John Meehan, Women’s Coach 1994-2016

Coach MeehanCoach Meehan started rowing at George Washington High School in Alexandria and has been active in sculling with the Occoquan Boat Club since 1983. Coach Meehan coached at Potomac High School in 1985, Woodson High School in 1989-1994, and came to WSHS in 1994. He is an enthusiastic and talented rower and teaches single sculling to both adults and students in summer. Coach Meehan works for the Prince William Health District and is an avid turkey hunter. Coach Meehan’s great talents were appropriately recognized in 2000 when he was voted the “Women’s High School Rowing Coach of the Year” by the sports writers of the Potomac News. This was repeated for the 2001 season as well. Coach Meehan has also participated in US Rowing Master’s Nationals Regatta in three events. Coach Meehan retired as the Woodbridge Crew Women’s Coach in 2016.

Mike Malak, Head Coach 2005-2012

132_200_csupload_66293716.jpgDuring his tenure, Woodbridge boys’ rowers won 92 medals at the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Championships: 46 gold medals, 27 silver medals, and 17 bronze medals. In addition, Malak guided a boat into the finals at the prestigious Stotesbury Regatta in six of his seven seasons. Three times, those boats won medals, including a Senior Four that took a silver medal in 2009. Three Woodbridge boats won medals at the SRAA Rowing Nationals under Malak—the 2008 Junior Four (bronze), 2009 Senior Four (silver), and a lightweight eight (bronze) in 2010. Coach Malak retired as the Woodbridge High School Crew Head Coach in 2012 as a six-time News & Messenger (Prince William County) Coach of the Year.

Jim Bish, Contributor 1987-2014

200_184_csupload_66293678.jpgJim Bish came to Woodbridge as a substitute teacher in 1986 and by the end of that school year, he was offered a fulltime position teaching Social Studies in Fairfax County and also at Woodbridge Senior High School. Jim liked working at “The Best School East of the Mississippi” so he chose to become a Viking. Jim didn’t waste any time getting involved with extra -curricular activities as he became the Norsemen Club sponsor his first year and then worked on the chain gang at all home Varsity Football games for 13 years. In addition he has served as the Freshman Boy’s Crew Coach and later the Crew Team Liaison and then President of Woodbridge High School Crew Boosters, Inc. Besides being an outstanding Social Studies teacher from 1987 until 2013, Jim served as the Department Chair from 2002 through 2007. Jim was a Charter Member of the WSHS Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee when the Hall of Fame was initiated in 2006. He used his love for history and the skills that go with that to help gather important information about the athletes, coaches and teams of Woodbridge Senior High School since it’s opening in 1964. Over the past eight years, Jim has compiled an incredibly detailed accounting of season records, individual statistics and the accolades and honors of many of the amazing teams, athletes and coaches that have competed at WSHS for the past 49 years. These records are critical in our efforts to honor those athletes, coaches and contributors with induction into the Hall of Fame. Woodbridge Senior High School has been graced with a large number of dedicated and gifted athletes and Jim’s work has helped to bring many of the qualified candidates to us for consideration and the Hall of Fame honors that they so richly deserve. Jim is still compiling these athletic records and we continue to discover additional Hall of Fame caliber athletes every year from the legendary Viking Athletic history.

Tom Moulen, Head Coach 1991 – 2003

200_150_csupload_66586362.jpgCoach Moulen has over 25 years rowing experience on the local and national level. Tom began his rowing career at Mary Washington College where he aided in its crew team formation. Following college, Tom spent several years as a lightweight rower for Potomac Boat Club’s highly regarded club program. During this time Tom also began coaching both the club and high school level, stacking up an impressive number of victories. This included several medal performances at the Virginia State Championships, the SRAA National Championship Regatta, and the Stotesbury National Regatta. In 1993 and 1995 the Washington Post selected Tom as its All-Met Rowing Coach of Year.

