Kristen Negaard O’Brien
A charter member of the Jacksonville Rowing Club, Negaard O’Brien has enjoyed a long career as a competitor and coach. She competed for JU as a student beginning as a freshman in 1977 and went on to win multiple State and Southern Championships throughout her four years including an invitation to the Olympic Trials. O’Brien made the transition to the coaching side and continued to experienced great success wherever she has been. She led the JU women’s program to national prominence during her time as coach from 1987-1989 including earning a bronze metal and went on to serve on the Olympic Rowing Committee helping to select the athletes and coaches for the national teams. Since 2001, O’Brien has been the coach of the non-profit Fitch Crew Club helping to continue growing the sport of rowing by working with area students and adults by teaching them the different mental and physical aspects of the sport.