Morning Head Coach

Rachel Labella

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. 

 

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.

Head Learn-to-Row/Novice Coach

Justine Scott

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.

 

Summer High School (GGRC Juniors) Coach

James Hawthorne

James is a rower competing currently competing at the collegiate-IRA level.

Beginning at Essex Rowing Club, James rowed for one season on the novice team before moving up to Varsity.  He then competed in several events, including placing in the Men's 8+ at Youth Nationals and Men's 4+ at Club Nationals.  He left Essex, and committed to the George Washington University's Men's Crew, where he completed his year by placing 6th at Eastern Sprints in his respective boat.  He continues his path to bringing GWMR to more D1 Grand Finals, while training/affiliating with Riverside Boat Club during the summer, as a home team.

GGRC is James' first full position as coach.  His goals are to drive the high school GGRC team to the absolute best of its ability, while maintaining a safe and fun environment.

At GWU, he is double majoring in International Security Policy and Middle Eastern Studies. He is a native of Swampscott and Salem

Rachel Labella

Rachel Labella

 
 
Matt Walker

Matt Walker

 
 
Justine Scott

Justine Scott

 
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James Hawthorne