Girls crew coach Kirk Shipley named WaPo All-Met Coach of the Year

By Isabelle van Nieuwkoop

The Washington Post named girls crew coach Kirk Shipley All-Met girls rowing Coach of the Year June 11. After 16 years of coaching, this was Shipley’s third time receiving the honor.

Shipley was first named Coach of the Year in 2013 and again in 2017. While he was proud to receive the award again this year, Shipley believes the recognition belongs to the entire team.

“It’s really cool because it’s a reflection of what my rowers did,” Shipley said. “You don’t get Coach of the Year unless your boats are fast, and we had a really great season.”

Over Shipley’s 16 years of coaching, the girls crew team has maintained stellar performances. This year, Shipley led the Vikes to a sweep of the first, second and third varsity eight at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Rowing Association championship. The Vikes’ varsity eight also claimed second place at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championships.

Rower Maya Stallard-Wilder (‘19) said Shipley’s coaching was essential to their dominating season.

“There was so much trust between him and the team,” she said. “Shipley is always in each person’s corner rooting for them. Don’t get me wrong, he pushed us really hard on the erg and water, but it was because he saw the potential in us.”

Rising senior Olivia Dekker said it came as no surprise that Shipley received the recognition again this year.

“He was able to build this team up over the last few years to be the strongest it can possibly be,” Dekker said. “Even though last year was our fastest, he didn’t settle for that.”

Shipley recognized the success of several other coaches in the area and said he was honored to be named Coach of the Year amid the tough competition.

“There are so many other great coaches who also had incredible seasons,” Shipley said. “But, in the end, it’s what my kids did.”