Coaching Staff

Austin Brooks
Austin BrooksHead Coach & Program Director

Austin Brooks | Head Coach & Program Director

Now in his 8th season as the head coach for University of California, Irvine men’s rowing team, Austin has elevated the team in a new era of men’s rowing to create a sustainable culture of success on and off the water.

Austin is a Newport Beach native where he attended Newport Harbor Highschool, and rowed for Newport Aquatic Center. Austin is one of the key oarsmen that generated the success to make Newport Aquatic Center the power house junior program it is today. While serving as the captain his junior and senior year Austin logged two back to back seasons undefeated winning two Nationals in the Men’s Youth 8+. While at Newport Aquatic Center Austin and his pair partner J.P. Hogan represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in Linz Austria capturing a 4th place finish.

Austin then took his talents to the University of Washington where he went undefeated in his collegiate career winning four national championships and holds the current collegiate world record of 5:21.4 over 2000 meters in an eight oared shell. Austin also represented the United States in all Washington coxed four at the U23 World Championships capturing a 6th place finish.

Austin has been determined to bring a tradition of success to Irvine. Over the past six years Austin has re-shaped Irvine rowing producing winning crews along with high quality oarsman that have shown tremendous leadership, and carry the virtues of what being a UCI oarsman is all about.

Michael Sullivan
Michael SullivanWomen's Head Coach

Michael Sullivan | Women’s Head Coach

Mike Sullivan learned to row at UCI in 1971 on what might have been the worst collegiate crew in the country never beating another crew that year.   Bolstered by subsequent recruiting classes,  Mike co-captained that same group of athletes to a close second to top ranked Washington and a top four ranking in the country.   Mike and pair partner  Bruce Ibbetson finished second in the world trials that summer.

Sullivan started coaching in 1977 after a post collegiate rowing career,  coaching UCI freshman team and later varsity over a 7 year period finishing with two WIRA championships and coaching UCI athletes to the 1984 Olympic team.

Mike then moved to Stanford for a 30 year career in Information Technology writing business applications and early web applications for the University and SLAC.   During that time Mike remained invested in the sport of rowing, founding a community program in Lakeport, Ca where he raised his family,  and coaching promising elite scullers out of Redwood City at local clubs and Stanford.  Mike also did short volunteer stints for the varsity and novice women’s and men’s teams over a 20 year period.  

After retiring,  Mike coached Novice Men at UC Davis where the team enjoyed a blossoming of large turnouts for the crew,  and a 5th place finish for the novices at the ACRA club national championships.

Mike started at UCI again in 2020-21,  bringing a fleet of rescued singles for the women’s and men’s team to row through the difficult Covid year.   The scullers were very successful in local scrimmages winning both men’s and women’s races in Southern Cal and Las Vegas.

Coach Sullivan brings two unique perspectives to the sport.  He trained at an elite level in singles and pairs post collegiately but just prior to 76 Olympic trials suffered from atrial fibrillation which ended his racing career.  As disappointing as it was,  Mike recognized the great intrinsic value of the effort to be the very best.   Like few others,  he knows what it takes to be on a very slow team and the work, focus, and trust it takes to be competitive with the very fastest crews.

Grant Coultrup
Grant CoultrupAssistant Coach

Grant Coultrup | Assistant Coach

Coultrup brings experience from three years coaching men’s crew at Orange Coast College. He started rowing in 2013 at Coast Crew and Socal Scullers, later transferring to join Mercyhurst University Rowing. Grant supports the rowing community as a board member of the Friends of Mercyhurst Rowing and as a producer for The Rowing Channel.