Head Coach:  Rebecca “Bex” Merusi

Bex Bio Photo

My love of rowing goes back to when I was seven and started whitewater rafting on the Rogue River in southern Oregon.  I was leading commercial trips by fourteen. I spent most of my young life either on the river or in a barn with my horses. In college I studied music performance and education, and held teaching positions at both the high school and university level before graduating in 2005. I was a musician in residence for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for several years. Aside from all things rowing, I am an avid home brewer with several medals from the annual UNYHA (Upstate New York Homebrewer’s Association) competition.

My love of water sports led me to try rowing in January of 2015. Can anyone say love at first blister?! I am absolutely enthralled with this sport! I was asked to take over as head coach of Rochester Boat Club in August of 2015, and completed my US Rowing Level 2 certification in August of 2016.

I love nothing more than watching someone else falling in love with this sport. I love what I do, and I love helping others do it! I am so excited to begin working with Brighton Crew, re-energizing this awesome program, and helping these young athletes achieve their rowing goals.

My coaching philosophy is that every athlete should be given the opportunity to discover what they can accomplish, and that it is my responsibility as head coach to provide them the right environment with sufficient opportunity, challenge, encouragement and support to achieve everything that each athlete is capable of producing.

Assistant Coach:  Vada Coe

Finishing up her last year at the University of Rochester, Vada studies engineering and joins us from Ventura, California.  Whenever home she rows on the 1984 olympic venue, Lake Casitas, among Master’s and collegiate athletes.  She’s been sweeping on the Genesee with the UR Women’s team since her Freshmen year as well as sculling out of GWC.  She volunteers at School 29 through Rochester’s Stem Initiative and is thrilled to be coaching for Brighton.


Assistant Coach:  Anna-Marie Lee

Anna-Marie grew up in a small coastal town in Maine and moved to Rochester for a degree in ASL Interpretation at NTID/RIT.  At RIT, she joined the crew team and coxed for 4 years, both Women’s and Men’s. After graduating in 2013, she coxed with Genesee Waterways for the summer and then joined Rochester Boat Club in 2015.  She is starting her 3rd season with RBC as a coxswain, rower and coach, and is looking forward to working with Brighton Rowing.

Assistant Coach: Danielle Desa

Danielle grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and began rowing in 2012. She was a sweep rower for Creighton University and has sculled and coxed for Omaha Rowing Association. Danielle moved to Rochester in 2016 to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at UR. She continues to race Master’s in Rochester and is excited to start her second season coaching Brighton Crew.