Our Coaches

Chris Flynn, Competitive Masters Head Coach, Director of Operations

Chris has an extensive history in the rowing community. He began rowing as a junior with Woodbridge High School and the Occoquan Boat Club (USRowing Sculling Camp at the time) and continued on to row with George Mason University and The University of Melbourne Boat Club. Upon returning to the U.S., he moved to Boston to train as a lightweight development athlete. Eventually, he settled into the newly forming Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) and later moved on to join Cambridge Boat Club.

He has 30+ years of successful competitive training and racing experience with notable performances at the Australian University Games in 1996 and at USRowing Club Nationals in 1999 and 2000. In 2012, he helped lead Cambridge Boat Club to an overall team points trophy and men's team points trophy win at the USRowing Masters Nationals regatta.

Chris has also been the Club Captain at CRI and Cambridge Boat Club, the Regatta Director for the CRI Headless Halloween Regatta and the CBC Invitational Regatta and volunteered extensively with the Head of the Charles Regatta.

As a coach, Chris has worked at Woodbridge High School, Hylton High School, Prince William Rowing Association, Community Rowing Inc., and Santa Clara University and has coached athletes from the junior through to the masters level. He is currently a coach at Norcal, leading the middle school development program, and is a USRowing Level 2 Certified Coach.

Outside of rowing, Chris worked for a number of years as an institutional investment manager with State Street Global Advisors and later as a private wealth manager with Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. In 2013, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and two kids and began volunteering within the Palo Alto community.

If you'd like to learn more about the BIAC Competitive Team, click here and come join a session.

Jenifer Aguirre, Open Masters Head Coach

Jenifer has over 25 years experience as a personal trainer and 17 years as a rowing coach for both high school athletes and adults. She walked on to the sport at UCSB as a Freshman and never looked back, rowing all four years on the Lightweight team culminating in a National Championship medal.

Rowing is truly a passion for her and she is thrilled to pass that along to young athletes and masters looking to take their skills to the next level. Her main goal is to help each rower not only discover their own strengths, passions and potential but explore this unique sport. As a coach, she has achieved State and Regional Champion success with her masters and junior teams. 

As a collegiate and masters rower herself, she has enjoyed Regional and National Champion success as well as participating in several Masters World Championships in places like Belgium and Canada, and collected a couple of coveted Head of the Charles medals along the way.

Jenifer’s philosophy for both rowing and health and fitness encompasses mind, body and soul. She believes you must understand where your fitness and skill level is, how it got there and where you want it to go. Her passion and inspiration come from "helping others to achieve goals they did not think were possible, whether it be in the gym, on the water, or in life." Both her coaching and personal training style revolve around form and function, and exercise variety. "As you rise to the challenge, the higher the bar goes."

Jenifer is the Open Crew Head Coach, and also teaches sweep rowing technique classes on Sundays with a poetic flare. As a teacher and coach, she has a gift for inspiring a love for rowing and motivation to excel.

If you'd like to learn more about the BIAC Open Team, click here and come join a session.

Derek Stedman, Open Masters Assistant Coach

Derek started rowing in 8th grade. He tried out for the team in middle school, and got sucked in forever. He won at Royal Canadian Henley in the senior men's lightweight double in 2011 and in the senior men's lightweight pair in 2013 . The win in 2013 was particularly sweet, as it topped off a hard-fought return from injury and illness in the fall university season for both his pair partner and him.

Off the water, Derek is an engineer specializing in wind related catastrophe modeling. In his spare time, he's taken up cycling racing, and found himself on the podium a few times recently. When asked what his favorite candy bar is, he says "poutine".

Derek infuses his coaching with a deep understanding of the sport, and an elegant Star Wars philosophy. He has been known to transform five-and-glides into something akin to Jedi exercises with the Force ("an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together."--Jedi Master Obi Wan-Kenobi, 1977)

Chuck Bonnici, Novice Masters Head Coach, Head of Adaptive Program

Chuck started rowing for Serra Crew in high school, where he competed in local and national regattas, and has been involved in rowing ever since. He began by coaching Juniors rowers at Serra and Los Gatos, then served as an assistant Masters coach at BIAC for both the Novice and Open teams. In 2014, Chuck stepped into the role as Novice Head Coach for BIAC masters and leads the Learn to Row program. 

In addition to coaching masters novices, Chuck competes in Masters rowing events and is Novice Men's Head Coach for Norcal Crew.

If you're interested in Learning to Row, get more information and sign up for a session!


Janet Bellantoni, Competitive and Recreational Rowing Coach

Janet Bellantoni has over 25 years of rowing experience and has coached men and women at the elite, club, masters, college, and youth level on the East and West coasts. She equally enjoys coaching all athletes, from those who are brand new to the sport to highly competitive veterans. She is currently a sculling coach at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Janet learned to row at the University of Rochester, where she served as team captain and stroked a gold medal eight at Eastern Sprints. She went on as an athlete at the U.S. National Team lightweight training center to win medals at the Lucerne Regatta, World University Games, Elite National, Head of the Charles, and Canadian Henley. She is an active masters sculler and occasional sweeper in the Bay Area, having earned recent medals from the Head of the Charles and the San Diego Crew Classic. Janet lives in Menlo Park with her husband, their two children, and an old grumpy cat.

Alice Henderson, Sculling Coach, Adaptive Rowing Coach

Alice started rowing in 1982 and has been involved in the sport in some capacity ever since. As an athlete she won national championships for the University of Washington and competed for the USA. She then started coaching (over 25 years ago), including as a full time coach for seven years in Seattle, and has coached all levels of athletes from middle school to college, people in their 70s to adaptive athletes, from novice to national champions.

Alice's involvement in rowing expanded in the 1990s to include rower, coach and also bureaucrat. She has now been a US referee for over 20 years and passed the FISA exam in 2013. She was chair of the Jr Women's Committee, served a term on the USRA Board of Directors, became the first head coach of Seattle University and was a founding board member of the first rowing club in Arizona, Rio Salado. Most recently, Alice was classified as a US Technical Clinician for Para-Rowing in 2015.

All of this points to one thing: Alice is highly enthusiastic about rowing. She now brings this enthusiasm and passion to adaptive rowing at BIAC. When she started rowing most boats were still made for men who were between 6'2"-6'4" and 180-200lbs. Since the mid 1970s boats and programs have been adapted to accommodate a wider cross section of society. What we currently refer to as "adaptive rowing" is a continuation of the inclusiveness of rowing. At BIAC we have adaptive athletes who are mostly in a chair, have a prosthesis and other physical limitations. We also have a partnership with the VA (US Dept. of Veterans Affairs) to facilitate Veterans rowing, either for wellness, rehab or competition.

If you have questions about adaptive rowing OR would like to volunteer during an adaptive practice, click here to email Alice directly to get started!

For Junior rowing programs, see Norcal Crew Coaches and Serra Crew Coaches.

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