Phillip Brunner, a former Notre Dame oarsman and head coach with Ivy League experience, re-joined the Yale Heavyweight Crew Staff as an assistant coach in July of 2018.
Brunner, who was on Steve Gladstone’s staff in 2014-15, spent the last three years as an assistant coach at Princeton. His first year saw the Tigers win medals at every 2016 IRA championship final, including gold in the 3V and silver in both the 2V and V4. That year, the Tigers also won medals in the top four races at Eastern Sprints.
Princeton won the 2016 Rowe Cup (team points) title at Sprints and finished second in the IRA team points race, its best team finish at nationals since 2005. In 2017 and 2018, Princeton then finished second to Yale in the Rowe Cup standings. Brunner coached boats to medals at every Eastern Sprints from 2016-2018 and his V4 followed up 2016’s IRA silver with bronze in 2017 before the grand final was canceled due to adverse weather in 2018. In addition to his role with the Princeton heavyweights, Brunner served as head coach of the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association from 2015-2017.
When Brunner coached Yale’s fourth varsity boat in 2015, the Elis went to the Sprints Grand Final. That year, he assisted in all aspects of the program, helping the Bulldogs win their first Sprints gold since 1982 before capturing the Ladies Challenge Plate at Henley.
Prior to his time at Yale, Brunner coached at his alma mater, Notre Dame, for three seasons, including two as head coach (2012-14). He guided the 2014 Fighting Irish to grand finals in five of six events at the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships. He also spent summers working with both the New York and Pennsylvania Athletic Clubs.
Brunner rowed at Notre Dame, where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in History. He earned a place in the Notre Dame Glynn Family Honors Program.