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Northeastern's coaching history

Ernie Arlett

1964 - 1977


The program’s first Head Coach, he was the architect of the Cinderella Squad, and brought Northeastern both national and international acclaim. His crews burst onto the rowing scene when they swept the 1965 Dad Vail Regatta in the program’s inaugural season. That year the crew was invited to the IRA Regatta and made their first trip to the Henley Royal Regatta. The following year, Northeastern was invited to join the Eastern Sprints where it won the Varsity race in 1972 and 1973. His crews won countless medals at the Eastern Sprints and IRA Regatta over the years. Several of his athletes went on to represent their countries and win medals at the Olympics and World Championships.

Also known as “The Father of the Head of the Charles,” the world famous regatta was his brainchild, which has since grown to the world’s largest rowing event.

He was appointed the United States Olympic Coach of Sculling for the 1976 Summer Olympics, where incidentally, three of his athletes competed.

Prior to coaching, in World War II he was trapped, along with a half-million soldiers on the beaches of Dunkirk. He commandeered a boat and rowed fellow "Tommies" to waiting destroyers during the famous evacuation.

He was inducted in to the Northeastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976

In his honor, the Arlett Cup is awarded to the winner of the annual Northeastern-BU race.

Ernie passed away on February 11, 1997 in Atlanta, GA

Buzz Congram

1977 - 2001


As the program’s second Head Coach, not only did he pick up where his predecessor left off, he accelerated the development of the program to the next level.

Congram’s crews performed at the top of the collegiate world, winning the IRA Regatta in 1988 and 1991, winning the Eastern Sprints in 1996 and competing for the national championship in 1988 (2nd place) , 1989 (3rd place), 1991 (2nd place)  and 1995 (3rd place). His crews also won countless medals at the Eastern Sprints and IRA Regattas over the years.

In 1990, the completion of a multi-year project, which he led, to build a permanent home for Northeastern Rowing was realized with the dedication of Henderson Boathouse.

Just like his predecessor, several of his athletes went on to represent their countries and win medals at the Olympics and World Championships.

He also found success on the international coaching scene. In 1976 his U.S. men's lightweight eight won a bronze medal at the Wold Championships. In 1983 his women's four won the silver and in 1993 and 1994 he was an assistant coach for Team USA.

He was inducted in to the Northeastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

In his honor, the Congram Cup is awarded to the winner of the annual Northeastern-Wisconsin race.

John Pojednic

2001 - 2021

As an NU assistant Men’s Rowing coach from 1999-2000, John was selected to lead the Huskies program as the third head coach when Buzz Congram retired in 2001. With the inspiration of the three successful prior head coaches, John continued Northeastern’s tradition of excellence and competitive success at the highest levels of intercollegiate rowing through his 20 years as Head Coach. John recognized a key element of a Northeastern oarsmen was the determined nature to succeed that comes from the character of the coop program that defines NU and he tapped into that character for find success over his tenure as head coach.


During his tenure, his crews won countless medals at the Eastern Sprints and IRA Regatta. At the Eastern Sprints, his varsity crews reached the podium 4 times (1 silver & 3 bronze)


Twelve of those Husky oarsmen competed at the FISA U-23 World Championship and five earned places on FISA World Championship Teams. Most notably, Marshall Godschalk ’07 (2008), Chris Jarvis ’03 (2004), Will Miller ’07 (2012), and Dan Walsh ’02 (2004, 2008) have distinguished themselves at the highest level of their sport by competing at the Olympic Games. Walsh, a former assistant on Pojednic’s staff, won a bronze medal for the United States in the Men’s 8+ at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Equally as impressive during John’s tenure was the performance of the student-athletes in the classroom. In the last five seasons of his coaching, 29 members of Pojednic’s Northeastern team were named to the IRA All-Academic team, including nine in 2016 alone.

As an undergraduate, Pojednic was a member of the lightweight rowing team at Boston College. After graduation, Pojednic coached at Boston College and Riverside Boat Club prior to his arrival on Huntington Avenue.


Justin Jones

2021 - 2022

Justin Jones '15 was promoted to Head Coach of the Northeastern men's rowing team following the 2021 season. As the Interim Head Coach from February through June, he led the team to a program-high fourth place team finish at the IRA National Championships and a 14-2 record between all crews through the regular season, including sweeps of the University of Wisconsin, Brown University and Boston University. Jones also hosted the United States Under-23 Selection Camp at Northeastern’s Henderson Boathouse in the summer of 2021 and helped lead the U.S. team to a silver medal in the Men’s 8+ and a bronze medal in the Men’s 4+ at the U23 World Championships.


Prior to taking over as Head Coach, Jones served as Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach at his alma mater. A four-year letter winner at Northeastern from 2011 to 2014, Jones captained the Huskies for two seasons before joining the coaching ranks at his alma mater.


As a student-athlete at Northeastern, Jones stroked the varsity eight to a fourth place finish at the IRA National Championships as well as a second place finish and record setting performance in the Henley Ladies’ Plate final at the 164th Henley Royal Regatta. At Henley, the race proved a remarkable one, if bittersweet, for the Huskies. The Northeastern eight cruised past Fawley — the three-quarter mile mark — in 2:55, a time that set a new event record. The Huskies' overall race time bested the nearly-two-decades-old Ladies' Plate record by nearly four seconds.


During his time at Henderson Boathouse, Jones medaled twice at the Eastern Sprints, stroking the Freshman 8+ and then the Varsity 8+ to bronze medal finishes.


Jones brought international experience to his post at Northeastern. He pursued the U.S. National Team for a year after graduation from Northeastern. He was a two-time U.S. Rowing Under-23 National Team member, helping the Americans earn a bronze medal in the 8+ in 2014, topping a fourth place performance with the 4- in 2012. Jones was also a Junior National Team Member and a Junior World Champion in the 8+ in 2010.

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