Anna Pytlak enters her eighth season with the Gaels and second as head coach in 2015-16.
An invaluable part of the Gaels' success over the past seven years, Pytlak is a two-time recepient of the prestigious Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Assistant Coach of the Year award for the West region. She first earned the honor in 2011, and won it again in 2013.
During Pytlak's tenure, Saint Mary's has finished fourth or better every year at the West Coast Conference Championships. In 2013, the Gaels finished third at the meet, with a third-place finish by the Varsity 8 boat completing a late rally for the Gaels to move into a medal spot.
Part of that success in 2013 came thanks to an offseason training program directed by Pytlak. With tje former head coach away from the program in the winter months, Pytlak directed training efforts and ensured the Gaels were ready to compete when the season began.
During Pytlak's time at SMC, 26 Gaels have earned a Scholar Athlete award from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).
Prior to joining the Gaels, Pytlak served for two season as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami. While completing her master's degree in Sport Administration, Cohen helped the Hurricanes Varsity 4 earn a fourth-place finish at the 2008 ACC Championships.
Pytlak has also coached at Sonoma State, as well as numerous junior and masters rowing programs affiliated with the North Bay Learn To Row program. She has also assisted with the Annapolis Rowing Club Masters program.
As a rower herself, Pytlak walked on at UC Santa Barbara and earned both the team MVP and Most Inspirational award her freshman year. She transferred to Miami, becoming team captain and earning the team leadership award her senior year.
She earned a bronze medal at the 2004 Big East Challenge as part of Miami's 2V8, and won in the V8 at the 2004 Head of the Chattahoochee and the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship. Pitlak's V8 finished fourth at the ACC Championships in 2005.
Pytlak earned her bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology and Biology from Miami in 2005. She is also a certified level 1 U.S. weightlifting sports performance coach.
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