Coach Profile: Varsity Crew

Patrick Dent Brings His Energy and Expertise to the Flyers Rowing Team 

Dent talks strategy with Chaminade’s 1V boat before the annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts.

Harrison Voorhees ’26

Patrick Dent of the math department is Chaminade High School’s newest varsity crew head coach. It is his second year teaching and coaching at Chaminade, and he has enjoyed giving back to the sport that he loves.

Dent started rowing when he was a freshman at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. “My parents said I had to join something to be productive,” Dent said, “so I wasn’t allowed to come home right after school.”

Dent gave rowing a shot and never stopped: he went on to row all four years in high school, even traveling to England to compete in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. He was then recruited to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to continue his rowing career.

When Dent was looking for a teaching position, he had a couple of offers but was drawn to Chaminade for several reasons.“Chaminade seemed like the best place for me,” he reflected, “given the atmosphere of an all-boy’s school. I was also very excited about the prospects of the crew team here. I thought the team had a lot of potential.”

Not only is Dent a great rower, but he also is an excellent mathematician. This year he is teaching A.P. Calculus for juniors and A.P. Statistics for seniors. His favorite experience at Chaminade, meanwhile, has been hanging out with the faculty. Dent enjoys being in the teacher’s lounge and joking around, and he appreciates the camaraderie that the school brings.

Dent believes that the greatest contribution he brings to the team is his “new school” way of rowing. He stated, “The way of teaching rowing shifted in the late 90s to early 2000s, so I have new ideas for rowing stroke and technique on the water. They paid off last year and will hopefully continue to pay off this year.”

The rowing team has two official seasons. The fall season goes from August to November, and then everything starts up again in the spring. The Flyers are looking to compete in both the state and national championships. “Since there are not many crew teams on Long Island,” Dent stated, “we have to do a lot of traveling out of state. We have a couple of races in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. We are also really looking forward to the national championship in Tennessee.”

Dent’s biggest coaching success thus far was last year, when Chaminade almost placed a JV boat at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest scholastic regatta in the world. “We had three or four guys,” Dent said, “in their first-ever rowing season. They were able to get in that boat and come within a second of getting a medal. That was really exciting.”

Another success was placing 11th at the national championship last year. On paper, the varsity crew team was not as good as the competition; on race day, however, they showed up. “Outperforming what you are on paper is what sports are all about, and that is exactly what this team did,” Dent said with a smile on his face.

The most interesting observation that Dent made is that almost no one comes into high school with rowing experience. Unlike other school sports, everyone starts with a blank slate— which evens the playing field for athletes.

When asked what it takes to be a good rower, Dent said it is the person who puts in the most meters and practice time, and who works the hardest in their four years of high school. The future looks bright for this Flyers team. Dent predicted that the top boat will be faster than last year’s; the team’s real strength, however, is its depth. The fourth boat, for example, looks as fast as last year’s second boat. “The team looks really good,” Dent confirmed. It should be an exciting year for Flyers crew!