CONSTANCE “CONNIE” A. CROSBY
NOVICE ASSISTANT COACH
Coach Crosby earned a B.A. in American History from Colby College in 1976, and an M.S. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982, where she went on to pursue Ph.D.-level studies in Historical Archaeology of the Eastern U.S. She was awarded the 1984-85 Regents Traveling Fellowship for dissertation research in England and Massachusetts, and in 1988 was awarded a German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship (DAAD) for language study in Berlin, Germany. She continued her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art 1998-2001 and attended Fuller Craft Museum Decorative Painting programs 2002-2006. She is a 1972 graduate of Silver Lake High School in Kingston, MA.
She has coached all levels of junior and adult programs (spring, summer, fall) in fours, eights, touring quads, racing quads, doubles and singles. She has also coached indoor and winter training programs. She holds a U.S. Rowing Association Level II coaching certification and is a certified personal trainer. Among her more recent coaching highlights:
- Gold medal Duxbury Bay Maritime School Boys Novice 4+ and Silver Medal Girls Varsity 4+ at Mass. Public Schools Rowing Association Fall Championships 2004 (first medals ever won by DBMS)
- Gold medal DBMS Girls Junior 4x at Narragansett Sweeps and Sculls 2005
- Silver medal Women’s Youth 4+, Bronze medal Men’s Youth 4+, and Gold medal Women’s Youth 1x at Coastweeks Regatta, Mystic, CT 2005
- Gold medal DBMS Boys Novice 2x and Silver medal Girls 2x at Lowell Invitational Regatta 2006
- 5th place DBMS Boys Varsity 4+ at MPSRA Spring Championships 2006
- 3rd place DBMS Boys Varsity 4+ at MPSRA Fall Championships 2006
- Gold medal Winsor Girls 4+ 5th boat at Wayland Weston Invitational Regatta 2008
From 2008-2009 she coached juniors and adults at Lincoln Maritime Center, Hingham, MA. LMC’s challenges include rowing in a saltwater harbor with heavy boat traffic, narrow channels, ten-foot tides, and considerable winds. Among her interscholastic charges were crews from Notre Dame Academy and The Chamberlain School. In 2008 she was Novice Girls Coach at The Winsor School in Boston.
She was a Rowing Coach for juniors and adults at Duxbury Bay Maritime School, Duxbury, MA, 2002-2008. She coached spring, summer and fall programs, developed popular evening and winter programs, and assisted with orientation and training of new coaches and volunteers. As Head Coach of Boys and Girls Crew 2004-2006 she led the transformation of the DBMS junior program from a recreational format to interscholastic, boosting enrollment and success at local and state regattas. From 2003-2008 she also served as Boatman, creating a comprehensive budget for rowing shells, oars and other equipment, and putting in place a program of inspections and maintenance that reduced breakage and loss of water time. She performed hull, rib and other repairs, and developed a parts inventory program.
In 2003 she served as a camp counselor and launch driver for Northeast Rowing Center, Raymond, ME, supervising high school rowers and piloting launches for coaches.
From 1999-2001 she served as Assistant Coach/Mentor for Girls Row Boston, providing one on one coaching and mentoring to high school girls from O’Bryant and Brighton High Schools over the course of several two-week learn to row summer sessions on the Charles River.
Coach Crosby took up rowing in 1997 at Hull Life Saving Museum, rowing year-round on Boston Harbor in pilot gigs, fixed seat, sweep oared coxed boats of 4 or 6 rowers. In 1998 she joined CRI after attending Holly Metcalf’s Row-As-One Camp for Masters Women. From 1999-2008 she rowed with the CRI Competitive Women’s team, medaling at local, regional, and national regattas. Highlights include:
- Four-time National Champion in Masters Fours and Eights (2000, 2003, 2007)
- FISA Masters Worlds Champion in Masters D4+ Montreal 2001
- Two-time gold medalist in Masters Fours at Canadian Henley
- Gold at Textile Regatta in Championship Fours
- Four-time medalist (silver 2006; bronze 2002, 2005, 2008) at Crash-B World Indoor Rowing Championships
- Gold at 2003 Head of the Charles Regatta in Senior Masters 4+, setting course record held for four years
- Competed in 2001 Women’s Henley Regatta in the Club 8+ and Open 4+
- Competed in 2006 Heineken Regatta, Amsterdam in coxed quad
She rowed with DBMS competitive sculling program in 2006. For several years has maintained relationships with open water rowing groups including Saquish Rowing Club (Plymouth) and Hull, participating in many open water races. In 2009 she rejoined Hull Life Saving Museum and competed with an all women’s crew in the Blackburn Challenge, a 20+ mile race around Cape Ann; her boat’s time of 4:09:05 was third fastest for a women’s pilot gig crew in the last 10 years.
