructing the varsity men.

    From the eternally grateful GT Crew family, farewell Coach Rob.

January 11, 2015

Coach Rob’s Farewell to Georgia Tech

    Poll anyone you have ever met who is a coach. Ask them why they chose coaching over any other profession. I’d be willing to wager that a high percentage of coaches would say that their decision was influenced by a coach that inspired them so greatly at one point in their life that they knew they had to enter the field. I owe my career as a coach to the dedicated coaches at Temple University Crew and Vesper Boat Club. These men challenged me to push my limits and to become someone who values integrity, morals, discipline, hard work and sportsmanship.
    As my coaches inspired me, I strove to inspire my rowers at Georgia Tech. Our motto for the last twenty years was “Plan to Win, Prepare to Win, Expect to Win.” Georgia Tech Crew set goals for coaches, individuals and for the team. Grueling daily workouts prepared us for season’s expectations. Hopefully, the athletes acquired positive experiences that will stay with them for life.
    I started coaching GT Crew in 1994. The team was small. The fleet was comprised of three eights and two fours. The Zung was the novice boat which everyone “cut their teeth” on. The Zung is now hanging in the GT bookstore. If you look closely, there is still blood on the wooden gunnels from novice rowers banging their knuckles. Today GT Crew boasts of a fleet of 9 eights, 6 fours, 6 pairs and 16 singles. There are four boat house buildings in Roswell and new small boats boat house in Smyrna. I thank all those involved in the process of GT Crews growth and development. So many people contributed money, time and other resources to help our team thrive.
    There are too many memories to share in this note but I’d like to tell of a few highlights. I remember Janet Kinard crossing the line from bow seat to win Georgia Tech’s first ever Varsity Women’s medal in the 4+ at the Dad Vail National Championships. This is memorable because Janet is only 5 feet tall and was frequently mistaken as a coxswain. After the Men won the Light 4+ gold medal in Philly, my Assistant Coach Steve Georgalis and I ran at each other for a “man hug”, we hit so hard we each were seeing stars. GT has won 35 Dad Vail National Championship medals since 1994 and I cherish each one.
    I will miss the annual spring break trip to Panama City Beach! Baywatch Olympics, athlete-made meals, dodging ski boats and tons of miles make the trips memorable. The “coaches night out” with Lucy, Slim, Georgalis, Ethan, Ross, McNairs, Dana, Cassi, Nick, Liz, Pete, Curt, Chase, Ben, HH, Alyssa, Maddie, and Jack among a few others were a blast. What happens in PC… Slim always made the tattoo wager interesting during the annual Novice vs. Varsity scrimmage.
    I have had the privilege of coaching many fine athletes at Tech. Marcus Millard, Eric Koep, Jordan Smith and Sean Gibel all competed on the U.S. National team after their career at Tech. Many others have competed on a high level rowing at Club Nationals and other various regattas; Chad Markle, Sarah Schwegman, Austin Nichols, David Judah, John Kaptain all come to mind.
    I’d have to say there was never a day when I didn’t look forward to coming to the Boat House to coach at Tech. The obstacles that a GT rower must overcome sets them apart from many other programs such as, the long commute on 400 just to get to practice and a rigorous curriculum that rivals all Universities across the country. Their passion for rowing allowed these student athletes to overcome these challenges. That passion always shone through in their rowing. The same passion pours into other parts of their lives like school, work, family relationships, and social lives. This passion and commitment allowed them to become champions.
    I want to thank the GTCAA for their support over the years. They came up big during moments of need. After the big trailer accident years ago, the Alumni were able to purchase a new trailer for the team. Alumni also produced enough funds for eight new training singles. These singles are now in the new Smyrna Boat House. What a valuable resource you have provided for the team!
    Two big supporters of the team gave their invaluable service. Thanks to Roz Meyers and Rich Steele who have worked as Faculty Advisors. Their insight has been much appreciated. The parents have been generous with their time and money over the years. Who can deny that Gini Loeffler has been the MVP parent supporter of the decade!?
    I want to thank Kelly “Crew Widow” Canavan for being understanding of a coach’s long hours. She has put up with countless 9pm dinners.
    Finally, the officers of the club have been phenomenal. Serving as an officer is a huge responsibility along with their busy lives. In turn, they gain valuable experience that they will take with them for the remainder of their lives. There are too many to mention individually but I can say each of them have been great. I will note that a couple Officers helped change the focus and outcome of the team; Sarah Tourtelot, Jonathan Snow, Mike Smith, Maya Oren, Adam McKenzie, Jake Kazlow- all were game changers in some capacity.
    It is one of the most difficult decisions of my career but I must say goodbye to GT Crew. It is time for a new chapter in my career. You will still see me around the BH. I will continue to row my single as often as I can and I will coach a High School Crew. I will be watching out for the Yellow Jackets; a piece of Georgia Tech will always be in my heart.

