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 twenty Arby’s Restaurants. He is married with three grown children and three grandchildren.
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, 2010 and 2017. The Lightweight Eight Varsity Crew has finished first or second in all of the Dad Vail Regattas that it has competed at since 2002.
Chuck also pays attention to the Heavyweight squad with his direction and counsel. The Heavyweight squad races in many of the same Regattas including the Dad Vail Regatta, where the Varsity 8 and 2nd Varsity 8 both finished third in 2017. Additionally, Chuck earned the USRA Peoples’ Choice Collegiate Coach of the year in 2016.
Varsity Heavyweight Coach: Austin Craig
Austin began rowing at the University of Delaware in the fall of 2013. As a walk-on novice, he quickly improved and moved into the 1F by the end of the fall season where he stayed until joining the Varsity 8 for the ACRA Championship Regatta. Throughout his four-year career at Delaware, he experienced much success, coming out victorious in the majority of duel races and medaling in a multitude of regattas including twice at both the Head of the Charles and Dad Vails. As a rower, Austin was well respected and was named team Vice President and co-captain in his senior season. He was also named Most Valuable Oarsman twice and given 110% Effort honors four times by his peers and coaches.
After graduating from UD in the Spring of 2017 with a degree in Marine Biology, Austin attained a job in Wilmington. Being in the local area for work, he has elected to assist in coaching the team for which he rowed. For the 2018-2019 season he was promoted to head coach of the heavyweight program. Austin hopes to instill his work ethic in current athletes, provide technical guidance, and use his training knowledge to help the team become physically prepared to compete at the highest level.
Freshman Lightweight Coach: Tristan Snow
Freshman Lightweight Coach: Cooper Hurley
Assistant Lightweight Coach: Bailey O’Brian
Assistant Lightweight Coach: Will Beardell
I began my rowing career at WYRA, racing in the Varsity 8 for 3 years and then going to Youth Nationals in the Ltwt 4+ my senior year. At Delaware, I raced proudly with the second freshman boat and third varsity 8+ through the fall and spring, recording wins against Dartmouth and MIT during the season and ultimately finishing third at Dad Vails in the Lightweight Freshman 8+. My sophomore year I made the 2v for the Charles in the fall, and raced with the 3v through the spring, notching a win against Georgetown during the season. My Junior year I made it back to the 2v for the Princeton Chase, and ultimately broke into the 1v for the spring season notching wins against Georgetown, MIT, and Temple, and winning the Kerr Cup and Dad Vail regatta in the 2v and lightweight 4, respectively. My senior fall I found my way back to the 1v, winning Navy Day and racing at the Charles, Princeton Chase and Frostbite Regatta, and finished out my career my senior spring at bow of the 2v, beating Georgetown, Dartmouth, MIT, and Temple, finally coming in 2nd of the Lightweight 8 at Dad Vails.
Short term/long term goals:
In the short term I aim to increase the depth of speed at Delaware, and I believe a more competitive 3-4v group will directly affect the speed and competition in the top varsity boats. I aim to motivate the group I coach to make improvements in comparison to their boat’s time last year, and use the speed of the next highest boat as a benchmark for year-over-year improvement. In the long term I hope to continue helping the athletes in the lower boats find their ‘next gear’ and push up to the top level of the team, both athletically and mentally.
Outside of rowing:
I received my Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering at UD in 2018, and am currently enrolled in the Doctorate program in Electrical Engineering at UD in the Nanoelectronics, Electromagnetics, and Photonics focus track. I’m originally from Wilmington, DE and went to Wilmington Friends School before UD.
Freshman Walk-on Coach: Greg “Cookie” Kaczka
Greg walked onto the team as a novice, in the fall of his freshman year in 2012. Prior to that, he played baseball and basketball at his high school in New Jersey. During his freshman year Greg was a member of the 1F and won two first place medals at frostbite. Throughout the rest of his rowing career Greg was in various boats and eventually moved his way up to the V8. During his senior year Greg was in the varsity eight that got second at Head of the Charles, the best finish the heavyweight team has ever had in the event.
Greg graduated in the spring of 2016 with a degree in History Education. He now works as a high school history teacher in Maryland. He is happy to return for a second year of coaching. Greg hopes to provide walk on athletes with the tools for success both on and off the water. The team made great strides last year with Greg coaching the freshman 4+ to a third place finish at Dad Vails 2018 in his first year of coaching. This year Greg is hoping to build off of that success and develop a strong walk-on program that will continue to bring talented athletes to Delaware Crew for years to come.
Assistant Coach: John Williams
John L. Williams provides legal counsel to the team and has been a part-time assistant coach, boatman and financial supporter for the University of Delaware Men’s Crew since 2001.
A Wilmington native, he attended Tower Hill School and started rowing in 1991 with the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association. After high school, he rowed four years for Williams College in Massachusetts, including three years in the first varsity eight. His collegiate career included a victory at the New England Championship Regatta in 1996 and a third place finish in the ECAC “Champion Regatta.” He competed twice at the Henley Royal Regatta both his freshman and senior years. Notably, in 1997, he set the course record at the Head of the Charles Regatta in the Club Eight that stood for 14 years. After college, he started coaching rowing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended law school. After law school, in 2001, he started sculling competitively and coaching at the University of Delaware. He was frequently seen coaching while rowing his single along-side the crews or wearing a suit while driving the launch. In 2003 he won the Head of the Charles in the Club Single in a field of 57 competitors. He still competes with the Wilmington Rowing Center master’s crew and has won first-place medals at USRowing Master’s Nationals and regularly competes in the Club Four event at the Head of the Charles, where his crew has won third, fourth and fifth place medals, despite his boat having an average age about twice that of the other crews in the event.
Professionally, he practices business and estate law as the President of The Williams Law Firm, P.A. He is also President of Agents and Corporations, Inc. (www.incnow.com) which is an online e-commerce incorporation service. Over the past 15 years, IncNow has provided numerous jobs to coaches and recent graduates from the University of Delaware Men’s Crew. He is active in the Wilmington start-up environment. He helped start a software company to use blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to manage and automate business organizations and recently spoke at TEDxWilmington about this technology.
He is currently the President of Wilmington Rowing Center. WRC operates a boathouse with about 150 masters rowers and 150 scholastic rowers. Additionally, he is the Chairman of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation which operates the Official Tall Ship of Delaware, a 300 ton authentic working replica of the ship that founded New Sweden on the banks of the Christina River in 1638. The organization has over 200 volunteers who contribute over 40,000 volunteer hours per year to its educational mission. The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation also operates the Copeland Maritime Center, which is a newly built award-winning maritime museum. He serves as the Vice President of the Christina Conservancy. He was appointed by three Delaware Governors to serve on the Delaware Natural Areas Advisory Council. He is membership chair of Delaware’s Chapter of the Society of Colonial Wars, President of the One Commerce Center Condo Council, advisory board member of the Delaware Founder’s Initiative, board member of Rides for Vets, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Partnerships and LLCs Committee, ABA Section Advisor to the Uniform LLC Protected Series Act, Vice Chair of the 18th Representative District of Delaware, co-founder of the Christina Navy, member of the Rodney Inn of Court, was honored by Delaware Business Times as “40 Under 40” for leaders and innovators, and was recently nominated to be an Honorary Commander of Dover Air Force Base.
He lives in Newark, Delaware in a house with boat access to the Christina River.