Coaches

Dragos Alexandru
Program Director/Head Coach

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Coach Alex hails from Romania, where he competed on the Romanian National Team for four years. He continued to serve as an assistant coach for the Romanian National Team, including the Women's pre-Olympic team in 1982-1983. After moving to the United States, Coach Alex worked for the Friends Academy from 1998-2001 as Head Coach. His tenure with the Sarasota Scullers began in 2003. Under Coach Alex, the Scullers earned Sarasota's first gold medal at the US Youth Rowing National Championships in 2011, and the team regularly sends rowers to compete at national championship regattas. Coach Alex is a US Rowing Certified Level III coach.

Randy Higel
Men's Head Coach

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Coach Randy has long been involved in the Sarasota rowing community as the founding President of the Sarasota County Rowing Club. He served on the board of Sarasota Scullers before helping to found Sarasota Crew in 2002. There, Coach Randy held a variety of coaching positions ranging from Novice Men to Varsity Girls to team Assistant Coach. Randy returned to his roots with Sarasota Scullers in 2009 to serve as the Men's Head Coach, helping the boys' team achieve national recognition. He is a USRowing Certified Level III coach.

Angela Henley
Women's Head Coach

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A founding Sarasota Sculler, Coach Angela has an extensive history with the team starting in 1991, her first year rowing. She was the Team Captain in 1995. She was also team captain at the University of Central Florida, where she rowed from 1995-1999. Coach Angela first picked up a megaphone at Bishop Moore High School, where she served as Assistant Coach for two years. She returned to Sarasota Scullers to coach Long Skinny Boat Camp and has worked with the Sarasota Women's Association of Rowing Moms, Sarasota Scullers Masters Program, and as Head Coach of Sarasota Scullers' Women. She is USRA Level II Certified Rowing Coach.

Jeff Higel
Assistant Coach

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Coach Higel has competed in successful boats at the Head of the Hooch and
championship regattas in the southeast as a Master rower. He is currently a
member of Sarasota County Rowing Club, the local masters rowing club, and
has held positions on its board and served as President. His coaching
career includes seven years at Sarasota Crew as the Novice Men's, Women's
Varsity, and Novice Women's coach. He currently is the Assistant Coach for
the men's team and coaches the Learn-to-Row class for SCRC.

Joseph Pantera
Assistant Coach

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As a Sarasota Sculler, Joe culminated his youth career by winning bronze in
the men's pair at the 2012 US Rowing Youth National
Championships. Since graduating from State College of Florida in 2013,
Coach Joe is continuing his studies in hospitality management at USF. He
has been passing down his knowledge with Sarasota Scullers since October 2012.
"I coach to try to inspire a sense of loyalty and pride in rowing, as well
as trying to help the rowers become determined and disciplined in
everything, not just rowing," said Coach Joe.

Nina Morgan
Assitant Coach

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Coach Nina's rowing career began right here with Sarasota Scullers, earning
the "Sculler of Year" Award. She continued rowing with the Division I UCF
Knights, winning the inaugural Conference USA Championships in the Varsity
4+ and earned the bow seat in the 1st Varsity 8+. Nina coached with The
Stewards Foundation in 2012-2013.

Whitney Shaefer-Tucker
Assistant Coach, Head of Middle School

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Coach Whitney brings years of experience as a teacher and a coach in
swimming and rowing. She has been a part of Sarasota Scullers since 2005 as
an assistant coach. Her experience from more than ten years as a swim coach
is a valuable assets to the Middle School and Novice Programs.

Brittany Skidmore
Coxswain Coach

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Coach Brittany started coxing 2004 for Cincinnati Jr Rowing Club, a
nationally ranked club team. The highlight of her junior career was coxing
the Women's Lightweight 8+ to a silver medal at the US Rowing Youth
Nationals. She earned a full scholarship for coxing to UCF and was only
freshman on the varsity squad that year and coxed on the varsity squad all
four years before graduating in 2011 with a degree in Business Management.
Coach Britney is currently studying to earn her personal training
certification. "I believe rowing is the ultimate team sport," said Coach
Brittany. "I enjoy motivating people and I think with the kids they need
someone who expects greatness out of them and believes in them."