Coaches

While race results are the most obvious signs of Central Catholic’s success. The success of our graduates at nationally recognized collegiate rowing programs is another indicator. Most importantly, however, the continuing growth of the roster confirms the value of the experience to Central Catholic students.

Coaching Philosophy 
Rowing promotes team work and rewards self-discipline and individual hard work. Our coaching staff has a well-defined standard operating procedure both on the water and around the boathouse. This structured approach instills discipline, ensures safety and enhances performance during races. Our annual schedule, rowing technique model and physical training plan are based on best practices found in competitive collegiate and international rowing programs. In addition to hiring the best coaches available, we give them the tools they need to fully develop the team and each athlete.

Jay Hammond, head coach
Jay began rowing competitively in high school at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. At Harvard College he rowed on very successful freshman and Varsity Heavyweight squads (Eastern Sprints silver medal First Freshman Heavyweight event, gold medal Junior Varsity Heavyweight event and bronze medal Varsity Heavyweight event; gold medal San Diego Crew Classic; undefeated record in the Harvard-Yale Race; silver medal at the National Championships). After a year coaching high school rowing in England, Jay went to Oxford where he was in the (varsity) Blue Boat for the Boat Race against Cambridge University. He returned to the United States and coached high school rowing at the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. While in his third year of law school at Cornell University, Jay coached the Cornell Freshman Lightweights. During that same year, he successfully wooed Christy Wiegand (a champion rower during her undergraduate years at Princeton) who eventually agreed to become his wife. Their two children, four-year old William and two-year old Isla, give special meaning to the term “novice” crew.

Jay continues to get out on the water in a single scull and occasionally enters rowing races at the request of other “has-beens” looking for an extra body to fill out a heavyweight eight.

Aaron Lucia '06, novice coach
Aaron started rowing in the spring of his sophomore year. As a junior and senior he was a member of Central’s First Varsity boat. In 2006, Aaron rowed 5-seat for the first Central crew (and first crew from Western PA) to win the Varsity Boys 8+ event at Midwest Scholastic Championships. Aaron joined the Central coaching staff in the 2007- 2008 season, after rowing at Syracuse in the first frosh. Aaron was technique coach for the first two Midwest Champion freshman crews from Central. As Head Novice Coach, the CCHS frosh have returned to the Midwest podium, as well as earned a bronze medal at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta - with multiple bids in the final at nationals.

The staff also includes a number of volunteer coaches who assist the regular coaching staff from time to time.