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Our Coaches


Phil Vargas

Women's Varsity Head Coach

Coach Vargas joined the Robinson coaching staff in 2022 as the novice women’s coach and became head coach in 2023 to lead the varsity women’s team. He has been coaching high school rowing since 2016 and has coached both eights and fours to multiple podium finishes to include a 2nd place in the women’s varsity 4 at the 2021 Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships and a 3rd place for the Robinson women’s 3rd 8 at the 2023 VSRC.


Coach Vargas also coaches cross country and helped lead the women’s team to a 2nd place finish at the VHSL State Championships.


His passion for rowing started as a sophomore at Lake Braddock and led to joining the UVA men’s crew team in his first year. Now, Coach Vargas aims to help others find their passion and drive for the sport and lead the Robinson women to success.

Matthew Petty
Men's Varsity Head Coach

Matthew Petty joined the Robinson Crew coaching team in 2017 as the boys' head coach and varsity coach. His rowing career started as a freshman at West Springfield High School.

"It was my privilege to have made the varsity boat after freshman year. Spending the next three years on the starboard 3 and 5 seat, I was named to the All Virginia teams as a junior and senior with times in the 6:30s.  Setting high goals, our boat placed second at both the VASRA state championships and NCASRA championships.  My high school rowing career ended with a personal 2k record of 6:21 (1:35.2 500m split) and selection to the 2003 All-Met team."

Still having a love and passion for the sport of rowing, and wanting to give back and help others succeed, Coach Matt started coaching at West Springfield as an assistant freshman boys coach in 2004.  In 2010, he had the opportunity to move up to a head coaching job, and spent the next six years coaching the West Springfield varsity boys.  His experience also includes coaching the NVRC masters and juniors from 2006-2013.   In Fall 2013, Coach Matt co-founded Resilient Rowing Club and coaches the competitive boys’ teams in the summer and fall.  


Cath Courtney
Men's Novice

Coach Cath joined the Robinson Crew coaching team in 2022 to lead the novice boys team.


Having been an athlete throughout her entire school career and adult life, rowing was a natural progression for Coach Cath. The Occoquan has been her "home river" having rowed and raced for NVRC (Northern Virginia Rowing Club) and OBC (Occoquan Boat Club). She continues to row and hone her skills as a sweep rower and a sculler.

As a qualified indoor rowing coach, she teaches classes at Row House Fairfax. She has also obtained her U.S. Rowing Certification.


Sean Corcoran

Women's Novice Coach

Coach Corcoran is returning to coaching after a hiatus. He is the assistant women’s coach/ women’s novice coach. A native of Philadelphia, he started rowing at Father Judge High School and won at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. He continued to have success in club rowing in both sweeping and sculling as a member of programs with Vesper Boat Club, Crescent  Boat Club and Penn AC. This included wins at Club Nationals and Canadian Henley. He was a four year member of the Boston University Varsity Men’s’ Crew, competing in the Eastern Sprints.

He began coaching at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. He served as program coordinator at Boston University Academy. Upon arriving in the DC area, he coached sculling at Alexandria Community Rowing Masters. Professionally, he has served in local Public safety for over 23 years.


A long time student of the sport, he hopes to develop athletes with a love of the sport, achieving success both on and off the river. 


Dale DePue
Women's Coach

Coach Dale got her first rowing experience competing as a walk-on athlete her sophomore year at Boston University. Being a lightweight and shorter rower on a tall, heavyweight team was no easy feat, especially when their Varsity boat won the Eastern Sprints and National Championships a few years in a row but she pursued and was even invited to National Lightweight Camp. Unfortunately, a back injury and her Physical Therapy internships prohibited her from attending the camp. Rowing always fulfilled her passion for competition, physical fitness and being part of a team, but it also forced her to stay organized and maximize her study time at college leading to success both in school and rowing.

She later went on to become a Physical Therapist, Certified Pilates Instructor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). She currently works in all three capacities continuing her passion to help others improve movement, strength, endurance, functional capacity and a love for staying active. Over the years of many military moves, she was unable to find a local rowing program but did get to compete on the water in Dragon boats and outriggers in Okinawa, Japan. When she returned to the US and learned about the high school team at her sons’ school, she agreed to help coach Robinson’s Girls’ team in 2022 and is excited to return and support them again this year. She strives to encourage all levels of athletes to appreciate, develop and progressively master the many physical and emotional challenges that rowing has to offer then increasing their resiliency for life’s challenges in the future.

Last Updated: 2024-03-30

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