California State University, Long Beach

Seasons Greetings from the BCA Board of Directors

Saturday, 23. December 2017

Dear Beach Crew Alumni and Friends of Long Beach State Rowing:

As we approach this time of year, we want to give thanks to our community of support, both on and off the water. 2017 brought us continued support of obtaining additional long-term assets, such as the Amy Fuller Vespoli 8+, and several sets of oars. Back in March, we finally celebrated the dedication of the Joan Lind Van Blom Memorial Bridge, the portion of California State Highway 1 which crosses Alamitos Bay’s Cerritos Channel. From what started as a simple phone call to me, through the process of support of our public dignitaries, and to those who financially-backed the effort, the legacy of Long Beach State’s finest athletes remain strong.

CSULB continues to be an attractive option for incoming students. The campus had 103,605 student applications for fall 2017, the highest in university history. Freshman applications totalled 63,035, one of the highest among CSUs, and transfer applications totalled 31,144, 2 percent higher than last year, and one of the highest in the nation.*

As I write this, I can’t help to say that I’m somewhat sentimental of the past decade of service to this team and the Foundation’s efforts. In case you did not hear, I announced my departure from the board back in October, effective June 30, 2018, the end of the academic year, to pursue other areas of the sport. I have to admit that I’ve been blessed to work with such wonderful people all over the country, some who aren’t even part of the sport. This was something completely unexpected during my tenure at The Beach. I have to admit that while focused on my studies, I learned so much more outside the classroom than I did on campus. It’s probably why former CSULB President, Dr. Robert C. Maxon, quoted, “If the only thing you do in college is go to class, then you have not had the full college experience.” Meeting so many people over the team’s past 60 years, all the way back to our co-founder, has been nothing short of inspiration. This sport relies so much on community, no matter how big or small your institution may be. Having seen so many other collegiate teams across the country, I can say that the BCA is in good hands and that Beach Crew is fortunate to have this community. I can remember all of the challenges of its infancy and the difficulty of reuniting 50 years of athletes at the time. We may not have always agreed on how to make things work, let alone becoming acquainted to the needs of today’s athletes, and wanting to see things in different light. But that is what’s so intriguing to the matter. We all have a story, we found a way, and I am grateful for what we have.

I want everyone to know that while I am around and about the country at events, I will always have a spot in my heart for Long Beach State and this decade-long effort we spent. We will always cross paths.

On February 24, 2018, Beach Crew is slated to celebrate it’s 60th year celebration. I hope to see many of you there.

Before I sign off for the rest of the year, I’d like to remind everyone that if you have not updated your membership for this academic year, please consider that there is still time for a tax deductible donation to the association. Your support is making a huge difference in maintaining a quality rowing team at LBSU. You can still send your $25 membership fee and any other contribution via

On the behalf of the BCA Board of Directors, all of us wish you the best this time of season and into 2018. I look forward to the last six months we have together. See you in the spring.



Brandin Grams ’10
Director of Outreach

* Facts from CSULB 2017 Convocation Address

New Men’s Head Coach: Anthony Chacon

Sunday, 6. September 2015

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Photo by Matthew Maliglig

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Women’s Team President

With 11 years of experience in NCAA collegiate, club collegiate and Masters competitive programs, Anthony Chacon now trains the Long Beach State Rowing men’s team as its new head coach.

Chacon became involved in rowing when he was a student at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I had to take a PE credit in college, so I took Weightlifting-101 or whatever they called it,” he said. “They paired me up with another small guy, and he was actually a rower…He took me to rowing practice one day, and I started doing it with the original intention to be a rower.”

Chacon ended up coxing the men’s novice team. Before the end of his novice year, he began coaching for intramural rowing.

Since 2003, Chacon has coached or assisted coaching for North Park University, Chicago Rowing Union, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and Grand Valley State University.

In 2007, Chacon was head coach for Lincoln Park Boat Club in Chicago, who won a medal at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston within two years of him being there.

“By the end of my four years with the team, they had gone from a small team of about eight returning athletes to 32 total rowers,” he noted in a personal biography. “The team medaled in every race they had entries in.”


Men’s 8+ had just finished rowing 12,000 meters as the sun rose.

Chacon sent in his application to Long Beach because he is studying for his Masters in Kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University, and he wanted to coach while he was in the Orange County and Los Angeles area.

