Coaching Staff

Meet our experienced, CPR Certified Rowing Coaching staff

Brian Colgan

Head Coach/ Varsity Boys Coach

Coach Colgan and his wife Judi are are the parents of three grown children and are currently relocating to Madison to be closer to their son, Nate who is pursuing a PhD in Nuclear Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Colgan is recently retired from a 35-year career in financial trading software development and project management for global trading firms and financial institutions and is excited to dive in full time to his true passion, coaching rowing.  Accomplished in his own history of rowing and competing internationally for the USA, Colgan reflects on his own experience, “I have been blessed to have been coached by the best coaches in the world, and in the times when I have been able to pick up a megaphone, I have made a dramatic impact on boat speeds and races won.” As a coaching mantra, Colgan believes strongly in this quote from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.” Colgan explains, “Everything is done with intention and attention, we strive for excellence every stroke of every practice and find those one percent gains each day that build performance.” 

Most recently, Colgan coached at Intrepid RC in Palm City in May 2016 as a guest coach. In a few weeks’ time he was able to improve their U17 Boys 8 to a bronze at Regionals which was a first for the fledgling club. He then joined them in the fall of 2016 as the boys coach, and — in a matter of months — was elevated to Director of Rowing overseeing a four-person coaching staff. In just a year’s time, the team was medaling in state varsity events. When Intrepid merged with Treasure Coast RC (TCRC) last summer, Colgan joined the team as their boys’ varsity coach. Wringing every ounce of speed out of a limited squad of boys and bringing them to peak performance including a Florida State championship and bronze medal at Southeast Regionals in the varsity boys U19 pair, both new firsts for Treasure Coast. Earlier in his career, Colgan was the Vesper BC Women’s Masters coach, and assisted at The Shipley School, where his varsity scullers won at Stotesbury Cup Regatta and medaled at Philadelphia City and National Championships.

In addition to coaching juniors, Colgan continued to ride along with college varsity coaches,most recently with Geoff Bond at the University of Pennsylvania and Steve Gladstone at Yale during winter training sessions in Florida.

In addition to his coaching props, Colgan is an advocate for rowing with demonstrated fundraising abilities, most notably raising more than $1,000,000 for the restoration of the historic Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia in the 1990’s.  

Forrest Allen

Varsity Girls Coach

Rowing Experience:

  • Oakland Strokes, 2006-2009
  • Oregon State University, 2009-2013

Forrest started rowing in 2006 at Oakland strokes. While there he won most inspirational twice. After graduating in 2009 he walked on to Oregon State University where he rowed for four years. In 2011 he earned a bronze metal at the PAC 10 championships in the varsity four race. Completing this eligibility but wanting to stay in rowing, Forrest began his coaching career in fall of 2013 as a voluinteer for the beavers. He has spent time all over the country coaching high school, college, and masters teams. His teams have won races and competed at a high level. Forrest started coaching at Camp Randall in March of 2018. Outside of coaching he is getting a degree in computer science.

Kari Cole

Middle School Coach/Novice Girls Coach

As a rower with CRRC for eight years through middle and high school, Coach Cole knows the ins and outs of our program. Volunteering for Learn-To-Row sessions as a high school rower and volunteering to be a co-captain her senior year gave her even more experience at the boathouse. In the past, Kari has attended rowing camps at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard. Now at Madison College, Coach Cole is eager to share her rowing experience and passion with the CRRC program. 

Cole Wirth

Novice Boys Coach

Coach Wirth’s career with rowing began when he was thirteen when he joined the Milwaukee Rowing Club (MRC).  Smaller in stature at the that age, Wirth began as a coxswain for the team. He quickly proved his abilities and earned the coxswain position for the 1V beating out his senior teammates and earning spots at the Head of the Charles and Youth Nationals where his crew finished 6th overall in the Youth 4+. After over a year, Wirth transitioned to rowing with a spot on the 1V within his first year that he held for the remainder of his tenure with the MRC junior team. He also served as the team captain of over 60 boys his senior year. As a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wirth continued his rowing career.  He was redshirted his first year under Coach Beau Hoopman. However, he was forced to end his collegiate rowing career in August 2017 due to  a reoccurring back injury. 

Throughout his time as an athlete, Wirth also volunteered as a Learn-to-Row coach in Milwaukee, assisting Coach Will Bott with the planning and supervision of workouts as well as equipment upkeep. Wirth also stepped in as interim coach of the middle school team in Milwaukee on multiple occasions.

Coach Wirth is excited to share his love of rowing with CRRC, “Fitness and nutrition have been a constant focus in my life ever since I entered the world of rowing seven years ago. I am constantly trying to better myself and those around me in those areas because rowing made such a standing impact on my life.” 


Maren Franzke

Middle School Coach

Maren is a junior at UW-Madison studying Biology.  Despite spending most of her life playing volleyball, she walked onto the lightweight rowing team as a freshman to follow in her dad’s footsteps.  She rowed for the Badgers for two years and is now very excited to stay involved in the rowing community by coaching at CRRC.  In between studying and working her two jobs, Maren enjoys spending time with friends and facetiming her dogs back home.

Melinda Rose Miles

We Can Row /Friends & Family Shore Workout Lead Coach

Rowing Experience:

  • 2 time Dad Vail Gold Medalist – 2006 Novice 8, 2007 Varsity 8
  • 1 time Dad Vail Bronze Medalist – 2008 Varsity 8
  • 1 time SIRA Gold Medalist – 2008 Varsity 8
  • 1 time SIRA Bronze Medalist – 2009 Varsity 8
  • Invitation to Windermere Cup, Seattle, Washington – 2007 Varsity 8
  • First Place, Elkhart Indoor Erg Sprints
  • Member of 2008 ACRA All-American Team
  • 2009 Most Valuable Oarswoman

Coaching Experience:

  • 2011 – Present CRRC

US Rowing Level II Coaching Certification 2012

CPR and First Aid Certification 2012

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