Jr Rowing Coaching Staff


Nick D’Antoni

Head Varsity Boy’s Coach

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Nick D’Antoni returns to Newport Aquatic Center after serving as an assistant coach at Princeton University and before that he spent three years as Head Coach of the boys program at Long Beach. Nick started his coaching career with the Newport Aquatic Center juniors in 2006, during which time he led the men’s team to 3 consecutive team points championships (’08, ’09, and ’10) at the Southwest Regionals and back to back national championships in the Men’s Youth Heavyweight 8 (2008 & 2009). In 2008, he coached the Men’s Junior National Team Pair (2-) at the world championships to the highest finish ever by an American crew in that event. In 2009 he also coached the Men’s Youth Lightweight 8 to a national championship, becoming the first coach to win both Men’s Eights events in the same year at the US Rowing Youth National Championships.

Nick began his competitive rowing career in 1996 for the Newport Aquatic Center as a junior, then moved on to pursue the sport at Orange Coast College followed by Rutgers University. Nick has always enjoyed both sweep and sculling disciplines: racing in as many boats as possible as a junior, primarily in 8′s in college, and training in his single in his spare time. Currently, he enjoys rowing and competing as often as time allows.  Nick can be reached at nickdantoni@gmail.com


    AJ Brooks

Assistant Varsity Boy’s Coach

AJ began rowing at the Newport Aquatic Center in 2005 under the leadership of Nick D’ Antoni. During his four year junior rowing career, Aj and his team captured a series of National titles- the first in the programs history. AJ also traveled to the Junior World Championships and placed 4th in the pair and put the Newport Aquatic Center on the map as one of the premiere rowing programs in the Nation.
After graduating from high school, AJ took his talents to the University of Washington where he continued to be successful. At UW, AJ won four Pac 12 Championships, four National Championships, and a Henley Championship. AJ managed to race an undefeated career between 2008-2013.
After graduating from UW, AJ has changed gears. He left the oar in the boat and has taken a seat behind the megaphone where he plans to continue his success back where it all started. AJ is also the Head Varsity coach at the University of California, Irvine.



Steve Dani

Head Varsity Girl’s Coach         

steve_dani-2016Steve Dani began his coaching career in junior coaching, leading 15 crews to the Youth National Championships and taking home 8 medals – including gold in the W8+ in 2006. Steve was the head coach of the High Performance program at the Pocock Rowing Center. He has been named a senior national team coach in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and an under 23 coach in 2014.   Steve coached the LW4x to bronze medals in 2009 and 2011, as well as a silver medal in 2013 at FISA World Championships. Steve also tried his hand at college coaching – most recently coaching at Cornell University and University of San Diego. Steve is very excited to return to junior coaching.





Madison Lips

Assistant Varsity Girl’s Coach

Maddie began her rowing career in Colorado with Mile High Rowing in high school, and won Youth Nationals in the 1x in 2010. That year, she also won a silver medal at the Junior World Maddie Lips PhotoChampionships in the 8+. Maddie was a four year member of the varsity 8+ and elected captain at Yale, and won a silver medal at the 2013 Ivy League Championships. She was a two-time member of the U23 National Team as the women’s 1x in 2012 and 2013. Most recently, Maddie placed third in the semifinal for the women’s 1x at US Olympic Trials.

In addition to training, Maddie loves coaching! She was head coach for University of Denver Club Rowing in 2014-2015, and was nominated for ACRA Plains Region Women’s Coach of the Year. She also coached juniors at Mile High Rowing in 2014, and has coached masters in Colorado and Vermont. She is thrilled to get back to helping young rowers learn just how strong and powerful they can be!



Eden Broggi

Head Novice Girl’s Coach

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Eden grew up in Vermont and rowed for Wheaton College in Illinois where she studied Kinesiology/Sports Training and Theology. After coaching the freshmen at Wheaton she moved to California and discovered that the water didn’t freeze in the winter, making both rowing and coaching a lot more pleasant. Endless summer and a love of coaching have kept her at the NAC since 2003.  She has placed her Team every year in the Finals and usually on the medals stand at Regional Champs!




Jill Clapp

Assistant Novice Girl’s Coach

Jill Clapp rowed for NAC her junior/novice year going to Nationals in the varsity 8 and her senior year finishing third at Nationals in the Lightweight 4+.  She then went on to row for Loyola Marymount University. Her successes there included being LMU’s first women’s rower to compete for the US National Team U-23 Lightweight 2x, Winning the IRA National Championship in the Ltwt 4+, placing 3rd in the World Indoor Rowing Championships (CRASH-B), and her LMU career culminated with an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award. After college she  continued to row at the US training center and at Pocock training center in Seattle.  Focusing mostly on sculling in doubles and quads.