Matthew S. Smith, Crew 1992 – 1996

142_200_csupload_66602412.jpgSmith began rowing as a freshman and by his sophomore year rowed varsity boats for Coach Tom Moulen. It was during his junior year that his strength and his competitiveness showed on the water. That year, he was named Varsity Captain while also earning the Men’s Coach’s Award. The successes continued as a senior as he was again named Captain of the men’s rowing team and early in his senior year placed 1st at the 1996 Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints in the Junior-Heavyweight Division. He followed that performance with a 2nd place finish at the 1996 CRASH-B Indoor Rowing World Championships in the Junior-Lightweight Division. After dominating many of the regional regattas, Smith helped the Varsity Eight to a 2nd place finish at the 1996 Virginia Scholastic Championships. After the Virginia Championships, his Varsity Eight boat place 5th at the 1996 Scholastic Nationals Regatta. As a result of his strong showing in both regional and national regattas, he was selected as a First-Team All-Met Rower by the Washington Post. Smith then rowed at the University of Wisconsin while attending on an Army ROTC scholarship. He captained the Wisconsin rowing team as a freshman and as a senior. He helped Wisconsin win the team National Championships in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Smith’s abilities landed him on the Under-23 U.S. National Team in 1997 and 1998. In 1998 and 1999 he was a member of the Senior World Champions team and was named Wisconsin Athlete of the Month in October 1999. Smith is Woodbridge’s only Olympian having competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Following his graduation from Wisconsin in 2000, Smith was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army where he continued his elite rowing career in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. During his time in the military, Smith was promoted twice, eventually earning the rank of Captain, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medals for exceptional duty in combat and peacetime operations. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School and Airborne School. A seven-time member of the U.S national rowing team, Smith has won medals at the Pan-American Games (Silver 2007), World Championships (Bronze 2002), and National Championships, while also representing the U.S. in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. He began coaching at Cornell University where he was lead recruiter and freshman coach before being promoted to Associate Head Coach. In his time at Cornell he helped the Varsity 8 medal at the National Championships, helped coach the 2010 Open 4+ to a National Championship and his freshman crews medaled 5 of his 6 years at the Eastern Sprints. They were also in the top 6 Nationally 5 of his 6 years there. These finishes were the best Cornell had seen in over 30 years. He is currently the Assistant Heavyweight coach at Princeton University. Smith also has coached at the international level serving as an assistant on the U-23 National Team in 2012 and 2013 and as Head U-23 National Team Coach in 2013. In 2012 he assisted the men’s 8+ when they won Gold. In 2013 he coached the Men’s 4- to a Bronze medal and assisted with the Men’s 8+ earning a Silver. In 2014 he coached the men’s 8+ to a Bronze medal. Smith is married to Hilary Gehman, a six-time member of the U.S. national rowing team and a two-time Olympian. They have two sons, Luke and Carson.

Jim Pierce, Crew – 1981-1984

As a freshman, Jim Pierce was part of the very first Woodbridge Crew season in 1981, rowing in very old wooden boats donated by the Naval Academy. By the time he was a senior, Jim helped the Woodbridge Crew program register a few firsts in their programs’ history. On April 6, 1984 Woodbridge Crew boys’ varsity eight earned their first ever 1st place medal for a varsity eight in a regatta at the T.C. Williams Invitational. This boat left a winning legacy for Woodbridge in the program’s fourth season. Later that season, Jim helped this crew row to a sixth-place finish at the National Regatta, the highest ever varsity boys varsity finish at Nationals. As a result of his strong academics, Jim was the 1984 valedictorian; he accepted entrance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and quickly became a fixture on their rowing team. Pierce was a leader on the lightweight squad for all four years, and was voted “Most Inspirational Oarsman” after his sophomore year. After graduating from MIT, Jim was selected to the US Rowing Team in 1989 and competed on the lightweight squad for the U.S. team for the next four years (1989-1992). Jim helped the U.S. Rowing Team to top-eight performances at the World Championships in each of those seasons. Following his time on the National Team, Jim has competed with Riverside Boat Club and has been a member of Cambridge Boat Club since 1997. Jim continues to race each year in many events for Cambridge. Jim is currently a Board Member for the Head of the Charles Regatta, which he also has raced in every year since 1985 except one.

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