Meet the Coaches
Howard (Howie) Hagan
High School Boys Coach
Howie (Certified Level 2 Coach) was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where rowing is anunknown. Arriving in college he discovered lightweight rowing and rowed competitively for four years. Stepping out of a racing shell his senior year, at the May, 1972 Dad Vail regatta, he soon entered the 'real world' consisting of a career as a US Army officer, a wife, two children, a few war zones, over twenty years overseas and no time for rowing. Retiring in 2016 he and his wife settled in Williamsburg. Noticing an article in a local magazine regarding the WBC, he contacted the club president and immediately found himself rowing again. His first Masters sprint race was in May 2016, after a short interlude of 44 years. He continues to row with WBC Masters Program, serves as the current club VP, and is the coach for the U19 Boys. He attended the US Rowing Coach's certification training in 2017 and is certified as a Level (College/HS) Coach.
High School Boys and Middle School Coach
Tom Rooks (Certified Level 2 Coach) is the high school boys and 8th grade middle school coach. He is from Orlando, Florida but has lived in several states and on both coasts during his 22 years of service in the US Coast Guard. He began rowing in high school where he competed at the Scholastic Rowing National Championships. He met his wife, Michelle, rowing for the University of Central Florida. He has coached at Boone High School, Garfield High School, Sturgis Charter School, Prince William Crew, and Barnstable Rowing Club. He has coached winning crews at the New England Rowing Championships, the Head of the Occoquan, and various state and local regattas.
Coach Tom is driven to help every WBC rower find their own path to success inside and outside of a rowing shell.
High School Girls Coach
Ashley Saba recently moved to Newport News after graduating from The Ohio State University where she rowed for 4 years. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and began her rowing career in 2010 with the Three Rivers Junior Rowing team. While she spent most of that time rowing in Columbus, she returned to Pittsburgh every summer to coach a variety of masters, juniors, and adaptive rowing. Ashley spent the past year as a volunteer coach at Old Dominion University. While she learned a lot and had an amazing experience with ODU, she is excited to work with the junior level again as the women’s U17 coach!
Bob Morrison (Certified Level 2 Coach) learned to row a millenia ago at the USCG Academy. He rowed and won several collegiate championships, including the Dad Vail Regatta (LTWT V8) and Head of the Charles regatta (LTWT 4+), and was the Captain of the Lightweight crew. He completed a career with the Coast Guard in 1998 and completed a career with FedEx in 2018. He joined WBC in 2005 and has held several positions in the club over the years. He was certified a USRowing Level 2 coach in 2008, and currently assists in instructing the club’s Learn to Row and Learn to Scull classes as well as coaching masters sculling and sweep practices.
Middle School Program Director
Alan (Certified Level 1 Coach) has lived in Williamsburg since 2004. He learned to row in 2018 and has been active rowing, coaching, working out, and volunteering with WBC since. As a former teacher, he loves to work with kids. Volunteering with WBC is his way of 'Giving Back' to the community. His youngest child started at WBC in 2016 and went on to be a collegiate coxswain at Temple University. "Meeting friends at the boathouse and just being a part of a fantastic organization is fulfilling to me. I get to be in the outdoors and help the next generation of rowers excel at their sport."