today I will do what others won't... so tomorrow I'll do what others can't.
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John Leonard

John Leonard started rowing in 1984 at Fordham University just after watching rowing for the first time in the LA Olympics. He took to the sport with great passion and worked to make the varsity 4+ in his first year. He then transferred to UConn to start his second year of school and discovered there was no rowing program there, he started one. After finding other very interested people he found some land, a couple of boats, a coach, raised money for a boathouse and away they went.

After graduating in 1989 he stayed in the area and coached the UConn program until 1992 then moved down to the Fairfield and New Haven areas. He then coached at Fairfield University (mens program) and Fairfield Prep over the next few years before discovering Saugatuck Rowing in 1998. There he coached the Juniors and Masters programs until becoming Head Coach of the Masters program in 2003. Over the next seven years the Saugatuck Masters won the National Championship 6 of the next 7 years.

In 2010 he left Saugatuck to pursue his dream to have his own rowing club and in 2011, Great River Rowing began. Over the last decade he has built a strong, educated, and competitive based program for both Juniors and Masters and continues to grow and prosper.

John Leonard

Valérie Leinfelder
Head Masters Coach

Bio coming

Valérie Leinfelder