Berkeley High Crew is proud to have a talented, experienced, and diverse group of coaches, all of whom have deep Berkeley High roots.  Many of our coaches have been with the program for several years, and we are returning our entire staff from 2015-16 for the 2016-17 season.

Our coaches have completed a variety coaching education degrees, programs, courses and workshops, and they all hold current CPR/First Aid certification and have passed Berkeley Unified School District background checks.

Chris Dadd – Men’s Head Coach

Chris Dadd, Men's Head CoachChris Dadd is a Berkeley High alum (class of 1976) and began his rowing career with the Humboldt State University Lightweight Crew, while earning a degree in Natural Resource Planning.  Chris returned to rowing  with the Lake Merritt Rowing Club in Oakland and in the mid 1990s he began working with the club’s Summer Youth Rowing program, which he still directs.  Chris joined the Berkeley High staff in 1999 as the Men’s Novice Coach, while pursuing a Masters Degree in Kinesiology from the California State University at Hayward.  Chris has been the Men’s Head Coach since 2002 and has led the Jackets to multiple medals at Youth Nationals, including a first place finish in the Lightweight Four in 2006.   Chris has also coached the Women’s Masters Team at Lake Merritt Rowing Club since 2010 and has been an Instructor at the Open Water Rowing Center since 1993.

Madison Hibbs – Head Coach, Varsity Women

Madison HibbsMadison “Maddie” Hibbs honed her rowing skills at Berkeley High (class of 2013), where she was a varsity captain for two years.  After a successful stint coaching the BHS novices, Maddie is excited to be working with the Varsity squad in 2017-18. 

Chris Hoeper-Tomich – Coach, Novice Men

Chris Hoeper-Tomich, Men's Novice CoachChris Hoeper-Tomich rowed for four years at Berkeley High (class of 2008) and continued his education with a degree from UC Santa Cruz.  Chris maintained close ties with the Berkeley High Crew during his years in college and from 2010-2013 he coached at a variety of summer camps, including Lake Merritt Summer Youth Rowing. Chris has been leading the Men’s Novice team since the 2012-2013 season.  He particularly enjoys seeing his crews increase their skills and competitive drive over the course of a season.

Ilyana Achziger – Associate Head Coach, Varsity Women

Ilyana_AchzigerIlyana Achziger was introduced to crew as a freshman at Berkeley High School in 1990.  After rowing her freshman year she returned to the team as a coxswain for the following three years.  Ilyana went from Berkeley High to the University California at Berkeley where she was a coxswain for the Varsity Eight.  She returned to Berkeley High in 2009 as the Women’s Assistant Novice Coach and became the Assistant Varsity Coach in 2010.  Ilyana became the program’s first Associate Head Coach in 2016, fresh off a summer of coaching at the US Junior National Team Development Camp.

Away from the boathouse, Ilyana is a Personal Trainer at UC Berkeley.  In addition to her USRowing Level II Coaching Certification, she is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also a certified Wellness Coach and Nutrition Specialist through the American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists.

Greg Specht – Assistant Coach, Varsity Men

Greg Specht

Greg rowed for four years at Berkeley High and stroked the Varsity 8 and Varsity 4 his senior year (class of 2006). Greg continued his rowing career at Sacramento State, where he rowed for two and a half years and was awarded Most Valuable Oarsmen his freshman year. Greg graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2011 and continues to row competitively with  East Bay Rowing Club. Greg began coaching with BHS in the spring of 2013 as the Assistant Novice Coach. Greg has served as Assistant Coach for the Varsity Men since fall 2015.

Taylor Niles – Coach, Novice Women

Taylor Niles (BHS ’13) was a member of Berkeley High Crew for four years and went on to compete as a coxswain for two years at Humboldt State University.  When she moved back to Berkeley Taylor was eager to become a part of the coaching staff of the team she knew and loved throughout high school.  Taylor served as an Assistant for two years and is excited to be the lead Women’s Novice Coach for 2017-18.