“My dad went here in the 60s, and it’s close to a lot of family,” he said. “It’s just beautiful here. I went to the Marina, and I was like, this is amazing. I’ve been coaching on an open sewer, and here, it’s like Baywatch.”

When Chacon was first introduced to the varsity team, he had the returning athletes fill out a questionnaire to learn about their overall attitude of last year’s performance and this year’s outlook.

“The replies that came in were nearly all positive in nature,” he noted. “There is some residual disappointment about their performances at regattas from last season, but they remain hopeful about the upcoming year.”

After working with the team for the first week, Chacon liked that everyone appeared “excited to be part of this new direction.”

Chacon has several tools and strategies for the team that he plans to utilize over the year such as a Yearly Planning Instrument (YPI), Macrocycles and services from LBSU’s Sports Training and Research program (STAR).

YPI is about planning workouts and visualizing the quantity, volume and intensity of the workouts throughout the season. Macrocycles are also training plans that are broken down into 11 one-month long parts.

STAR is made up of student-interns with majors in different areas of kinesiology including sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and biomechanics. They can design personalized weight training workouts for every athlete, educate them on healthy eating habits and get them mentally prepared for races.

Chacon believes the team is very lucky and blessed to have a boathouse, a large fleet of well-kept boats, professional staff and support from the school and alumni.

“They have all the tools to be successful and no excuse to not get results,” he noted. “I wont let them forget that! There is no reason CSULB cannot be as two other well supported club teams that are competitive that I am familiar with (Grand Valley State University and University of Michigan). In case you don’ t know, those are the teams we are [going to] beat someday.”


Eric Oates, Dylan Widjaja, Scott Morris, Jacob Bledsoe, Jacob Muñoz, Mark Saavedra, Chris Ehling and Gabriel Jordan make multiple trips around Naples Island during practice.

Photos by Anthony Chacon

To Row or to Study: Tilley Defines Student-Athlete

Sunday, 12. April 2015


Photos by Mark Bledsoe


By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Twenty hours of studying per week, plus approximately 2-3 hours of rowing practice everyday, plus a job as a Housing and Residential Life multimedia technician equals one strong-minded individual. Varsity rower Patrick Tilley handles all of these tasks in addition to being the men’s team’s vice president.

This is Tilley’s third year at Long Beach State University (LBSU). He plans to graduate at the end of spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in general biology.

Tilley has been a student-athlete for almost a decade. Before crew, he ran cross-country and track and field for seven years. He ran for his high school team in San Diego and Mesa College.

Though he originally planned to run track and field at LBSU, Tilley decided to try out for the rowing team in the fall of 2012.

“After being an athlete for so long, I feel like I’ll always be doing something competitive,” he said. “I always see myself being able to push myself farther – not only as an athlete, but as a person as well.”

In comparison to cross country and track and field, Tilley liked the competitiveness of both sports, but he was also attracted to the sense of support in rowing.

“The thing with cross country and track and rowing is that cross country and track are individual sports, and so it’s more along the line where you can’t drag your teammates along,” he said. “But with rowing, you still need everyone on the same page, or else you’re not going to win. So, that’s what we had, which was really nice.”

When Tilley first joined the team, there were only 16 other men. In the years after, he worked his way up to treasurer and vice president.

“Obviously a competitive rowing team needs numbers to do really well,” he said. “Myself and [Jacob] Bledsoe and a couple others who joined my novice year, we were all novices together, and we take it upon ourselves to build the team and make it better for everybody. I want everyone to experience what I do. I want that level of competition and that level of success.”

With school, crew and work as a multimedia technician, self-control and time-management skills are essential. According to Tilley, school comes first, then work and then crew. However, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Self-control is also one of the most important aspects of rowing in Tilley’s opinion.

“You need to row well in order to move in the boat,” he explained. “In order to row well, you need to have control in your drive and your recovery. Control is body control, so you need to have good core strength. Sit up, maintain your body strength or else you’ll lose power on your drive.”

Tilley has had several highlights throughout his rowing career, but one that particularly stands out was when he finished fourth in the varsity four at grand finals of the 2014 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship Regatta. One final goal for his last regatta would be to finally medal at WIRA.

“I would really love to medal in any boat, really,” he said. “I’ll row whatever boat I get put in. I might complain here and there, but I think at the end of the day, I’ll just be happy with being put in a competitive boat.”


Men’s varsity four of 2014 with coxswain Kaitlyn Gold (not pictured), Patrick Tilley, Grey Mouser, Jacob Bledsoe and Jake Skoll.