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Hilary Epes-Oballim

BRRC Masters Head Coach

A native of Hamburg, N.Y. and a 2008 graduate of Buffalo Seminary, Hilary started rowing in 10th grade at Sem under Bob Becht, and rowed during the summer at West Side Rowing Club for Aileen McNarmara. Among her rowing accomplishments, Hilary placed first at the New York State Championships in Saratoga, stroking the Junior 4+ (2007) and then the Senior 4+(2008).  She also won the 2007 Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championship in the Girls Junior 4+ and placed second in 2008 in the Senior 4+. With WSRC, Hilary’s boat placed third in the U19 Womens 8+ and fifth at the Head of the Charles Regatta in 2007.

Hilary earned a NCAA Division I scholarship at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and has competed all over the country, including the Head of the Charles and San Diego Crew Classics. She stroked the 2V8+ for the NCAA Championships in 2010, winning the C final, and won Conference USA Championships 2010 and 2012. Hilary is a proud Lady Vol!

Hilary lived and worked in Uganda on and off from 2012 to 2016 where she met her husband. Hilary worked for a community-based organizations in Uganda, Girls Kick It!  which used the sport of soccer and life skills to empower girls and young women. She also helped start another organization, Women and Children Protection Inititive and later worked for USAID SAFE program.  She quickly joined the Uganda Rowing Federation efforts on Lake Victoria and helped develop the Uganda Para-Rowing Federation.

During her time back in the U.S., Hilary coached the BSRA Junior Women in 2013 and 2014, and she also started the St. Mary’s High School Girls Crew Team that later melded into the current BSRA Junior Women's program.

Currently, she lives in North Buffalo with her husband, Josh and their 2 year old son, Andrew.


-CPR/AED and First Aid                                -'Stop the Bleed'- Bleeding Control Basic v. 1.0 Course

-Boating Safety                                                 -FISA Coach Level II

-Currently pursuing her US Rowing Level II Certificate

Thomas Flaherty
Canisius High School Head Coach


Coach Flaherty, a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and the Citadel with a degree in History. He is a retired Captain with the Erie County Sheriff's Department and a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army Reserve. He served as head coach for CHS from 1996 to 2007, leading the Crusaders to its highest number of US and Canadian National Gold Medals. His three sons (Tom '96, Scott '97 and Kevin '00) graduated from CHS and the US Naval Academy after exemplary rowing careers.

Mairead Manke

BSRA Junior Women Head Coach

Walk-on at Mercyhurst University                                              • Dad Vail Regatta participant for four years

• NCAA Championship participant for four years                  • Varsity 4+ Division II National Runner-Up 2015

• Mercyhurst University Division II National Runner-Up 2015

Additionally, Mairead earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mercyhurst University. She started coaching at BSRA in the Summer of 2014 and coaches junior girls, modified sculling and adult learn-to-erg. She was brought on to do administrative work for BSRA in February 2018 and is now the Director of Marketing and Outreach.


-CPR/AED and First Aid                -Boating Safety

-Stop the Bleed                                   -Currently pursuing her US Rowing Level II certificate

Peggy McKendry Butzler

Buffalo Seminary Head Coach


Peggy McKendry graduated from Nichols School in 2000 and received a B.A. from Brown University in 2004.  

She rowed for John & Pheobe Murphy with Brown's Women’s Rowing Team, where, like the Starks, there will always be a Buffalonian at Winterfell. She competed in four consecutive NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Championships with Brown University from 2001-2004. During her tenure, her team won two NCAA Championships, placing second and third in the other years. 

Peggy served as team tri-captain during her senior year. In 2004, she celebrated her diploma ceremony in Rhode Island and Brown’s NCAA championship in California during the same 24-hour period.

In high school, Peggy competed with Nichols and the West Side Rowing Club.

She completed her U.S. Rowing Level II Coach certification while coaching for The Buffalo Seminary, where she began as head coach in 2014.

Sophie DeTine

Buffalo Seminary Coach

Austin Snyder

BSRA Junior Men's Coach

Bob Becht

BRRC Masters Assistant Coach

Samantha 'Sam' Gunn

BSRA Junior Men's Coach

Samantha Gunn is from Buffalo, NY. She graduated from Holy Angels Academy in 2012 and Robert Morris University in 2016. She started rowing the winter season of her sophomore year. During her time in high school she participated in Junior B’s at West Side Rowing Club during the summers. During her senior year she was recruited to row at Robert Morris Division I. While at RMU she completed her nursing degree and is currently a Registered Nurse at Buffalo General. She is participating in Master’s rowing at BSRA

Jim Neil

Canisius High School Varsity Coach

Matthew 'Kaz' Kazmierczak

Canisius HS Assistant Coach

Gabrielle 'Gabby' Zacher

BSRA Junior Women's Assistant Coach

Ryan Flynn

BRRC Masters Assistant Coach

RJ Rubino

Canisius HS Varsity Assistant Coach

Lauren Pernick

BRRC Masters Assistant Coach

Lauren Pernick is a Buffalo native. She graduated from Nardin Academy in 2014 and Syracuse University in 2018 with a degree in bioengineering. She began her rowing career in 2011 as a coxswain for Nardin. At Nardin, she coxed all four years, placing first in the Freshman 4+ at the 2011 NYS Championships. She walked onto the Syracuse University Division I team her junior year of college and received two consecutive silver medals at the ACC Championships. During her high school and college summers, Lauren also competed for the West Side Rowing Club juniors and masters’ teams, where she placed first at the 2017 Royal Canadian Henley in the Women’s Masters D4+.  She is currently in dental school at the University of Buffalo and helps as a coach for the coxswains of their team.

Samantha 'Sam' Lonas

Youth & Adult Learn-to-Row Coach

Christi Roorda Ciaccio

WeCanRow Head Coach

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