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Expert Online Rowing Coaching


Meet Our Coaches

Luke Walton – Founder and Head Coach


“Rowing and the rowing community have given me so much over the years.  I have learned invaluable life lessons and skills, traveled around the world, and built an international network of athletes and coaches.  All of this began with my recruitment and admission to the University of California, Berkeley. 

I am the oldest of three sons and the first to be recruited in our family.   If anyone knows how intimidating and confusing the recruitment process can be for athletes and their parents, it’s me.

After 10 years working one on one with local student athletes, developing their rowing skills, and successfully guiding them through the recruiting process, I launched Rower Academy in 2019 to expand my coaching reach to any youth athlete, anywhere, who has an interest in improving their rowing.  

I want as many young athletes as possible to experience a trajectory like mine.  Rower Academy exists to equip student athletes and their families with the information, tools, and training needed to successfully navigate the recruiting process and to realize their dreams of rowing in college.”    

It’s time to embrace that dream, get to work, and set yourself on a winning course.  

Learn More About Coach Walton
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Kerry Simmonds – Rowing Coach


“I truly believe that rowing fosters an ability to empower others. Rowing was a gift in my life and the most transformative experience. My nine years of competitive rowing taught me about grit, the power of goal setting, and the importance of a positive, ‘big picture’ mentality. 

While coaching high school & collegiate rowers, I discovered that I enjoy guiding others towards their goals and being a part of their personal growth process. I am excited to team up with Rower Academy so I may continue to use my unique perspective to help the next generation of competitive rowers be successful. In our coaching sessions, I will work alongside athletes to help guide them in the recruiting process, improve on their goals, and ultimately, empower them as individuals.”

Embrace your goals, become empowered, and position yourself to be recruited to the school of your dreams.

Learn More About Coach Simmonds
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Kelly Geary – Academic Coach


Kelly is entering into her 25th year of teaching high school math.  She has taught all levels in a variety of subjects in the math curriculum over the years.  She started teaching after graduating from St. Joseph’s University in 1998 with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Secondary Education.  She also earned her Masters Degree in Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology.  She began her career in a private school in a suburb of Philadelphia and currently teaches in a public school in Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and four children.

Kelly has been surrounded by rowers for most of her life.  In high school and college she spent many Sundays supporting her brother at the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and traveled with his college team to the Henley Royal Regatta in England in 1999.  In college she met her husband who was a coxswain for the SJU rowing team.  He has continued to make rowing a part of his life as he is now employed by Shimano where he manages the rowing division.
Since graduating, Kelly has devoted countless hours to tutoring students in many disciplines of mathematics, as well as SAT preparation.  She truly enjoys working with students one on one to help motivate them and improve on what they are currently learning in class.  She realizes math can be a struggle for many people and she wants her students to understand that with the proper support and effort, success can be achieved!
Learn More About Coach Geary
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Why Rower Academy?

The numbers are ruthless: Out of more than 40,000 applications a year to Harvard University, not quite 2,000 make the final cut. Just one admitted for every 19 rejected. Every year high school seniors with straight A’s, perfect test scores and stellar recommendations wonder why they didn’t make it. — Washington Post 10/21/2018

This highly competitive admissions process is not just an issue at Harvard.  It is an issue at colleges and universities across the country.

So, what can you do to stand out in today’s ultra-competitive admissions process?  The answer, once again, comes from data at Harvard.

Harvard University, one of the world’s most selective schools, admits fewer than 5 percent of applicants. But court documents in a lawsuit over Harvard Admissions indicate that when an applicant was designated as an athletic recruit during a recent six-year period, the admission rate was 86 percent. — Washington Post 6/12/2019

As a high school student athlete, the data shows you have a tremendous advantage over other applicants if you work to position yourself as a recruited athlete.  But not all high school rowers get recruited.

How will Rower Academy help you stand out against all the other rowers trying to get recruited?

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Our Services

Rower Academy Membership

One on One Virtual Coaching and Personalized Ergomter Training Programs

Year Long Coaching and Support

Luke was a true mentor to Paige at a time most needed and will always remain a positive role model for her.

Luke provided unparalleled insight into the recruiting process and continues to be a valued mentor, sounding board and resource for both of our sons as they compete as Division I student athletes in college.

Luke's guidance and support was key in those often difficult days of recruiting. Our son is about to start his Senior Year at an Ivy League University. Luke is still the person our son turns to tell him of race successes and setbacks.

Luke and his coaching program were the X Factor for me not just during the recruiting phase but throughout my entire collegiate rowing career. Luke’s approach to coaching takes it much further than a training program that prepares athletes for college.

Not only did Luke help me hit my 2k PR to get recruited to the University of Southern California's women's rowing team (my dream school!) with only one year of rowing experience, but his support and guidance throughout each erg test and mental barrier allowed me to be a better rower and athlete when I competed at the Division I level.

Featured Post

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January 19, 2021

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Creating Character in Coxswains

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August 14, 2020

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Rower Academy | Beating Paralysis Through Analysis

Beating Paralysis Through Analysis.  Focusing on Process Over Outcome      As we often talk about in rowing, you can overthink the rowing stroke, you can overthink your training, you…

Safe Sport


Rower Academy is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for rowers, coaches, and coxswains through our adherence to, Safe Sport. Our campaign, adopted in conjunction with USRowing and the United States Olympic Committee, is focused on raising awareness and stopping abuse in rowing.

Rower Academy’s Safe Sport Policy adheres to the guidelines and mandates set out by the governing body for all things rowing in the United States, USRowing.

USRowing Safe Sport Policy Manual

These policies govern all Rower Academy coaches, volunteers, and participants.

If you have any reason to believe that an individual has violated this policy, please fill out the Incident Report Form and email it to Rower Academy.

The Information, Tools, and Training You Need to Successfully Navigate the Recruiting Process

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