Beach Crew Staff

Michael Long – Men’s Head Coach

Years with Beach Crew: 5

Alma Mater: California State University, Long Beach

Background: Michael Long started rowing at Long Beach State in 1982 as a walk-on novice. Over the next 4 years, he and his teammates coached by Ed Graham won the MV4 at the Newport Regatta, MVLwt 4 at PCRC’s (combined Pac-12/WIRA title), San Diego Crew Classic Cal Cup V8, WIRA V8 in 1984. During this period, he was invited to 3 USA National Lwt Selection Camps (top 16 twice). Won a National Title with Vesper in 1985 and  2nd in the 4- World Team Trials in 1984. Mike transitioned to coaching with Long Beach Jr. Crew and Long Beach State Lightweights in 1986. He graduated with a BS Degree in Kinesiology in 1986. He continued to coach as an assistant coach at Long Beach State in the following years  while juggling a career with the fire service. Notable achieving boats came 1989 V4 (UW Opening Day invitee, 4th PCRC’s/1st WIRA), N4 PCRC Champions (1st PAC-12/1st WIRA), 1990 MNLwt4 WIRA silver and 1991 MVLwt 4 WIRA Bronze. In 1992, he was named Men’s Head Coach and that 1992 crew rowed to an epic season. Winning the SDCC V8 Cal Cup and the SDCC Visitor’s Cup, V8 at the Newport Regatta, V8 Silver at State Championships. At WIRA, all men’s boats received medals. V8 silver, V4 silver and VLwt4 bronze.

In 1992 after that epic season with LB State, Mike accepted the Inaugural position as Head Coach of  the D-1 Women’s team at UC Irvine. He left UCI when his daughter was born with a life-threatening health condition. He returned to UCI in 2010 to rebuild the UCI women’s team after they were cut from D-1 status. By 2012, the V4 bronzed at WIRA and the team had 2 Novice women’s 8’s at WIRA (8th & 4th respectively). Mike left coaching again when his daughter was listed on UCLA’s heart transplant list. After receiving her heart in 2016, Mike came back to coaching in 2018 by reviving the defunct Chapman University rowing teams.  Coaching both men’s and women’s novice teams. The top performers were the WV2-  (6th overall, “A” final) and the WN4 (13th out of 23).

Recently retired after 32 years in the fire service, Mike is focusing his full efforts to coaching rowing….his true passion. Mike is looking to elevate Long Beach State’s Rowing to a status they have not seen for many years by focusing on difficult physical training, mental resiliency and  steadfast resolve to the young men he coaches.

— – Women’s Head Coach

Years with Beach Crew:

Alma Mater:

Background:

Sean McCrea – Men’s Assistant Coach

Years with Beach Crew: 3

Alma Mater: California State University, Long Beach

Background:

Sean McCrea is the head coach for the LBSU Men’s Rowing Team. Having graduated in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelors’ in Kinesiology, Sean has rowed with the team that he coached for three years prior to taking the job. Sean is currently working on his Masters, focusing on Exercise Science.

Since the age of 5, Sean had an affinity for team sports. He took part in team sports ever since then, loving the challenge of overcoming adversity as well as the process that it takes to be successful in the sport. This love for sports has affected his career and life choices; Sean has been a personal trainer since 2015, worked with the USRowing Junior National Team as an intern, and now works with D1 athletes on his graduating campus of CSULB as an intern.

When asked about his experiences and how the last few months have been, Sean stated that he is grateful to continue to represent Long Beach State as a member of the staff, as well as being a positive influence to the young men and women that the team comes in contact with throughout the season at Long Beach State

Dylan Widjaja – Men’s Assistant Coach 

Years with Beach Crew: 3

Alma Mater: California State University, Long Beach

Background: Dylan Widjaja is an Assistant Coach for the LBSU Men’s Rowing Team. He graduated in December 2016 with a B.S. in Kinesiology – Exercise Science. He rowed competitively from the Fall of 2014 until he graduated in 2016. After graduation, he made a career change into Software Engineering, but was helping out on weekends when time allowed. Although his changed career from Kinesiology, he still gets to apply his education to coach.

Dylan primarily took part in individual sports growing up but always liked being part of a large team sport, which Rowing was able to provide. Since his first day of practice, he found himself fully invested in the sport. In the summer of 2016, he interned at the Junior National High Performance Rowing Team in Ashland, Oregon.

Dylan now works full time as a Software Engineer, but allocates time for practices every morning and weekends. He is privileged to coach his alma mater and contribute back to a team he has great sentimental value with.

John O’Donnell – Boatmaster

Years with Beach Crew: 16

Alma Mater: California State University, 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.”

rhayesRita Hayes – Student Life & Development Adviser

Years with Beach Crew: 35

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 success.