Boris Roque Alvarez, Head Coach
Boris Roque Alvarez joined Ridgewood Crew in 2012. He was the head coach of Nereid Boat Club from 2007 to 2012. In that time, he quadrupled the size of the youth program and developed a pool of elite young rowers competitive enough to qualify for US Youth Nationals and to represent the United States at the Under-23 World Championships.
In 2012 he became the Ridgewood Crew head coach, leading the team to archive their best results in the 10 years team’s history. Since the spring of 2013 Ridgewood Crew has won gold medals at prestigious races including the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, Philadelphia City Championship, SRAA Nationals and multiples State Championship Titles.
Born in Cuba, Boris is an excellent oarsman and coach of all skill levels who graduated from the National University of Physical Education and Sport in Ukraine. He holds a Master’s degree in Education along with US Rowing Level II and New Jersey Physical Education teacher certifications. Together with a team of very well qualified coaches, Boris oversees the youth programs at Ridgewood Crew.
Bob O’Connor, Assistant Coach
Bob began rowing in 1959 with St Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo NY under Head Coach John Bennett, and was elected Captain his senior year. During the summer periods until 1968, Bob competed with the Buffalo Westside Rowing Club and was a member of several successful lightweight crews, among them, the 1963 WSRC victorious Canadian Henley Sr 155# 8+, whose record time remains to this day. Bob also served as a WSRC board member from 1964 thru 1968.
Following his military service, Bob returned in 1975 to rowing and to the WSRC. In 1979, at 34 years of age, Bob attended the US National Lightweight selection camp in Princeton, NJ, however was "deselected" with the last cut. (US LtWt 8+ went on to take World Silver in Bled, Yugoslavia). Bob along with another WSRC rowing member designed and built its present day boathouse. The original boathouse was destroyed by fire in 1975.
In 2006, Bob joined the Western Reserve Rowing Association in Cleveland OH where he successfully competed at the Masters level. Bob took over the year round coaching responsibilities at Shaker Heights High School, guiding that program to its first three SRAA rowing medals.
Following his move to Virginia in 2011, Bob joined the Rivanna Rowing Club, and assisted with coaching responsibilities under Myriam Pitts at Western Albemarle High School. WAHS succeeded in earning its first SRRA medal in 2014
In 2014 Bob moved to Randolph NJ. and joined the Nereid Boat Club. Bob presently assists with coaching duties with Boris Alvarez at Ridgewood High School. Bob is married to Dr. Mary Laughlin and has grown boy-girl twins.
Scott Menken Rowing coach
Scott began his rowing career at Don Bosco Prep where he was two year captain and compiled several Garden State, Philadelphia City, and Stotesbury medals in both sculling and sweeping events. Following high school, he attended the University of Delaware where he studied exercise science with a minor in coaching science and was a 4 year member of the lightweight rowing team, amassing dual race wins against UPenn, Dartmouth, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Georgetown as well as becoming a member of the first Delaware lightweight 8 to make the heavyweight 8 grand final at the ACRA national championships.
After graduation, he began his coaching career at Don Bosco Prep where he led his crews to a 1st place finish at the SRAA national championship in the JV 4+ as well as 3rd place in the freshman 4x and 1st place in the Novice 8+ at the Garden State Scolastic Championships. He also spent a year as the head freshman coach at Fordham University where he led his women's freshman 8+ to it's first Dad Vail final in 19 years, finishing 5th.
He then took a brief hiatus from coaching to return to the University of Delaware to complete their #1 nationally ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy program and is incredibly excited to be joining the coaching staff at Ridgewood Crew for years to come.
Ryan Nova Fitness coach
Ryan grew up in Elmwood Park, NJ where he played basketball, football and baseball in his youth. He attended private high school where he continued to play basketball and football. He didn't pursue either sport in college but his care for his physical performance and conditioning led him to become a personal trainer. He has been a personal trainer for almost a decade. He currently works full time at a sports training facility. He has worked with athletes in all different sports to help them become stronger, faster, and more conditioned.
Coach Kassandra Luna
Kassandra began rowing in 2011 for Belleville High School. Throughout her high school career, she won medals in regattas including Philadelphia City Championships and Head of the Passaic. In her junior year, she broke the eight year record for Girls 2k time for the school. In her senior year she was nominated captain, and broke the 2k record she had set the previous year. In May 2018 she graduated with a double major in Business Management and Marketing. In that same year, she rowed for New York University’s Women’s Rowing Club and won 2nd place in NY State Collegiate Championships.
In 2021, she became a certified yoga instructor. She now has the ability to come back to the sport with a fresh perspective. Seeing the duality in the sport of rowing and the practice of yoga, has given her a different view and approach to coaching. She believes rowing is not only beautiful in its spirit of competition and the fun of sport; but in the life lessons of dedication, discipline, and service to others it implements. She hopes to be able to guide the rowers in creating awareness of rowing’s all encompassing values.
Upon joining Ridgewood crew team for the Spring 2023 season, in addition to coaching, she regularly instructs yoga practices for the rowers. She coached the first ever Novice Girls Single to winning 2nd place at Philadelphia City Championships.