Head Coach – Varsity Lightweight Coach: Chuck Crawford

Chuck has resided in Delaware since his graduation from Rutgers in 1973 where his business is headquartered. He serves as President/CEO of ACW Corporation which owns and operates over twenty Arby’s Restaurants. He is married with three grown children and one grandchild.

Chuck competed in rowing during the sixties and seventies. As a rower, he rowed in national youth (junior) and elite lightweight championship crews that placed third in world junior championships and first in the lightweight championship.

Chuck has served as an assistant and head coach at the high school, club and collegiate level since 1978. His first major coaching success came in 1980 while he served as Head Coach at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, which won the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championship and finished second at the Royal Henley Regatta in the Princess Elizabeth Cup Competition.

Chuck successes include coaching many national champion crews at the high school and club level, along with an earlier stint serving as the first head coach at the University of Delaware from 1991 thru 1996. He coached the US Junior Men’s 8 in 1980 and 1982, which won a silver medal. He also coached the US Men’s pairs at the 1983 Pan American and Men’s fours at the 1991 games.  He built both the Delaware men’s and women’s programs into very competitive teams in a very short time, having both programs finish in the finals at the Dad Vail Regatta before resigning to return as an assistant high school coach at St. Joseph’s Prep and head club coach at Penn AC. In 2000 the athletes he worked with at St. Joseph’s Prep won the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Royal Henley Regatta.

Chuck returned to Delaware in the 2001-02 season and the Blue Hen crews quickly rose to a very competitive level. In his first year back, the lightweight varsity 8 finished second at the Dad Vail Regatta and the next year finished first in the same event. The Heavyweight Varsity has also been developing into a formidable crew. The Delaware Men’s Crew has consistently been among the top finishers at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta winning the men’s overall point trophy in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Varsity Heavyweight Coach: Joe Kleiman

Joe began his high school rowing career at the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club. Sitting six-seat in CJRC’s heavyweight 8+, Joe and his crew won The USRowing Junior National Championship in spring 2001. He then went on to compete internationally at the Henley Royal Regatta, held in the town of Henley-on-Thames, England, where he won the Marlow Regatta and advanced to the third round in the Thames Cup.

Joe attended Rutgers University and competed in the country’s most prestigious regattas, including the Eastern Sprints and national Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta. During his novice year, Joe was honored with the “Most Outstanding Freshman” award. He was later named “Hardest Working Oarsman” and Team Captain his senior year before graduating with an undergraduate degree from Rutgers in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology.

Joe began coaching at Delaware in 2005. In 2007, he led his freshman heavyweight 8+ to a silver medal finish at the Dad Vail Regatta and an invitation to the esteemed national IRA Championship Regatta. The following year he was promoted to head freshman coach of both the heavyweight and lightweight divisions. His 2008 lightweight 8+ and undefeated heavyweight 8+ both won gold medals at the Dad Vails and finished notably at IRAs. This past year, his frosh 8+ won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship and earned a silver medal at the Dad Vail Championship.

Freshman Lightweight Coach: Taylor Valentine

New to the University of Delaware, Taylor began rowing in high school at St. John’s Jesuit in Toledo, OH. He was a three-year top boat member, making the trip to SRAA Nationals each year on varsity. His sophomore year he was a leader in a young boat finishing third in the Junior 8+. He followed that campaign with a ninth place finish in the Senior 8+ the next year and a bronze in the Senior 4+ his senior year.

After high school Taylor was recruited to row for the University of Wisconsin. After winning duals against Michigan, MIT, and Boston University he raced at Eastern Sprints, earning a second place finish before suffering a debilitating back injury that effectively ended his collegiate rowing tenure.

He has stayed with rowing, returning to coach his high school briefly after achieving his journalism degree from UW in 2013. After spending time home in Toledo, he returned to Wisconsin and in his spare time assisted with the Marquette University rowing team, initially as a novice women’s assistant before immediately taking over as the novice men’s head coach. The small club experienced success under Valentine, prompting him to move out east to try his hand with a much larger club at the University of Delaware.

Taylor was a very adept technical rower and looks forward to developing crisp and clever oarsmen at Delaware for years to come and add to the program’s laundry list of success.

Freshman Lightweight Coach: Russell Garrett

Freshman Heavyweight Coach: Phil Kleiman

Phil Kleiman started rowing in high school for the Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club. Phil sat bow in CJRC’s heavyweight eight in 2004 that finished the season undefeated and won the USRowing Junior National Championship.

Phil began rowing for the University of Delaware in the fall of 2004. He raced in the Varsity Lightweight 8 for two years and competed at Eastern Sprints for four years and the IRA National Championship for three. Phil graduated in the spring of 2008 with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Kleiman began assisting the freshmen heavyweight and freshmen lightweight squads during the 2008-2009 season. Highlights from the 2009 spring include winning the S.I.R.A regatta and placing second in the freshmen heavyweight event at the Dad Vail Regatta. In his second year as assistant coach, the freshmen heavyweights placed 3rd at the S.I.R.A Regatta and 3rd at the Dad Vail Regatta. The freshmen lightweights had a solid regular season and ended their spring season combining with varsity rowers to finish second in the varsity lightweight category at the Dad Vail Regatta.

The 2012-2013 freshmen lightweights had their most successful season to date. The 1F boat finished the spring with a second consecutive victory at The Dad Vail regatta after finishing the duel racing season with a 7-1 record. The 2F boat finished the season with a 6-1 record as well as winning the Club 8+ event at the Knecht Cup Regatta.

Phil is in seventh year coaching Freshmen at Delaware, and will coach the Freshmen Heavyweights during to 2014-2015 seasons

Assistant Coach John Williams

John L. Williams came to the UD program in 2001 after two years of coaching while in law school at Emory University. He has coached primarily the heavyweight freshman since, both as head-freshman coach and assistant, all his crews have made the finals of the Dad Vail regatta.

From 1990 to 1994, John Williams rowed for the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association. He then rowed for Williams College, where he won the New England Championship in 1996, finished third in the ECAC regatta, competed twice at Henley-on-Thames, as a spare-pair and in the Temple Challenge Cup. Notably, in 1997, his eight set the course record at the Head of the Charles regatta in the Club Eight event, that stood for 14 years. In 2003 he won the Head of the Charles again, this time in the Club Single event after starting 44th in a field of 57. He still competes with the Wilmington Rowing Center master’s crew.

When he is not rowing, he is a Delaware lawyer who practices law and manages The Williams Law Firm, P.A. and incorporates and forms Delaware LLCs through Agents and Corporations, Inc. He is licensed to practice law in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.