I began rowing in the Spring of 2010 during my freshman year at Wellesley College. I was a collegiate basketball player, and the novice rowing coach always came to my games and played the drums. He finally convinced me to try rowing, and I have never looked back!
I am motivated to coach by the amazing young men and women on the team. I have been an athlete my whole life, and athletics have profoundly shaped my identity -- they have taught me how to work together on a team, how to assume and exercise leadership, how to persevere despite disappointment and failure, and how to endure pain and fatigue. They have given me confidence and also humbled me. Being able to pass on the lessons I have learned over the years, seeing the excitement in an athlete's eyes when they beat their best time, or feeling the energy of a boat working towards a goal together is what keeps me going.
My coaching philosophy is that hard work pays off. There is nothing like sweating every day with your teammates, leaving the water knowing that you worked as hard as you could, and then seeing the results in races.
Returning to coaching with the junior and masters programs takes me back to my roots when I started coaching in 1984. But before I was a coach I was a rower. I started rowing during high school at Green Lake Crew in Seattle, where my three sisters and I rowed. Towards the end of my collegiate rowing career at the University of Washington one of my former coaches asked me “when are you going to start coaching”, it had not occurred to me before, but this coach was also the coach of many national teams and the head coach of the UW women’s team, so I thought that maybe I should think about it. He allowed me to spend an entire spring in his launch where I learned an enormous amount about rowing and coaching.
I started coaching at Green Lake in Seattle and was lucky enough to have some success there. In 1986 I was invited to try out for the US Lightweight National Team (it used to be a thing…) and while competing at the US Nationals here at Eagle Creek I was approached by the Princeton women’s varsity coach and was offered the assistant coaches job.
Coaching at Princeton was like going to coaching graduate school. Some of the best and most influential coaches in the country were coaching there at the time. Some success at Princeton allowed me to be the head coach for a couple USRowing development camps and an assistant coach at a few national team selection camps. Following a stint at Princeton I moved to New Haven, CT to an assistant coach at Yale.
A change in regime at Yale opened another door when I was offered a job at USRowing to manage the coaching education dept (a department of one) and coordinate moving people and boats around the world as the team manager for the US rowing teams. That was 8 years of lots of travel and regattas, included many World Cups, World Championships, Pan Am games, and Olympic Games.
After too much travel I asked to work solely on coaching education, where I facilitated all of the coaching education programs and produced 14 coaching videos. Working with video morphed into the development of a live streaming service for rowing where myself and a group of friends from the tech world, streamed nearly 140 events from 2010 to 2019, including Youth Nationals, the San Diego Crew Classic, the IRAs, and the U23 World Championships.
The pandemic put an end to USRowing having a video department and now I am semi-retired. My tech buddies and I formed a live streaming company for fun, and I am back to coaching juniors and masters, and puttering in a boathouse, which is wonderful. Rowing for me was a lot of really hard work and a lot of fun, and I hope I can bring that satisfaction of hard work and fun to the people I coach.
I grew up playing tennis and through 2009 was an active masters tennis player, playing with the Riviera Club here in Indianapolis. In March of that year a “home improvement accident” resulted in an injury to my foot that meant my tennis career was over. I needed to find a sport that was zero-impact and in the fall of 2009 found myself in a Rowbics class tought by Shawn Dresser, one of the IRC masters rowers. She convinced me to give rowing on the water a shot. In April of 2010 I showed up at a practice and was tossed into a boat… the rest is history.
Over the last 10 years I have had the wonderful opportunity to hold numerous roles with IRC. I have been on the board where I was co-chair of the events committee, was interim director between the tenures of Jen Floyd and Andrew Purdie but most gratifying was the time I spent as head coach and boathouse manager from 2014 to 2017. During this time I had the wonderful opportunity to coach both of my children. My current “real” job fortunately allows me to continue coaching as a volunteer assistant. I enjoy working on skills development with all of the teams.
As a rower I am proficient on both sides of a sweep boat, but my passion truly lies in the balance and elegance of sculling. The double scull is my favorite boat to both row and coach. As a coach, I am known for my focus on technically proficient rowing. I have a big book of drills, enjoy doing video review of sessions with the rowers and have been know to go so far as to equip a boat with WiFi and analyze every stroke in a practice with power meters and accelerometers. I have completed the level 2 coaches certification class and continually look to what other coaches are doing to make me a better coach. If you find yourself at a regatta where I am coaching, at the end of the day you will find me directing the trailer loading process with coach Joe.
Tammy Burroughs discovered rowing in her late 40’s after taking an indoor rowing class at the Riviera Club. She rows both sweep and sculling boats at IRC and has competed nationally with the masters rowers. Both of her children were active at IRC in high school in sweep, sculling, and coxing. Tammy is a graduate of Purdue University and recently retired from the Federal Aviation Administration, where she was the Air Traffic Manager at the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. Tammy is married to Mike Burroughs, who also coaches at IRC.
I began rowing during an exchange year (‘98/‘99) while in college. Staffordshire University in Stoke upon Trent, UK, had a policy that in lieu of classes on Wednesday afternoons, all students were to participate in a club sport. I decided to try something that my stateside school didn’t offer...rowing.
Our team was very small. We could field a women’s 4+ and a men’s 8+. We rowed on a beautiful lake called Rudyard lake, named after Rudyard Kipling. We only had two boats and our boat house was so small that we had to de rig the boats after each practice in order to put them away. We were coached by a fellow student and teammate and transported our boats to races on the top of rented vans! It was fantastic.
Upon return to the University of South Dakota, I decided to start my own rowing club. It was very small. We held fundraisers and bought a couple of ergs, along with a really old and heavy 8+ that was stored outside in a nice lady’s backyard. I coached from the coxswains seat and that was my first coaching experience.
My husband and I moved to Indy for graduate school. I had some time on my hands, spent most of it at IRC. I started coaching the junior novice girls and loved it. I have since coached both junior and learn to row classes and rowed with the masters. I even briefly served as the interim executive director.
I took an extended break from rowing during which time I had three children. I am excited to come back to IRC and once again work with kids in a capacity where I hope to instill the same love and dedication to sport and wellness that I have.
My first introduction to rowing came in the form of two simple questions from IRC novice women’s coach, Eric Stoll: “Are you loud? Do you like telling people what to do?” (questions my younger brother promptly answered ‘yes’ to for me). And the rest is history, folks! I spent 4 years at IRC, coxing for all four Junior teams as well as coxing the Masters on occasion. From there, I went on to cox for both the Purdue men and women for 3 years. At the same time, I completed the training required to be a licensed USRowing referee and have been refereeing collegiate and junior regattas for the past 3 years.
I have spent roughly the last 7 years as a coach in some form or another for varying lengths of time and with different age groups. Coaching my younger brother in 2016 made me realize how much I enjoy coaching middle school and high school athletes. The amount of energy that this age group can bring to the tasks in front of them is truly mind-blowing and it’s so much fun to see the moment when what you’ve been explaining to them finally clicks (I like to call it the “lightbulb moment”). Knowing how much of an impact you have on kids’ lives is also one of the things that I immensely enjoy about coaching.
I have several mantras that many of the kids I have coached in the past would be able to recite to you, but I think the most important thing for novices to remember is this: “No question is a dumb question when you are learning something new.”