Our Staff


Unlike many similar institutions, Florida Rowing Center has gone to great lengths to create a program of cohesive and principle driven coaching.

Each of our coaches bring their own individual experience and perspective to their coaching but also coach from a principle driven methodology which creates a unique and very effective environment for advancement for a wide variety of skill levels.



Gordon Hamilton - Chief Coach

With FRC since 2006, Gordon has more than three decades of university, national, and international coaching experience. His leadership coupled with his concise, invovative and principle driven approach to coaching has created a unified and cohesive program of instruction at FRC. 

His university coaching has included MIT Varisty Heavyweight coach for 20 years, Williams College, and University of Virginia. He has coached US women’s sweep and sculling national teams at the World Championships, Goodwill Games, and World University Games, in addition to international crews from Peru (World Championships and Pan American Games), Puerto Rico (Central American and Caribbean Games), and Brazil (Olympic Trials). Gordon is regularly a guest coach at Cambridge University Women’s Crew (England), Open Water Rowing Club (CA), Craftsbury Sculling Center (VT), and has coached at both Cambridge Boat Club and Riverside Boat Club in Cambridge Ma.. Gordon was educated at Columbia University and Cambridge University—where he rowed for 1st & 3rd Trinity. He is currently chief coach at the Florida Rowing Center and an independent sculling coach. Gordon has a son, Russell and lives in Belmont, Ma. and Wellington, Fl..

Sculling in a nutshell coverGordon Hamilton is the author of
Sculling in a Nutshell:
A polemic guide to making your boat go faster

Available on Amazon.com

Harvey Rubenstein - Coach

Harvey learned to row at Wayne State in Detroit and went on to represent the United States in the 1962 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland in the men’s 4+ event.

He also represented the U.S. in the 1961 and 1965 Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv. Harvey recently retired from a 40-year career in teaching and coaching a high school rowing team in Michigan. He and his wife have now made south Florida their permanent home. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cindy Shirts - Coach

Cindy began at age 7 as a synchronized swimmer and competitive swimmer continuing into college. She coached swimming for over 10 years, traveling to the Olympic training center every year to work with top coaches and athletes focusing on biomechanics.

Cindy joined the Florida Rowing Center staff in 2014 and applied her medical background and biomechanics knowledge to rowing. Cindy continues to row, training and competing at local regattas. 

When not at the Florida Rowing Center, Cindy is a competitive sailor racing Sonars. She also helps transport sailboats and has made 2 crossings from Hawaii to California. 

Cindy lives in Coeur d'Alene Idaho near her children and 8 grandchildren.

Doug Cody - Coach

Doug is a USRowing Level 2 coach who came to FRC in 2016.

A former EMT, his background and interests in the biomechanics of sculling and the prevention of repetitive motion injuries make him an excellent fit for FRC. When not at FRC, he coaches masters and juniors at the North Palm Beach Rowing Club. At NPBRC he has developed scores of enthusiastic and skilled young scullers, many of whom have had success at the national level.