Coaches & Captains

Gil Birney


Coach Birney

Head coach Gil Birney has instructed at Bowdoin since 1995 and is USRA Level 3 certified. He rowed at Williams College from 1968 to 1972 where he was captain his senior year. Before coming to Bowdoin, he was assistant coach at Williams from 1972-1973, assistant coach at Brooks School in 1978, and girl’s coach at St. Paul’s School from 1980-1983. At the Dad Vail Regatta in 2008 Coach Birney was presented with the Matt Ledwith Award as Coach of The Year. In the last 8 years Bowdoin crews have won 6 gold, 5 silver and a bronze at the Dad Vail, the largest intercollegiate regatta in the country.

He can be contacted by phone at (207) 829-6256 or by email at

Doug Welling


Coach Welling

Doug has a broad background in sport; from equestrian, traditional team sports, and snowboarding in youth, to four years of collegiate rowing while attending Bates College in Maine, and the University of Otago, New Zealand. Post-college, Doug coached rowing at Middlebury College and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Doug joined the Bowdoin Polar Bear community when he met his wife, former Asst. Rowing Coach at Bowdoin. His crews have medaled at the New England Fours and WIRA Championship regattas with individuals going on to compete at an international level.

Personally, Doug still loves to train and compete in the sport of triathlon. He has raced extensively, qualifying for numerous World Championship events, including the Ironman World Championships in Kona. He also operates a multisport coaching company, The Sustainable Athlete, based in Maine.

Doug loves all things out of doors especially when shared with his family; wife Hannah and two children.

He can be contacted at


2015-2016 Captains

Sophie Bérubé ’16 –

Greg Piccirillo ’17 –

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