As a freshman at Colby College she was a founding member of the Women’s ice hockey team and played all four years. The team won its inaugural game in 1973, 2-1, against more experienced and well equipped Brown University; this game is considered the first U.S. women’s intercollegiate contest according to the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. After Title IX was passed in 1975, the team pushed successfully to become a varsity sport, and in 1976 was declared U.S. National Champion. Starting in 1999 she played for several seasons in the South Shore Women’s Ice Hockey League, which she found to be excellent winter cross-training for her first love, rowing.
Coach Crosby is a member of the Hull Life Saving Museum, Hull. MA. She lives in Pembroke, MA.
What is your favorite rowing memory?
Rowing has provided me with so many great memories it’s very hard to pick just one favorite. Perhaps winning the Head of the Charles—the whole year leading up to it and the race itself. In the race we started last of seven boats. We came up on the stern of a boat in front of us just past the B.U. Bridge and they refused to yield. We accidently bumped them, lost our bow marker, and our cox called us down to a paddle, not words we were expecting to hear. Since we couldn’t go through them we had to go around them. I remember thinking is this going to be the difference between winning and loosing? And then we took off! We were on fire! The four of us and our cox loved rowing this boat together, we were very smooth and powerful, we had raced it successfully many times that year and we knew how much we wanted to win this race. As we came through the Weeks Bridge stretch and could hear [former Wayland-Weston coach] Tom Tiffany announcing us I started to smile realizing we were having the race of a lifetime no matter what the outcome. We had a perfect line through the Eliot turn and past the Winsor boathouse and thankfully mo more tangles with other boats. We had passed all but the boat which had started first. We rowed leisurely back to CRI after crossing the line, put our boat away. Someone got a call that we’d won and all of us just started jumping up and down screaming. We had magic that day!
How did you get started in crew?
In 1997 Colby College celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Ice Hockey Team. I was very disappointed in myself that I was too out of shape to participate in the alumnae game. I vowed to be able to play the following year and that became my inspiration to start rowing and exercising in June 1997. When I first started all I wanted to do was be on the water with other people and have fun. I soon felt that I had been rowing all my life and would have jumped at the chance to row in college or after, had I known where to go.
What has rowing done for you?
Rowing changed my life at a point when I needed to make some changes. Many women my age and older had few if any opportunities to be an athlete growing up. Fortunately I did, but after college I lost touch with my athletic self as I pursued a successful career in archaeology. I am very grateful to have found in rowing something that has allowed me to become the best I can be. Rowing is unique in its constant combination of physical and mental challenges. I’ve also found that rowing is a great way to feel connected with others while rowing in the same boat no matter what the level of experience or goals.
Why do you coach?
I enjoy teaching and sharing with other people things that I’m passionate about. Rowing has given me so much and I love that I can give back through coaching. I like seeing how individuals and a crew gain confidence in themselves and each other as they row and train together. There’s nothing better as a coach than to hear from a parent how their son or daughter will remember you for the rest of their life.
Favorite written quote?
“Your own resolution to success is more important than any one thing.”—Abraham Lincoln. I like how this sums up how much about rowing is mental preparation and mindfulness.
Favorite spoken quote?
“Be ready for anything!” Rowing on the ocean taught me very quickly how to make adjustments from stroke to stroke as the boat moved through the waves. It has served me well and kept me more able to accept and deal with the unexpected both as a rower and a coach.