California State University, Long Beach

Beach Crew Staff

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Anthony C. (AC) Chacon – Men’s Head Coach

Years with Beach Crew: 3

Alma Mater: Grand Valley State University

Background: Anthony C. (AC) Chacon is the LBS Rowing Men’s Varsity head coach. He became head coach in the fall of 2015. AC has 14 years experience of coaching rowing at the NCAA collegiate, Club collegiate, and Masters competitive programs. He was introduced to rowing while attending Grand Valley State University in the early 2000’s where he was a coxswain. Since graduating, AC has competed in numerous Regattas including three at Head of the Charles as a coxswain where he won a gold medal in 2012 with the USRowing Mixed LTA4+.

AC began coaching at Grand Valley State in 2002. Since then he has coached both men and women at the novice and varsity level in many programs including Notre Dame, University of Chicago, Lincoln Park Boat Club’s Men’s competitive sweeps, Northwestern, Chicago Rowing Union and North Park University. On top of coaching at the collegiate level AC has spent his last 3 summers in the Bahamas with the Nassau Rowing Club, where he was invited by the Bahamas Olympic Committee to coach World Rowing Championship bound juniors, Competitive masters, and teach learn to row programs. AC completed his Masters in Kinesiology in 2016.

Alyssa Sunofsky – Womens Head Coach

Years with Beach Crew: 3

Alma Mater: Fordham University

Background: Started rowing at Long Beach Junior Crew(LBJC) in 8th grade in 2002. During her senior year at LBJC in 2007, Alyssa sat stroke seat in the varsity 8+ which won 1st place at Junior Nationals. Has been co-captain at LBJC, Orange Coast College Women’s Rowing, and Fordham University. With 9 years of rowing experience, Alyssa is now in her 2nd year as assistant coach for CSULB Women’s Rowing.

John O’Donnell – Boatmaster

Years with Beach Crew: 12

Alma Mater: CSU Long Beach

Background: Beach Crew Boatman, John O’Donnell, has the distinction of being on board with Beach Crew since 2004, the longest in the current lineup of staff. “Coach John,” as his rowers call him, is a mentor to all of his athletes. They love his passion to introduce the sport to many walk-on athletes as well as those continuing in the sport who have rowed in the past.

Coach John himself was a rower at CSULB in Coach Peter Mallory’s lightweight crew in 1974. John is a certified referee for US Rowing.

When asked why he loves the sport, his response was rather taken by surprise as he pointed out to a crew that just threw their coxswain in the water after winning a scrimmage. “You see that? That’s why I’m here doing this. You can’t experience that anywhere else.”

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Rita Hayes – Student Life & Development Adviser

Years with Beach Crew: 31

Background: Rita serves as the Director of the largest Club Sport program in the CSU system directing the activities of 38 sports programs in addition to managing a fitness program serving Faculty, Students, and community members. During the summer she runs a academic camp for over 400 hundred students from kindergarten thru the eighth grade to provide academic enrichment and exposure to the college environment. Rita has been working at CSULB in administration for 30 years after completing her undergraduate degree in Physical Education and her graduate degree in Recreation Administration at CSULB.

She is married to Rick Hayes, the women’s basketball coach at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, and has three daughters ages 26, 23, and 20. They live in Seal Beach. Rita notes that Long Beach State is larger than the cities that most students come from and she sees club sports as a valuable tool in retaining students by helping them feel connected to the campus. Rita has been a great supporter of the rowing program and her help has been instrumental in its continued succes.