Joseph Sullivan, Youth Head Coach

Joe Sullivan has been involved in rowing for over 35 years. He began rowing as junior at Monsignor Bonner H.S in 1978. He then went on to row 4 years at Temple University where in 1983 he was a member of Temple’s first Dad Vail Champion Men’s Varsity Heavyweight 8+. During the summers while in college and then year-round after graduation he rowed for Vesper Boat Club on their lightweight team. While at Vesper he won several USRowing National Championships and Royal Canadian Henley Regatta gold medals.

Joe began his coaching career with Harriton H.S. in 1984. In 1987, 3 of the 4 boats that went to the SR AA Championships won medals; the highlight being his Boys Varsity 4+ bringing home gold. Since then he has coached several other places that span all levels of rowing in both sweep and sculling. He has mainly coached high school teams, some of which he helped start, and junior club teams.

Joe has also coached college, club and masters teams. Over the span of his coaching career Joe has helped guide numerous crews to medal winning performances which include many championship races. He has had 13 crews qualify for the USRowing Youth National Championships. He has also coached at least 14 rowers at some point during their high school rowing who have made the Junior National Team. Also, many of the rowers he has coached have gone on to successful college careers, many on scholarship.

In addition to coaching competitive rowing, Joe has taught numerous people to row. He has run Learn-to-Row Programs for middle school age children from as young as 9 and 10 years old to adults in their 60’s and 70’s, plus at least one man in his 80’s. Many of his students have continued rowing by joining a club or high school team. Many have gone on to have successful racing careers of their own.


Art brings with him a lifetime of rowing experience. He has been involved with the rowing community since the 1960’s and has seen success at every level. As a high school student, he rowed for Groton School in Massachusetts. He went on to row for 4 years in the men’s varsity 8+ at Dartmouth College. Upon graduation, Art left New Hampshire and made his way to Philadelphia’s own Vesper Boat Club where he competed at the Elite level for nearly 10 years. During his time as an elite rower he won multiple National Championships in both sweep and sculling events. To this day you will find Art rowing his single on our stretch of the Schuylkill.

Art has coached everything from high school novices, to collegiate varsity, to high performance athletes, and world championship teams. If you are at all familiar with Philadelphia scholastic rowing, you have seen one of Art’s boats winning a race. For 19 years he was Associate Head Coach at Malvern Preparatory School. During his time at Malvern Prep, Art has helped produce more than 20 National Champion crews and has seen over 40 of his rowers graduate and go on to row for Division I varsity programs. Art also coached sculling at Lower Merion High School, and assisted at Bryn Mawr College for five years.

In addition, Art has assisted with a number of National Team crews in 2011, 2012, 2015, and since 2019. Most recently, Art worked with the 2019 USA Men’s Quad, the 2021 Men’s Olympic Team Quad, and the 2022 Women’s National Team Lightweight Quad rowing for Whitemarsh.

He has coached Whitemarsh Masters for more than seven years.

KIRK BECKMAN, Masters Coach

Kirk rowed as a member of the Michigan State University men’s Rowing Team from 1979-1983 where he was the captain of the Men’s Heavyweight team, Rowing Club President and a coach on the Learn to Row Program. He attended the National Team Rowing camp in 1981-1983. After moving to Philadelphia in 1983, Kirk became a member of the Vesper Boat Club and began rowing on the Senior Elite Team until 1987. In 1988 he became a Vesper Boat Club Master’s Men’s Rower and continues to row with Vesper Boat Club where he also serves as a third term Board of Directors member. Kirk has rowed in and won numerous regattas throughout North America as well as in Monaco. Outside of continuing to row, he works with Boy Scouts of America troops and has two children in the Lower Merion School District.


  • Jason Beck
  • Margie Culbertson
  • Susan Hermann
  • Erik Mens
  • Matt Sidlowski
  • David Kaess
  • Uluc Ozdenvar
  • AJ Wirtil
  • Olivia Gialdo
  • Julia Karten
  • Beatrix Lay