Franks and Robb join the La Salle rowing team as assistant coaches
Rowing for men | September 7, 2021
PHILADELPHIA – Jeff Garbutt, chief rowing coach at La Salle University, has announced the addition of a pair of All-Americans to its coaching staff. Kelsey Franks and Olivia Robb will begin their tenures with the Explorer Rowing Programs this fall.
As a four-year member of Temple’s rowing program for women, Franks was a second-team All American in 2016. Franks was the helmsman for Uni-Eight every four years and helped her crew win two American Athletic Conference Boat of the Week Awards. While at Temple, she was also a member of the Vesper Boat Club and worked as a helmsman with the entire U-23 women’s heavyweight program.
“Kelsey is a great addition to our people,” said Garbutt. “She brings valuable experience as a helmsman on the Schuylkill, and her experience as head coach benefits our student athletes.”
A standout student who completed her Bachelor’s degree in English with a Criminal Justice Minor in 2016 was also a multi-year fellow from the College Rowing Coaches Association. Since graduating from Temple, Franks served as the rowing head coach at Tampa Preparatory School in Florida for two years before moving to the role of rowing director from 2018-21.
“I’m very excited to be joining such a monumental and historic rowing institution in La Salle,” said Franks. “Coach Garbutt has already lit a fire to usher in this new era of La Salle rowing and I am excited to be helping to bring my rowing knowledge back to my home course on the Schuylkill River. Big things are on the horizon for this program . ” , both on the local Philly rowing scene and nationally. “
Robb was a two-time All-American at Washington College, where she served as the first college helmsman from 2016-2020. The Shorewomen have won three NCAA DIvision III Women’s Rowing Championships (2017-19) in a row.
“I’m very happy to have Olivia on our team,” said Garbutt. “Her experience as an athlete with the NCAAs and as a trainer will be an asset as we continue to grow as a program.”
After her senior year, Robb won Washington College’s Senior Athletic Award, the highest honor a student athlete can receive. A native of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was a team captain for two years and graduated with double degrees in psychology and sociology. Robb was the beginner coach at Unionville High School before arriving in La Salle.
“I am excited to have this opportunity to become part of the Explorer family,” said Robb. “I am delighted to be working under the direction of Coach Garbutt and working with Kelsey Franks to support the team both on and off the water.
The fall season begins for the Explorers in October with the Navy Day Regatta.