Pat Gleason

Head Novice Boy’s Coach

Pat Gleason is in his second year at NAC, coming from several successful seasons with the Orange Coast College Crew.  He coached OCC to two ACRA and ECAC National Titles and 17 WIRA Championships over eight seasons.  Pat began his rowing career at Coast and transferred to the University of Washington where he was a National Champion.  As a Husky, Pat competed against the Russian Olympic team that boycotted the 1984 Olympics as well as the British Olympians in the Grand Challenge at Henley.

Pat will draw on his many years of coaching experience as well as his personal athletic accomplishments.  He competed in three World Championships as a Team USA Triathlete and is also a two-time Hawaiian Ironman finisher.  Additionally, Pat has raced marathons in Boston, New York, and several other locations. When he is not coaching this sport that has greatly impacted his life, he can be found running his own successful commercial construction company.  Pat is a licensed General Contractor and has been in business since 1991.
 He currently has his 20-year old son George studying at UCLA  and, his 18-year old son Henry (mountain biking), and his 15-year old son Will rowing at the                                                                         NAC.  Pat and his wife, Gina just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary!

  Marcel Stiffey

Assistant Novice Boy’s Coach

Marcel Stiffey begins his second year coaching the Boy’s Novice Squad. Marcel began his rowing career at Orange Coast College with Pat Gleason as his novice coach. While at Orange Coast College, Marcel won the WIRA championships, and then went on to compete at the IRA National Championships where his crew finished 9th. Post Orange Coast College, Marcel began training with friends and would compete in a club crew called the Little Knights. From there, he was invited to row for the famous Leander Club in the UK. While training at Leander, he was coached by the GB Olympic Coach Mark Banks and Chris Collerton, while training alongside members of the Olympic squad. As an added bonus, he was offered a position to begin coaching at the University of Oxford. While coaching there, he led his lightweights to an early season victory at the head of the Thames regatta. Marcel brings coaching experience from an international perspective as well as having experience coaching at Orange Coast College and with the Long Beach Junior Crew. His enthusiasm and passion for the sport of rowing is what motivates him to give back to the juniors as they reach for their potential. Marcel is happy to help all who come through the program and looks forward to another successful season with your children.


Mijo Rudelj

Assistant Novice Boy’s Coach

Mijo started rowing back in Croatia for his hometown club when he was 11. During his rowing career in Croatia, he was a member of Junior and U23 Croatian National Team. In 2009 Mijo joined the University of Washington Men’s Crew team. During his collegiate career he was the 5 seat of the IRA and PAC 10 winning freshmen boat, a Sophomore 3 seat of the IRA and PAC 10 JV winning boat, and in his junior and senior years Mijo was the 5 seat of the Varsity IRA and PAC 12 winning boat. Mijo has also won Henley Royal Regatta’s Temple Cup in 2010 as a member of UW’s freshmen eight and placed 2nd at the same regatta but in the Grand Challenge Cup in 2013 as a member of UW’s Varsity eight. During his tenure at UW, Mijo was awarded All Pac 12’s Team Award in 2012 and 2013.  This is Mijo’s 3rd year coaching at the NAC and he loves to see the reward that comes from all the dedication and hard work the boys put into their sport.




Billy Whitford                        billy@newportaquaticcenter.com


Pat Rolfes                               pat@newportaquaticcenter.com



Steve Dani                              stevedani@gmail.com

Maddie Lips                           madison.lips@gmail.com


Nick D’Antoni                        nickdantoni@gmail.com

AJ Brooks                               austinjbrooks13@gmail.com


Eden Broggi                           eden.broggi@yahoo.com

Jill Clapp                                 austin.jillian@gmail.com


Pat Gleason                            gleasonfamily@earthlink.net

Marcel Stiffey                         marcel.nacrowing@gmail.com

Mijo Rudelj                             mrudelj@uw.edu

NAC Executive Director: Billy Whitford – Billy@newportaquaticcenter.com

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NAC Hours

Member Hours

Mon - Thurs: 6AM to 8PM
Fri: 6AM to 7PM
Last Boats / SUP's OUT @ 5PM
All Boats / SUP's DUE BACK @ 6PM
Saturday & Sunday: 6AM to 6PM
Last Boats / SUP's OUT @ 4PM
All Boats / SUP's DUE BACK @ 5PM

NAC Holiday Hours

Holiday Hours

  • Open New Year's Eve until 12 noon

  • CLOSED New Year's Day

  • Open the 4th of July till 3pm

  • CLOSED Thanksgiving Day

  • Open Christmas Eve until 12 noon

  • CLOSED Christmas Day

Contact Us

Newport Aquatic Center
1 White Cliffs Dr.

Newport Beach, CA 92660 

Phone: (949) 646-7725

Fax: (949) 646-8398
Any bookkeeping Questions: bookkeeping@newportaquaticcenter.com