Executive Director & Head Varsity Boys Coach

Sean O'Brien

Sean graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2000. During high school he spent most of his time as a coxswain, and became the men's team captain during his senior year. 

Sean attended the University at Albany, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2004. During his time at college he returned to Shenendehowa as an Assistant Coach. spending time with all crews - boys and girls, from Mods up to Varsity. He then  coached the Schenectady youth rowing program as Head Coach (both Men and Women).  

Sean returned to Shen in the Spring of 2009 to coach the freshman girls. This eventually lead to becoming the Boys Varsity Coach in the fall of 2010 and has been coaching that squad ever since. Sean has been able to build a successful boys program with victories in 2017 at Stotesbury Cup and Scholastic Nationals, and looks to continue to build upon that success. 

Sean also serves as Executive Director of the entire Shen Crew program using his crew and coaching expertise to build on the mission, vision, and values of the Shen Crew club.

Contact:   SeanOBrien@shencrewadmin.com

Varsity Girls coach

Dave Bender

Dave is joining the Shen Crew coaching staff as of the Spring 2018 season and going forward.

Growing up rowing, swimming, and diving his collegiate athletic years were spent as a Division 1 springboard and platform diver for Southern Methodist University. 

His post-grad years led him back to rowing at Argonaut RC (in Toronto) and then to Aqueduct Boat Club with whom he continues to compete. Professionally, once moving back stateside he coached the varsity boys program at Niskayuna for 3 years before going on to open Contemporary Athlete in 2012 a highly successful sport-specific training facility in Clifton Park. Dave holds a number of certifications as a coach and trainer.

When he isn’t empowering others to become their best, Dave can be found outdoors enjoying all that is offered there, generally spending time hiking the high peaks or engaged in other training or mentorship endeavors. Off the water his resume includes multiple marathons, both traditional and ultra distances, numerous trail races.

Contact:  DaveBender@shencrewadmin.com

Head Modified Coach

Dave Clayman

Coach Dave Clayman has joined Shen rowing to lead the Modified program. Coach Dave was the head coach at SGS Rowing.  Prior to coaching at SGS, Coach Dave coached at Schenectady, Niskayuna, and Aqueduct Rowing. He has 20 years of coaching and 40 years of rowing experience going back to the days of wooden boats and wooden oars.  Coach Dave continues to row his single and club boats with Aqueduct Rowing Club. Coach Dave is a retired Mechanical Engineer.

Contact:  DaveClayman@shencrewadmin.com

Assistant Modified Coach

Sarah Wells

Sarah graduated from Schenectady High School in 2009 and is currently taking a year off after attending Schenectady County Community College pursuing a degree in Human Resources.

Sarah rowed with Schenectady Rowing Club from 2004 to 2009, attending two high intensity training camps, one in her sophomore year, the second as a junior. Also, during her junior year her 4+ finished with a bronze medal in the New York State Championships. She continued to row in college while coaching for SGS Rowing Club.

Contact:  SarahWells@shencrewadmin.com

Assistant Coaches


Danielle Duguid (Girls' Freshman & Varsity - Assistant)


Lindsay Blake (Modified Program - Assistant)


Maria Shorkey (Modified Program - Assistant)