Whitemarsh Boat Club is very pleased to announce the appointment of John David (“J.D.”) Bridges as Director of Rowing and Youth Head Coach, Whitemarsh Juniors Program, Whitemarsh Boat Club.As WBC expands, a critical part of our overall program as a Community Rowing Organization is the development of a Juniors Program that rivals the strong growth that our Masters Program has achieved over the past several years. Thanks to the strong coaching leadership of WBC Masters Head Coach Susan Hermann, the club has made major progress as a serious contender (and winner!) in racing competition, while maintaining a welcoming and supportive environment for masters rowers of all abilities and ambitions. Susan will continue to lead and direct the Masters Program, and J.D. is just the leader who can apply the same energy and talent to our rapidly-growing Juniors Program.As with the Masters Program, our plans for the Juniors Program are bold! J.D. has a clear and focused strategy to develop the Juniors Program into a comprehensive, four-season, integrated youth rowing program for high school students–One which will produce winners at the key high school regattas. But the program will go far beyond that, emphasizing instruction and athletic development at the middle-school level, as well as High-Performance Summer Camps (similar to those J.D. so skillfully managed at HRC in the past), as well as Under-23 Development Programs.For those of you who do not know J.D., he has a most impressive background, with over a decade of experience coaching high school and collegiate rowers in the Philadelphia region, as well as in New England and the Midwest. In just the last five years his athletes have won four national championships, a Royal Canadian Henley championship, and over a dozen other medals in national competition including at the Stotesbury Cup and USRowing Elite Nationals. His athletes have also gone on to row at schools such as University of Washington, Yale, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, the United States Naval Academy, George Washington University, MIT, and others.J.D. began rowing on Boathouse Row at Haverford College under Margaret Gordon, and has coached for high school and club programs in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, and Ohio. In 2010 he founded the Philadelphia Sculling Club, which quickly became the country’s premier summer sculling camp for boys. In 2012 PSC won four medals at the USRowing Club National Championships, including titles in the Under-23 quad and double. J.D. received a Masters in Kinesiology with a focus on Sport and Exercise Psychology from Temple University in 2008 and a law degree from Temple in 2012.

Please join me in welcoming J.D. and his wife, Sheila Dyer Bridges, back into the WBC family, as they relocate from Ohio back to Philadelphia over the next several weeks!

Rick Schwarz
President, Whitemarsh Boat Club