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“The reason I came to CRI in 2000 is I realized I really wanted to coach and had no idea what I was doing,” Matt Lehrer explains.

His coaching education and experience at Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) has paid off in spades, helping him land a coaching gig at Skidmore College, and others in London and San Fransisco. But CRI kept drawing Matt back and since 2011 he has been in Boston full time. In addition to being head coach of the competitive women’s program, Matt has worked his way through the ranks from “equipment and travel guy” to his current position as Director of Coaching Education.

Current rowing club affiliation + number of seasons there:
Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI), 13 years (2002-2007, 2011-Current)

The basics: Age, married, kids, jobs, pets?

Married to my amazing wife Alice with two boys Oliver & Huck.
Director of Coaching Education at CRI + Coach of the CRI Competitive Women

When/where did you get involved with rowing? When did you start coaching?
I started rowing at Denison University my freshman year with a newly reformed club program that I helped to reboot. I had never even heard of rowing before arriving and didn’t even know it was a sport! One of my now best friends asked during orientation if I would be up for helping him restart the club and being the naïve freshman I of course said yes!

This quickly led to the start of my coaching career one year later in 2000 as we were very good at recruiting and ended up with 88 rowers and one coach, so after my grand total of one year rowing I started coaching the new novices of course! I knew pretty quickly that I didn’t have really any idea what I was doing and that’s what led me to CRI – what better place to learn about how to coach than in Boston!

What’s the best piece of rowing/training advice you ever received?

Buy good rain gear, you’ll never regret it. – Justin Moore

Who/what inspires you?

I’m inspired by my athletes and co-coaches who fully embrace our team ethos of “bringing their best every day to challenge their teammates to do the same.”An environment in practice that provides daily competitive challenges alongside supportive teammates makes for a team culture that’s a lot of fast fun!

When not coaching, what’s your favorite thing to do?

Hanging out with my family is my favorite thing to do when not coaching. Whether it’s spending the afternoon around the city or at the beach or in the woods, we love spending time outside together. Even better when it’s on our bikes!

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.
The non-coaching part of my job at CRI is awesome. Check out all the different ways that we’re helping educate coaches at www.IRLatCRI.org!

On the non-professional side, I am a huge baseball fan, especially my beloved Cleveland Indians!


Want to see Matt in action? Check out this video from 2013, where Matt talks technique with the CRI competitive women’s program.