Our Coaches

Our Coaches


This page is under revision. 2018 Coaches will be updated soon.

Nick D’Imperio – 2018 RRC Head Coach (see UVA coaches page)
Nick comes to Charlottesville after three years coaching and working in the Midwest. Two of those years he worked as the graduate assistant coach for Oklahoma City University while earning a master’s in leadership and management. While at OCU, Nick was part of a team that would earn bronze medals at the SIRA Championship regatta both years and earn back to back bids to the IRA Championship regatta with a victory and a runner up finish at the Western Sprints Championships in 2015 and 2016 respectively. All of these were firsts for the program. Nick began his rowing career in Philadelphia at Monsignor Bonner high school. After graduating from Bonner, he went on to row four years at Penn State highlighted by a bronze medal at ACRA in the Lightweight Varsity Four in 2010 and racing in the grand finals of the same event in 2012. During his senior year Nick served as a team captain, coached the Penn AC summer junior program in 2013 and went on to coach both the men and women’s novice squads while finishing his undergraduate degree in mining engineering as a fifth year senior. After graduating from Penn State in 2014, Nick participated in a cross country cycling trip with the charity organization Bike & Build, riding from Providence, Rhode Island to Half Moon Bay, California.

Ashley Gale – Learn to Row


Ashley recently completed her second year as a collegiate rower at the University of Virginia.  Her most recent accomplishment is winning the gold medal in the women’s single (1x) race at ACRAs (Collegiate National Championships).  Ashley won gold last year at ACRAs in a women’s double.  She also won gold at the SIRA race in Tennessee this past spring and silver at the Murphy Cup in Philadelphia.  She has competed in some of the largest races in North America including the Head of the Charles, Royal Canadian Henley, Stotesburry and Dad Vails.  Ashley’s coaching experience started when she was fifteen after organizing a girls’ softball team in her town (Crozet).  Ashley was the head coach of that team for three years, and was recognized by Little League International for her contributions as a coach.  This will be Ashley’s third summer working for Rivanna Rowing.  Ashley is eager to share her knowledge, experience and passion for the sport of rowing with all those learning to row this summer.

Roger Payne – Learn to Scull (see VirginiaSports profile)

Roger brings 40 years of rowing and coaching experience to RRC. He rowed collegiately at University of Washington, sculled competitively at Lake Washington RC and Undine BC, winning championships at numerous regional and national regattas. He restarted the Intramural Rowing Program at University of Washington after a 30-year hiatus. He built boats with Pocock Racing Shells and Owen Racing Shells. He has coached at Lake Washington RC, Seattle Pacific, Oregon State, Wisconsin, and Virginia, He has coached at numerous USRowing Jr. And Sr. Selection and development camps, men and women, and has worked with athletes at U-23 World Championships, Pan Am games, and most recently at the Paralympics in London. He is currently the boatman at University of Virginia.

Cathy Coffman – Junior Learn to Row and Junior ExperiencedCathy
Coach Cathy Coffman has been rowing for over 40 years and her coaching experience spans 30 years with juniors, as well as masters and college rowers. Most recently, Coffman has been the head coach of the Albemarle HS Crew team, which in its first year, 2013, won the VA State Championship in the men’s 4x (Quad). In year two of the program, the men’s 4x repeated as VA State Champs and the women’s junior 2x was third at the Scholastic National Regatta. In 2015, AHS girls senior double was  VA State champs and placed  third at Stotesbury. In 2016, AHS had four State championship boats: boys and girls lightweight double, boys senior double, and boys senior quad. Coffman has rowed at Washington-Lee High School, The University of Virginia, Potomac Boat Club, Occoquan Boat Club, and Rivanna Rowing Club. She was the runner up at the 2014 CRASH-B’s in the Senior Veteran Lightweight event.  As a rower, she has medalled at Stotesbury, Dad Vails, Club and Master’s Nationals, as well as the Head of the Charles. As a coach, her crews have won New England and Scholastic Nationals, placed at Stotesbury, and several of her rowers have gone on to be on the junior national team and/or row in college.

Clare Rannigan – Coxswain Coordinator and CoxswainClare
Clare learned to row on the Rivanna when she signed up for the first season of community rowing that was offered in 1989.  A few years later she became one of the founding members of the Rivanna Rowing Club. Over the next 10 years she served in various capacities on the RRC Board of Directors, including President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Clare rowed competitively for Rivanna Rowing Club for over twenty years competing in two Masters National Championships and four Head of the Charles Regattas.  Over the years Clare also competed with several other East Coast clubs as a guest rower. Following her long career in rowing seats, several years ago she changed directions and switched to coxing – the 9th seat – and enjoys the strategic and motivational challenges this seat presents.