Coaching legend, Harry Parker, stated: “In rowing, I found a sport that demands some skill, granted, but it placed a much higher premium on plain hard work and persistence.” The foundation of the Hotchkiss rowing program is based on the work ethic of hard work and persistence, which is essential for improvement individually, for the boats becoming crews, and for the squad becoming a team. It’s about athletes moving outside their comfort zones to row better, harder, and faster collectively. It’s about embracing the incremental process of marginal gains day-to-day. And it is about establishing habits of body and mind that will allow them to succeed as rowers and as people here at Hotchkiss and beyond.
Mr. Berger began his rowing coaching career at the Salisbury School while a faculty member at Hotchkiss School from 1988-91. Mr. Berger returns to Hotchkiss after coaching, teaching, and working at the Loomis Chaffee School, Groton School, and Deerfield Academy, as well as coaching at Harvard University. He has coached boats to the most sought-after prizes in rowing, including three IRA National Championships, five Eastern Sprints Championships, and two Ladies Plate titles from the Henley Royal Regatta during his time at Harvard University; two NEIRA championships and a Princess Elizabeth Cup finalist at the Henley Royal Regatta while at Groton School, and a 2012 Youth National Championship with Deerfield Academy. Under his leadership for five summers, the Boston Rowing Club he established won seven championships at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta and four titles at the US Club National Championships. Mr. Berger served as the Head Men’s Junior Coach in 2013, placing 4th in the junior eight at the World Championships. As a Head Coach for the Sydney Rowing Club in Australia, Mr. Berger coached four crews to national titles. At the elite level, Mr. Berger coached the 2015 Lightweights to a bronze at the World Championships. In 2021, he assisted with the Paralympic mixed four with a coxswain, earning a silver medal in Tokyo. With a strong background in educational leadership and coaching education, Mr. Berger is a graduate of Cornell, where he swam and rowed. He still likes to “play around’ in boats and is excited to be back in the “northwest corner’ where he lives on campus with his husband, Gunner Kleinschmidt.