In just two years, Dale Hurley has already made a big impact on the Andover Crew program as the Head Coach of Girls Crew. He is unforgiving in the physical demands of his practices, yet is unanimously respected for his dedication to the sport.
“[Coach Hurley] wants us to learn and grow as rowers and make the boat go fast. And he makes that his job every single day. In the two seasons I have been with him, he has yet to have an off day,” said Co-Captain Elizabeth Kemp ’15.
G2 coxswain Janet Conklin ’17 said, “He makes sure everyone is giving 110 percent every day. He’s definitely a super intense coach, but it only pushes everyone to do better. Overall, really I have never respected someone as much as I respect Coach Hurley. He’s an amazing coach and friend.”
Hurley wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I like to think that I make the hard work fun. Crew is a team sport and if a rower or coxswain is more focused on how they are helping others in their boat and less on how much pain they may be going through, then they are not only a fierce competitor, but also someone who makes the whole boat better, faster, etc.”
Hurley’s influence extends to all six of the girls’ boats. He sets a strong example of commitment and hard work that motivates all of his rowers, whether they are novices or D1-bound, to fulfill their highest potentials everyday at practice.
Evelyn Meester ’17, a rower on G2, said “I think that even if you aren’t coached directly by Coach Hurley, he is still the head of the Girls program, and his standard of excellence goes through the program. The other coaches mirror his coaching, so his coaching style affects all the girls and not just the Varsity team.”
Remarkably, Hurley was not introduced to crew until his college years. He went on to become a very accomplished rower, becoming a member of the National Team and the Navy’s first boat.
Hurley’s rowing experiences at the high level bring depth to his coaching capabilities and allow him to show his rowers that hard work pays off.
Meester said, “He was a really successful athlete himself, so having him coach you and tell you about his experiences puts it into perspective and makes your goals seem realistic, because if he could do it so can you.”
Kemp said, “[Hurley] is our biggest support system, both on and off the water, and in some ways our greatest enemy. He will push us past where we thought our limits are… and so completely understands what is going on with our team and on each of the boats. He has coached many teams and has watched many different crews succeed and fail for different reasons. He can be a hundred yards away and know what is wrong with the crew. Having rowed himself, he knows exactly what each of us are going through: the pain, stress and happiness all wrapped into the sport we know and love.”