PRC
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Coaches

Emmie Koenig

Emmie Koenig

Head Women's Coach/Program Director - Contact Emmie

A native of San Francisco, Coach Emmie has dedicated herself to the sport of rowing for over 17 years, distinguishing herself as a highly respected and accomplished junior and collegiate oarswoman, varsity women’s coach, and Program Director. Coach Emmie rowed for the PRC varsity women’s team as a youth and was recruited to the renowned UC Berkeley collegiate rowing team. While there, she was able to transfer her success as a PRC rower to a national championship for the Bears. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Geography. Emmie has committed herself and coaching for PRC to empower young athletes. Emmie believes that anything is possible with enough hard work and effort along with keeping a positive attitude.

Rich Wendling

Rich Wendling

Head/Varsity Men’s Coach - Contact Rich

Coach Rich has been actively engaged in rowing 20 years and has distinguished himself as a collegiate athlete, collegiate head coach, and dedicated advocate for young rowers in middle school and high school club programs. Coach Rich comes to PRC most recently from the Oakland Strokes where he coached the Novice Men for two seasons, coordinated their Middle School rowing program and assisted in coaching the varsity team for two years. Coach Rich graduated from Saint Mary's College in 1989 with degrees in Economics and Business. He was a member of their lightweight rowing team for three years and then went on to serve as head coach of their women’s team and founder of their middle school and High School Summer camps. He later was the Head Coach for the UC Berkeley Women's Lightweight rowing team with much success, winning WIRA's, the Dad Vail Regatta and consistently performing as one of the top ten women’s lightweight teams in the country during his tenure.

Catherine Hicks

Catherine Hicks

Novice Women’s Coach - Contact Catherine

Coach Catherine has come to PRC from New York where she first made her mark on the rowing community as a talented coxswain for the New York University rowing club. After graduating from NYU in 2013 with a degree in Social Justice and International Development, Coach Catherine served as assistant novice coach at Row New York where she recruited and trained novice high school rowers from New York City and helped several novice crews to successful seasons. Coach Catherine also has a rich background in supporting youth-oriented non-profit communities, as evident in her work tutoring and mentoring young athletes, coaching adaptive rowing for students with cognitive disabilities, and working in summer academies for refugee youth as they adapted to the English language and living in America. Catherine balances her coaching with her career as an elementary school teacher. Coach Catherine brings energy, ambition, and focus to the PRC program.

Christian Wawrzonek

Christian Wawrzonek


Novice Men’s Coach - Contact Christian

Christian first started rowing during his freshman fall at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School after being cut from the soccer squad. He fell in love with the sport immediately and did not look back for the next 8 years. After Central, Christian rowed for four years on the Princeton University Lightweight team (colloquially known as “Tyga Lytes”). After graduating in 2016, he found it impossible to say goodbye to the sport. He began his coaching career at Pacific immediately after moving to the Bay Area. For the past two years, he's helped out part time as an assistant on PRC's middle school squad. Christian pursues a career in tech while coaching on the side. He brings energy and vigor to his team and many rowers find his positivity infectious.

John Paul

John Paul

Women’s Assistant Coach - Contact John

Another San Francisco native, John started rowing right here at Pacific. While here he traveled to the US Youth Rowing Nationals twice earning a bronze medal in the lightweight eight in 2005. He also participated in a regional development camp in 2004 where he traveled to US Rowing Summer Club Nationals and won a bronze in the youth varsity eight category. His senior year he was voted team captain. After high school he rowed four years as a lightweight for the US Naval Academy. His sophomore year his junior varsity eight went undefeated and won the eastern sprints. He participated in three IRA national championships and in 2010 he earned a silver medal in the lightweight eight.

John graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and served eight years as an Infantry Officer in the US Marine Corps. John lives in San Francisco where he attends law school and works part time with the club. He began coaching at Pacific in 2018 and has brought a unique perspective to the team.


Adrian Johnson

Adrian Johnson


Men’s Assistant Coach - Contact Adrian

Adrian started his rowing career at Cambridge University in the UK. In his second year of rowing he was part of his college first VIII that went Head of the May Bumps - the first time his college had been Head for 143 yrs. At Cambridge he got his first taste of coaching novices and then some of the more senior boats. After leaving Cambridge he rowed and sculled for several clubs in the London and SE England area. Highlights included reaching the finals of the Thames Cup at Henley Royal Regatta and a silver medal at the GB National Championships.

He moved to San Francisco in the mid-90s and took a break from rowing, exploring first cycling and then distance running. He resumed coaching as a volunteer for the PRC Middle School Program and is excited to pass on his experience and knowledge to a new generation of rowers. Adrian is a keen student of human movement and is passionate about long term athletic development. In particular, teaching people how to make best use of their bodies to get the most out of themselves in a safe and healthy manner.


Joe Mees

Joe Mees

 General Manager - Contact Joe

Co-founder of Pacific Rowing Club, Joe has been coaching junior rowing since 1972, first for St. Joseph High School, then Oakland Strokes and lastly at Pacific Rowing Club from 1980 until the present. He has coached boys and girls, novice and varsity, and has served as boathouse manager and head coach. Since 2002 he has been a member of the PRC board of directors, currently acting as treasurer. Additionally, Joe serves as General Manager, running the business of PRC and mentoring our coaches and rowers.

Mike Knapp

Mike Knapp

Fundraising Chair - Contact Mike

After coaching the Varsity men at pacific for 6 years, Coach Mike has been elected as the club's Fundraising Chair. He is excited to grow the club and take Pacific to new competitive heights regionally and nationally.

Coach Mike’s passion for the sport developed at Dartmouth College, where he rowed for four years, and spent his final three seasons in the Varsity 8+. Originally from Boston, he was recruited to row at Dartmouth College, where he was named the most improved rower as a junior and the best overall contributor to the team as a senior. The intense competitiveness he learned in the Eastern Sprints league has transferred nicely to west coast junior rowing, as Coach Mike has helped lead the Pacific Varsity Men to much success. Mike moved to the Bay Area after Dartmouth to work for Facebook, but eventually discovered his love/a passion for/the joy of working with High School students, and earned a Master's in Education from USC. He is currently an English teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco. In his free time, you can find him on the beaches of Pacifica chasing after his golden retriever, Ishmael.