Gretchen Abell, Head Varsity Coach, started her tenure as Head Rowing Coach at Visitation in 2002. Four years later, the Cubs found themselves National Capital Area Champions and she was honored with being voted All-Met Coach of the Year. The Cubs repeated the following year as champions and secured the coveted Team Championship at Virginia State’s in 2010. Gretchen began rowing, well coxing, in Oakland, California at the Oakland Strokes. She went on to Boston University, winning the IRA her 4th and final season. She was an Assistant Coach at Boston University, and then coached at MIT for 2 years before moving to the DMV! It is here she found the willing and quite able women of Visitation and has never looked back. In the off-season, she enjoys being a coxswain at the Capital Rowing Club on the Anacostia River. During daylight, Gretchen is the Site Director of the National Counseling Group in Virginia.
Kelley O’Connell, Assistant Varsity Coach, joined the Visitation coaching staff in 2006. After moving from Colorado to DC for a job on Capitol Hill, Kelley learned to row on the Anacostia River at Capital Rowing Club (CRC) in 1999 and has since immersed herself into the sport. She rows with CRC’s competitive masters sweep team and has served as CRC President (2009-2012), VP Membership, Race Coordinator, Trailer Driver, and Regatta Director. Off the water, she works in Global Policy at the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.
Gabby Bilotta ’10 joined the Visitation coaching staff in 2015 and became the Freshman/Novice Head Coach in 2016. She was a coxswain during her four years at Visitation, continued her coxing career at Bates College, becoming a two-time Pocock All-American and Captain of the women’s team for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Gabby coxed the Bates Women’s 2V8+ (2011) and 1V8+ (2012-2014) in four appearances at the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship (three Silver team finishes and one Bronze). She also captured four consecutive Silver-medal finishes at the New England Rowing Championship (NERC), and three Silver medals at the ECAC Championship – winning Gold at the ECAC in the WV8+ in 2014. She also holds two top-five finishes at the Head of the Charles Regatta (2nd in 2012 and 5th in 2014). Prior to coaching for Visitation, she has coached for Capital Rowing Club.
Megan Silk ’07 , Assistant Freshman/Novice Coach, joined the Visitation coaching staff in 2011. She discovered and fell in love with the sport of rowing during her Freshman year at Visitation and continued to row all four years. After graduating, she went on to row at Temple University for another three years. Off the water, Megan is pursuing a second degree in nursing at Montgomery College.