Coaches and Staff
Head Coach / Girl's Coach: Tristan Salvadori
Coach Tristan began his rowing career in high school, here at WYRA as a coxswain. This is where he fell in love with the sport. After 4 years with WYRA, Tristan moved on to University of Delaware where he continued his career as a coxswain. In 2014 Tristan returned to WYRA as the novice men’s coach. As the novice coach he found success earning medals at almost every regatta including gold at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals with his novice men’s 8+. When he became the varsity men’s coach he continued his, and WYRA’s, success by elevating each boat's skill level. The varsity men became regionally known as one of the tougher teams. In his two years with the varsity men he sent 4 boats to nationals, where WYRA’s men achieved their best finish in over 10 years. He now has expanded his coaching by working with the varsity girls. Tristan hopes to build on his success and bring his knowledge to our program, and in turn, strives for even stronger results in the future.
Boy's Coach: Mike Hall
Mike began his rowing career in 1988 at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill, PA. He was coached by Dave Krmpotich who was a silver medalist in Seoul Olympics in 1988. In his four years at Bonner, Mike brought home many medals but most notably won a bronze and silver in the Nationals as part of the Varsity Lightweight 8, took first place in the Head of the Schuylkill in the V8, and placed 2nd at the Head of the Charles in the V8.
Mike continued his career with Drexel University where he was recruited for the Varsity Lightweight program. As a freshman in the Varsity Lightweight 8 he took first in the Kerr Cup and 4th in the Dad Vail Regatta just falling short by a bow ball to Georgia Tech. His rowing career was cut short after his short-lived sophomore season due to a surgery.
After Drexel Mike stayed connected with the rowing community off and on with the Alumni of both Bonner and Drexel. He began to row competitively again in 2014 for the Drexel University Alumni competitive program until 2019. During the 5 years as part of the program he rowed in the Alumni 8 with a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the Head of the Schuylkill and another 2nd and 3rd place finish at the King’s Head Regatta.
In 2022 Mike found an opportunity with WYRA to give back to the rowing community what it had given to him over the years. He has helped build the Men’s program with WYRA since coming aboard. In addition to coaching for WYRA, he has also been the Director of the Head of the Christina (2022 & 2023).
Boy's Coach: Christophe Mills
Christophe Mills first started coxing in 1998 but officially joined WYRA in the spring of 2004. He left WYRA upon entering high school and from 2005-2009 he competed as a lightweight rower for St Augustine Prep. He also rowed in college for Rutgers University until 2012.
In 2022 he joined WYRA as the men’s assistant coach and is also the sculling coach.
Girl's Coach: Jesse Wakeman
Jesse Wakeman started rowing as a Sophomore in High School for WYRA (then Wilmington Rowing Club, Juniors). After graduating from Salesianum in 1996, Jesse attended Mercyhurst University on a rowing scholarship. While an injury ended his athletic career, the need for a Novice Women’s Coach at Mercyhurst provided him with an opportunity to enter coaching. In 2000, Jesse graduated with a Social Science Education degree. He returned to Delaware to teach and was hired by WYRA to Coach the Varsity and to be the Director of WYRA’s summer Row For It! program for 6 years. As Jesse’s educational career led him into administration for Newark Charter School, he had to back away from WYRA and the world of rowing. Jesse currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer of Newark Charter School. In the Spring of 2021, Jesse rejoined the coaching staff of WYRA when his daughter opted to row out of her Dad’s old boathouse. Jesse is thrilled to be back in the coaching launch where he hopes to help young athletes excel in a sport that has given so much to him. Jesse lives in Newark with his wife, Allison, and daughters, Olivia and Abigail.
WYRA Executive Director: Lou Salvadori
Lou joined the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association in the fall of 2018 after working for a non-profit specializing in the education of youth-at-risk. His work in the non-profit world followed over 20 years’ experience as a Marketing Director in the for-profit sector. This set of skills from the business and non-profit worlds enables him to help lead WYRA in the fulfillment of its mission to serve middle and high school youth. In addition to his experience in the business world, he has been a high school coach in the sports of Lacrosse and Cross Country for over 18 years.
WYRA Bookkeeper/Webmaster: Julie Donohue
As a member of the founding Pizor family, Julie has been a part of WYRA since the beginning. In the early days she was a coxswain’s coach, photographer, t-shirt designer and all around assistant to Faith. After spending a decade overseas in England working as an office manager for an international IT company, living in Maryland where she volunteered with several area nonprofits she currently lives in Sacramento, CA where she recently completed a year of service with AmeriCorps and 916 Ink. Julie brings her passion for nonprofits as they help bring about change to local communities where diversity and inclusion are celebrated and barriers are broken down and removed.
WYRA Operations Manager: Sara Cakebread
Sara joined WYRA in the Fall of 2022 and took over as the go-to person for registration as well as tending to boathouse operations. She also assists with events and communications as well as volunteer coordination for the Head of the Christina.
A rower herself at the Wilmington Rowing Center, Sara was raised in Wilmington and began her career as a marketing communications associate with the DuPont Company. When an opportunity for work on the west coast arose, she jumped at the chance and headed to California to join the Seagram Wine Company. In1995, with two young children at home, she formed Telegraph Communications, a small marketing communications firm serving the wine and hospitality industries. She was called back to Wilmington in 2017 and work with the REACH Riverside community development effort before joining us here at WYRA .