Morning Head Coach
Rachel Started her rowing career at Mercer Junior Rowing Club in Princeton Junction, New Jersey in 2004. After just one year, she knew that rowing was the sport for her. The highlight of Rachel's high school rowing career was earning a second place finish at the prestigious English Henley in the UK in 2006. Her senior year she was recruited to row at the division-1 level at UCLA in southern California.
Rachel led the team in 2009 to a 11th place overall finish at NCAA and a 9th place finish in the Varsity-8, the highest UCLA has ever placed at Nationals. She graduated UCLA in 2011 with awards from her teammates including Most Valuable Oarswoman and Team Captain. Rachel earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Conservation Biology.
Post college, Rachel went to coach at her old high school club in New Jersey, coaching the Masters and Novice Girls programs as well as being Events Coordinator for the Princeton National Rowing Association. Since then she has coached at various programs in Massachusetts including Wayland-Weston and Community Rowing Inc. Rachel hopes to continue coaching and spread her love of the sport while she pursues a graduate degree in Marine Biology in the future.
Morning Assistant Coach
Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, Jovia began rowing at the University of Puget Sound where she rowed all four years and attended NCAA Championships twice. After a brief return to Alaska, she knew rowing was meant to be a constant in her life. In 2015 she moved across the country to participate in the Institute of Rowing Leadership at CRI. Since then she has coached at various clubs around Boston and Seattle. When not coaching she enjoys running, adventuring, and attempting to cook.
Evening Head Coach
Matthew Walker, Ph.D.
Matthew is a 17 year veteran of the sport of rowing. Beginning in 1997 as a lightweight rower at Brandeis University, he quickly developed as an oarsman. By his sophomore year he was elected team captain and led the Brandeis men to their first ever medal at the New England 4+ Championships. After graduating, Matthew continued his rowing career at Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) as part of the Competitive Men’s Program where he earned top honors in many local and national competitions. Unfortunately a series of knee injuries forced him to transition from rower to coach, first at Community Rowing Inc. then at MIT, Lasell, Boston University and most recently Brookline High School where he led crews to top finishes at US Junior/Club/Masters Championships, World Master’s Championships and Crash-B’s while completing his graduate work at Boston University.
Motivated by his love for the sport, Matthew is an advocate for life-long participation in rowing. He has guided hundreds of rowers through their first formative strokes a, served as both an athletic and academic mentor for high school students , worked to provide opportunities for adaptive rowers and developed and implemented novel training approaches to optimize the performance of competitive athletes.
In addition to holding coaching certifications from US Rowing, Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brandeis University and a doctorate in Molecular Biology, Cell biology and Biochemistry from Boston University. He lives in Brighton with his wife (and fellow rowing coach) Naomi.
Evening Assistant Coach
Ben has been a participant of the sport for 10 years as he started sweep rowing in 2008. Ben started rowing for his high school in his home town of Glastonbury CT. Over the course of four years Ben assisted in bringing home medals for both state and regional championships. After high school, Ben rowed lightweight for the first two and a half years of his college career as he transitioned to the heavyweight division for the remainder of his time at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He was elected captain his junior year of college and continued to push the crews to countless achievements both on and off the water.
Soon after graduating college, Ben began coaching for Gentle Giant Rowing Club as an assistant coach in the fall of 2017. He is excited to work with such a range of experience levels while driven to motivate current and future rowers with the proper training to fulfill their visions in the rowing world. He might be seen coaching but hopes to get back in the boat as a rower in the near future. Outside of rowing, Ben enjoys working as a Civil Field Engineer in the Boston area. When he is not working, he can be found biking through the streets of Boston or skiing down any slope along the east coast.
Morning Novice Coach
Evening Learn to Row/Novice Coach
Justine Scott first learned to row as a first-year student at Colby College in Maine in 2003. She rowed throughout college, competing in two NCAA Championships, and was elected a captain in her senior year. She spent one summer with the US Rowing Inland Northwest Development Camp and one with the US Rowing Pocock U23 Lightweight Selection and Development Camp.
Justine was an assistant for Colby College in 2007-2008, for the MIT Lightweight Women from 2011-2014, and at the Maine Rowing Camp from 2012-2015. She started with the Gentle Giant Rowing Club in 2014 as an assistant coach for the adult team and as a learn-to-row /novice coach. Justine especially enjoys the process of introducing the sport to new rowers and helping people gain confidence in their rowing abilities.
A recent graduate of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Justine also works in health policy research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Evening Learn to Row/Novice Coach
Summer High School (GGRC Juniors) Coach