novella, rowing, crew, las vegas, gambling, addiction
The Rowing Coaches is about friendship, money, love, loss, and rowing. It chronicles the turning point in the lives of three friends who are professional rowing coaches. The friends are Don Bestos, Bill Maxwell, and Bergman, men who are or were at the very top of their sport, and now question their friendships with each other and where their lives are headed. The story takes place on a weekend in the summer of 2000 at the USRowing Convention in Las Vegas, the big blow-out for everyone in the sport of rowing. The Rowing Coaches also offers a look at an esoteric and often misunderstood sport. The main character is Don Bestos, a fifty-year-old head coach from Northeastern University. Don is recently divorced and has yet to move on from the failure of his marriage. The memory of his ex-wife Annie causes him physical pain and occasionally haunts him. Don is in crisis and he questions what he has done with his life and whether he can continue with his chosen career. Don's concerns are compounded by his alcoholism. He grapples with his addiction throughout the story. Don also has a peculiar gift; upon touching certain inanimate objects, such as a boat, he can sense if the object has a soul. Don's best friend is Bergman, the obese head coach from the University of Pennsylvania. Bergman's team has been losing for years and he has lost the drive to continue as an elite rowing coach. Bergman is a loyal friend and he watches out for his friends. The one coach who appears to be on the upswing is Billy Maxwell, Don's assistant coach at Northeastern. Billy is a former Olympian and he is considered one of the rising stars in the coaching profession. Billy has been a winner at every level in the sport and he is willing to sacrifice everything to win, even friendship. Other characters include Stacy Kookla, a sociable sales representative for the top rowing boat manufacturer in the country; Andy Carr, the head coach of Yale University; and Missy Krajcik, the fastest female rower in the world.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
O'Grady, Bernard, "The Rowing Coaches" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1048.