About Head Coach Lou Berl
Lou O'Brien Berl began her rowing career at St. Andrew’s, where she was a three-sport varsity captain of field hockey, squash, and crew. After graduating from St. Andrew’s, Berl represented the US on the Junior National Rowing Team before heading to University of Pennsylvania to row. After graduating as captain and MVP from Trinity College in Connecticut, Berl began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, and continued at Nobles & Greenough School, where her team won NEIRAs and Youth National Championship races. She made the jump to collegiate coaching in 1997, and lead undefeated and championships teams at Ohio State and University of Virginia, before returning to Trinity College to become head coach. At Trinity, Berl’s teams swept the New England Championships and earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA National Championships.
After taking time off to raise her three daughters (Charlotte ’17, Wilder ’19, and Allaire ’22), Berl started Lou’s Garage Crew. Through this program, she trained several high school students on the erg and helped them with collegiate recruiting to the Junior National team and Ivy League programs.
In the fall of 2013, Berl became the head coach of the Harvard-Radcliffe Varsity Lightweight team. That spring, under her leadership, “RVL” rowed an undefeated first season, winning and setting a new course record at the Eastern Sprints as well as winning the IRA National Championships for the first time in 17 years. She was voted both the 2014 IRA and CRCA Lightweight Women's Coach of the Year.
In the fall of 2015, Berl and her family moved to St. Andrew’s where she took over as head coach of the girls crew program. She is also associate director of admission, a dorm parent on Moss Hall, and is a class advisor to the V Form. Her husband Chris Berl is also a girls rowing coach at St. Andrew’s. He rowed at Pomfret School in Connecticut and at the University of Pennsylvania and was a three-time member of the US National Rowing team.