As the rosters of The Hill School boys’ and girls’ crew teams, more commonly known as The Hill School Boat Club, have grown, so too has the need for an experienced, sizeable coaching staff. Program Director Stephen Ciraolo and Director of Athletics Seth Eilberg are pleased to announce several changes to the Hill School Boat Club staff for 2018-2019.
Headlining the changes is the promotion of Will Scully to head boys’ coach; with Scully’s appointment, Ciraolo will now head the girls’ team in addition to being the program director. New assistant coaches include Amanda Molitor, who was an All-American rower at Wesleyan University; Katherine Erickson, who rowed as a graduate student at Oxford University; and Sophia Gantenbein, whose boat won the New England Championships when she was a student at Choate. Assistant coach Bill Woodruff P’19 returns to the team this year as does visiting assistant Ben Augeri, who works with the team on its spring break trip.
Below are brief biographies of each coach:
Director of The Hill School Boat Club and Head Girls’ Coach Stephen Ciraolo (appointed 2012)
Coach Ciraolo is an Athey Family Master and teaches in the Classics Department. Ciraolo attended St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia and holds a B.A. in economics and government from Cornell University, class of 1990, and an M.A. in Classics from Villanova University. Prior to his appointment at Hill, Ciraolo served on the faculty of The Baldwin School and of Tabor Academy, where he coached rowing for fourteen years, seven as program director. He took Tabor crews to Henley Women’s Regatta twice and Henley Royal Regatta four times. In the fall, he is an assistant boys’ cross country coach and he is an avid runner; in the winter he assists particularly in the running portion of the winter crew power-endurance program. In all areas of Hill Crew, he is particularly interested in fostering a culture that serves to the very highest developmental standards for all comers, from complete novices to top athletes.
Head Boys’ Coach D. William Scully (appointed 2016)
Coach Scully teaches physics and math. Scully holds a B.S. with honors in physics and German language and literature from Trinity College, class of 2014. He rowed for Simsbury High School in Simsbury, Conn. and then for Trinity, where he was captain his senior year. Since graduating, Scully has also rowed competitively in the U23 programs at Penn AC in Philadelphia and Mosman RC in Sydney. Scully has coached part-time at Simsbury, Trinity, and Middletown High School; in summer, 2018 he coached at Craftsbury Sculling Center in Craftsbury, Vermont. At Stotesbury 2018, Will’s 1V handily defeated 62 boats to win gold medals in the junior 4+ division. The photo above right shows Will and his boys on the medals’ podium receiving the George Mattson Trophy and their gold medals. Will also heads up the winter crew power-endurance program, well-known on campus for its hard work and its attention to technical performance.
Assistant Coach Sophia Gantenbein (appointed 2018)
A member of the World Languages department, Coach Gantenbein teaches French. Gantenbein holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature from Elon University. She rowed for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut; her senior varsity 4+ won the girls gold medal at New England Interscholastics Championship Regatta in the varsity 4+ for the first time in Choate's co-ed history. Gantenbein squeezed into the coxswain seat for Penn's Quaker rowing camp to help produce boat speed facing the other direction. As an accomplished dancer, competed on Elon’s Ballroom Dance team. At Hill, Gantenbein also advises the Model United Nations club.
Assistant Coach Amanda Molitor (appointed 2018)
Coach Molitor teaches English. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in British Literature from Wesleyan University, class of 2018. She rowed for Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pa., and then for Wesleyan, where she was a four-year letter winner. During her Wesleyan career, Molitor’s boat won numerous awards, including a gold medal and a silver medal at The Head of the Charles Regatta and a bronze medal at the NCAA Championships. In addition, Molitor earned First Team All-NESCAC honors and she was a two-time Division III All-American. Molitor continues to row competitively at Undine Barge Club in Philadelphia, competing in the double and quad in the summer and fall of 2018; additionally, she rowed in the U23 and junior programs both at Undine and at Fairmount Rowing Association. Molitor also coaches the winter crew power-endurance program.
Assistant Coach Katherine Erickson (appointed 2018)
Coach Erickson is a graduate of Oxford University where she is writing her Ph.D. dissertation in History. She also holds an M.Phil. in Modern British and European History from Oxford University (2015), and a B.A. in Fine Art and Art History from Stanford University (2012). She was a four-year athlete at Stanford in Equestrian, where she became the first athlete in program history to compete at a national final in dressage. Erickson did not learn to row until she moved to England at age 24, as a walk-on at Oxford. Once there, she progressed through from lightweight spare to a member of the openweight 2V and then of the openweight 1V—the Blue Boat—over three seasons, serving as President of the Oxford Women’s Boat Club in 2018. She also earned varsity letters in Large-Bore Rifle in these years. The 2019 season at The Hill will be Erickson’s first time coaching junior crew.
Assistant Coach William Woodruff P’19 (appointed Hill Athletics 2015)
Coach Woodruff, better known among the team members as "Coach Woody," joined the Hill crew coaching staff last spring after a number of seasons as an assistant coach in JV Boys’ Ice Hockey, JV Boys’ Soccer, and JV Girls’ Soccer. Bill hold a B.S. from Curry College and resides in Douglassville with his wife Stephanie, daughter Natalie ’19, and sons Will and Peter.
Visiting Assistant Coach Benjamin Augeri (spring break training program, Austin, Texas, appointed 2017)
Ben holds a B.S. in geology and innovation management from Oregon State University and was a standout coxswain both at Oregon State and in the PennAC U23 elite program in Philadelphia. Over his competitive career, Ben coxed three boats to gold medals at the Head of the Charles Regatta. He was the coxswain of Coach Scully's boat at PennAC; Scully considers Augeri the best coxswain Will Scully ever had.