HEAD COACH MJ BLUM
MJ Blum began rowing in 1982 at UCF under Coach Dennis Kamrad. She has been rowing competitively ever since in regattas such as the Royal Canadian Henley, USRowing Masters Nationals, Southeast Regionals, Head of the Charles, Head of the Hooch, Head of the South, First Coast Head Race, Head of the Indian Creek and numerous local races. She will be competing this year at FISA World Masters Regatta in Sarasota.
MJ graduated from UCF in 1984 with a BS in Business Administration and studied a year post-graduate in Exercise Physiology before becoming the Head women's coach at Edgewater High School in 1985 until 1990. The team grew from 2 8's of girls before she started to 5 8's in 2 years. Her girls won the Junior 4, Junior 8 and came in 4th in the Senior 8 at Scholastic Nationals and Edgewater won the State Championship 4 times during that time.
From 2000-2009 she taught Yoga, Pilates, and Spinning at the RDV Sportsplex and has held certified personal trainer certifications from AFAA and NASM. She started coaching rowing again in 2015 at Winter Park's Middle School Rowing Program.
ASSISTANT COACH THOMAS GILLHAM
Coach Thomas's journey into the world of rowing started back in the fifth grade, igniting a passion that would propel him through countless regattas. From those early days on the water to his Junior year at Edgewater High School, Thomas honed his skills and embraced the spirit of competition on the rowing circuit. Today, he finds himself at Valencia College, studying to become a firefighter.
Thomas is a dedicated and passionate coach who believes in positive reinforcement and genuine care for his athletes. His coaching philosophy centers around creating a supportive and nurturing environment where each team member feels valued and motivated to excel. He strives to teach the skills of the sport but also wants to instill confidence and a positive mindset in his athletes. He firmly believes that when we have fun working together as a team, we not only perform better but also build strong bonds between athletes that go beyond the water.
While newer to coaching, Thomas has learned many things from Coach MJ, and is excited to continue learning and building our program.