Bertko & Getsinger Join UW Women's Rowing Staff
With the fall season already underway, introductions of the newest members of the Washington women's rowing staff are already overdue.
For the 2021-22 season, the Huskies have three new members of the coaching staff: Kate Bertko and Gordon Getsinger, along with intern coach Tabea Schendekehl. All three bring a variety of experience to the UW program.
Bertko comes to Seattle after having served as the U.S. women's pairs coach at the Tokyo Olympics. Directly prior to that, she was the head women's lightweight coach at Stanford, where she led the Cardinal to three straight IRA national championships (2017-18-19). Bertko's crews swept the IRA event for the first time in 2017.
An NCAA varsity eights national champion rower for Princeton, Bertko went on to a career in international rowing, winning three medals at World Championships and competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Getsinger comes to the UW from Connecticut, where he spent the last seven years at Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, Conn., including as women's head coach the last six years and director of rowing from 2019 until the fall of 2021 During this time Getsinger's crews won eight national titles: five in the openweight eight, two in the lightweight eight, and one in the Under-17 eight in 2021.
A former IRA freshman eight championship-winning rower at California, Getsinger also coached two different crews to medals at international competitions this summer. His U.S. women's pair won silver and his lightweight pair won bronze at 2021 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
"Part of the Washington legacy is a history of exceptional assistant coaches who have played a major role in creating a culture of belonging and excellence," said UW women's head coach Yasmin Farooq. "Kate and Gordon are the perfect coaches to join our team at this time to extend that legacy. Not only are they proven coaches with national and international success to their names, they are highly regarded teachers and mentors in our sport."
Bertko and Getsinger replace former UW assistants Josh Gautreau, who was the first to join Farooq's original Husky staff in 2016, and Sam Casto. Gautreau and his family are relocating to Denmark, where his wife, Cat, has begun a new job. Casto has left coaching to work at Amazon.
"I'd like to thank Josh and Sam for their exceptional contributions to this team," Farooq said. "Josh has been my wingman for five years and leaves with an incredible streak of four Pac-12 Championships and four NCAA championships coaching our 2V8.
"Last year, Sam developed the Varsity 4 over the course of the season, coaching them to a silver medal finish at the Pac-12 Championships, and an NCAA title by season's end," Farooq continued. "They will always be a part of the Washington Rowing Family."
Also returning to Conibear Shellhouse is Schendekehl, the former standout UW rower who won NCAA titles in the varsity eight in both 2017 and 2019. A four-time NCAA varsity eight medalist, Schendekehl has also rowed for her country, Germany, at the international level, winning a silver medal in the W8+ at the European Championships and bronze in the four at the Under-23 Worlds.
"It's a coach's dream to have our best athlete leaders join the coaching staff," Farooq said "Tabea follows in the footsteps of Maggie Phillips, Julia Paulsen and Marlee Blue, fantastic teammates who led their teams to NCAA Championships, and then extended themselves to the team as coaches after graduation. Tabea is a Woman of Washington to the core. She will be an invaluable assistant to Allie Lohrenz, who oversees our novice team and walk-on student-athletes."
Two more fall events remain on the fall schedule for the women's team: Head of the Lake in Seattle on Nov. 7, and Head of the Lagoon in Foster City, Calif., on Nov. 13.