    “I can’t wait for tomorrow…”
    Rob Canavan
    Head Coach Georgia Tech Crew 1994-2015
    Plan to win, Prepare to win, Expect to win

January 12, 2015

Join us

Want to be a part of the largest and most successful club team on campus, experience the coaching of nationally acclaimed former rowers, and hear the clanging of hard-earned medals around your neck?

Stop by our Meeting for the Curious and our table during Engagement Week to meet some of your potential future teammates and learn more about joining us in our pursuit of perfection.

Meeting for the Curious
January 15th
CRC Room 249

Engagement Week
January 21st
Tech Walkway

April 9, 2015

Tribute for Brian

This coming weekend marks the year observance of a tragic loss that our team and Georgia Tech community experienced. In the past year, we have battled with overwhelming grief and the spectrum of emotions that losing Brian has forced us all to confront.

Brian had an incredible capacity to treat everyone he knew with kindness that was so genuine and wholesome you simply had to love him. In the July issue of our team newsletter, The Regulator, we shared some of our best memories of Brian. Below are a few of those lasting tributes to a man that surely changed all of our lives.

“Brian was just everything good. There’s no other way to put it. He was the most amazing man, the most caring and genuine and loving guy; the kind of person you don’t encounter twice in this life. Words could never capture him or the way he laughed or how he hiked up his spandex (for speed) or his casual way of making everyone feel included and liked. When Brian laughed you couldn’t help but join in, especially if he high-fived himself for one of his awful puns. His overwhelming happiness and contentment with every little thing in his life was incredible. Whether it was thrifting for new apartment ‘art’, watching a good (or awful) movie, or just having a really big cup of milk, he could always find something to be excited about. He was a guy who would fearlessly belt out ‘A Thousand Miles’ on regatta road trips and talk for hours about the immensity of the cosmos. You just couldn’t help but love him. It’s impossible to pick one picture that truly does him justice. But that smile- that’s Brian. He was the most amazing, thoughtful, selfless guy I could have imagined or deserved. I miss my best friend. To say it’s a loss is a gross understatement, because he was more loved than he’ll ever know, a better man than he ever gave himself credit for, and he is so, so missed.”

-Sofia Tuttle

“The picture of Brian Edmonds, Carlos, and myself really means a lot to me because it was the first time I really bonded with Brian. We all went to Salvation Army to pick out ridiculous clothes for a monster truck event that night. We bought UGA shirts and jean shorts that were just way too small for us. I still remember Brian telling me that his shirt was a child’s medium, hence the absurdly tight fit. Later that night, we cut the jean shorts even shorter, because they simply ‘weren’t short enough for our massive quads’ and ‘didn’t give us enough range of motion.’ Brian was the rare type of person who brought out the best in everyone just by being himself. He pushed your boundaries and enriched your life by living his completely unfiltered. Brian was a brother to me, and I will never forget him or the memories.”

-Brian Lee

“Brian and I had wanted to race a pair for months but had not had the chance. We spent a lot of time in the pair over the course of the season, and we were looking forward to this race because it would be the last one of the season and it would be some tough competition. During the race, Brian stroked perfectly for the full 5000 meters and held a tight inside course down the river to post the best time by over 10 seconds. It was the last race of Brian’s career, and one that I will never forget.”

-Adam Mckenzie

“The night before his accident he was at the apartment and I was having a particularly rough day. It was about midnight and he and Sofia were trying to get me to stop moping and come to McDonalds with him because ‘Abby’, he said ‘McFlurries make you feel better. They just do. It’s magic’. Those muffled sounds coming through the wall were the last words from him that I heard. Just about all my memories of Brian include in some shape or form Sofia. I can’t emphasize enough how much he meant to her. I didn’t know everything and I don’t know the details of their romance. What I do know to be true is that Brian was undoubtedly the most genuine human being I have encountered in my life. He acted with purpose, gentility, and warmth. There will always be a spot in my heart for him-for what he taught me about the kind of man I want to love me, for loving my best friend, and for making me want to be a better human being.”

-Abby Ross

On Friday April 10, 2015 at 7pm, there will be a remembrance ceremony held at our boathouse in Roswell (675 Riverside Rd, Roswell, GA 30075). The goal of this event is to celebrate Brian’s contribution in all of our lives and it will be a chance to preserve and share his lasting impacts on our team.

I am offering this invitation to anyone that wants to participate no matter their relationship with Brian, whether you knew exactly how his laugh permeated through walls or whether you only know him by the stories told. We will have candles to light and send off into the sunset on the Chattahoochee in addition to time for sharing any thoughts, memories, or stories of Brian.

In the coming weeks, we will also be erecting a memorial tribute at our boathouse in addition to naming our next purchased hull after Brian.

The best part about being on a team is having a support network to lean on when life becomes undoubtedly difficult.

Abby Ross

Georgia Tech Crew strives to compete successfully at the highest level while providing the opportunity for all students to grow through dedication, competition, and teamwork.

P.O. Box 350285 Georgia Tech Station Atlanta, Georgia 30332

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