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Al Acosta
Position: Head Lightweight Coach
Experience: 12 Years

E-Mail Coach Acosta 

Al Acosta coached at Stanford for 13 seasons before leaving in August, 2014 to become the head women's rowing coach at Cal, his alma mater.

Acosta guided the Cardinal Lightweights to four IRA National Championships (2010-13). He was named the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) National Coach of the Year in each the four championship seasons and five times overall. In the last eight years, he has coached 12 different student-athletes to a total of 19 All-America honors.

In 2014, Acosta guided Stanford to a second place finish at the IRA National Championships. He coached two All-Americans in Brittany Presten and Christine Cavallo with Cavallo becoming just the third freshman to be chosen to the All-America team in the eight years of the award. The 2013-14 team won the San Diego Crew Classic, WIRA Championship and Pacific Coast Rowing Championship.

In 2013, he was named CRCA National Coach of the Year and IRA Lightweight Coach of the Year after guiding Stanford to its fourth consecutive national title. He coached three student-athletes, Alex Cours, Jordan Duval-Smith and Liz Fenje, to All-America honors as the seniors closed out their college careers with championships every year they were at Stanford.

Along with winning the IRA National Championship in 2011-12, Acosta and the Cardinal rowers won the Pacific Coast Rowing Championship. Stanford reeled in three more All-America honors with Jordan Duval-Smith, Liz Fenje and Genevieve Tuveson all being named to the team.

In 2010-11, Stanford proved that they weren’t a one-hit wonder as Acosta repeated as National Champions. They also captured the WIRA Championship. Mariel Lanas, Liz Fenje and Gretchen Stumhofer were all named All-Americans. 

Acosta guided the Stanford Lightweights to a history-making season in 2009-10, starting the Cardinal's streak of three straight IRA titles. After winning the Pacific Coast Rowing Championship for a fourth straight season, Acosta's Lightweight Eight advanced to the IRA National Championships and defeated top-ranked Wisconsin to capture the Cardinal's first-ever lightweight rowing national title. Following the season, Acosta was recognized by the College Rowing Coaches' Association (CRCA) as its Lightweight Rowing Coach of the Year. Three of his rowers, Mariel Lanas, Gretchen Stumhofer and Genevieve Tuveson, were named to the CRCA Pocock All-America Team.

In 2008-09, the Lightweights captured their third straight Pacific Coast Rowing Championship and finished third at the IRA National Championships. Sophomores Katherine Heflin and Gretchen Stumhofer were named to the CRCA Pocock Lightweight All-America Team to highlight the team's efforts.

In 2007-08, Acosta's lightweights achieved victory at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival as well as capturing the A.W. Coggeshall Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic for the second year in a row. The lightweights then continued their roll, winning at the Knecht Cup Regatta, repeating as Pacific Coast champions, and finishing the year with a third-place national finish at the IRA Regatta, the program's best-ever finish. For his efforts in guiding the Stanford Lightweights to the best national finish in program history as well as its numerous victories over the course of the season, Acosta was honored by the CRCA as the Lightweight Rowing Coach of the Year.

Prior to coaching at Stanford, Acosta was the head coach at one of the nations top junior clubs, the Oakland Strokes. While with the Strokes, Acosta coached the women's team for three years and the men's team for five years. Under Acosta's leadership, the Oakland Strokes grew from an average membership of 40 athletes to an annual average of 160 juniors. Acosta's crews have won numerous titles and medals. These victories include the San Diego Crew Classic, Opening Day Regatta in Seattle, California State Championships, and the USRowing Youth Invitational (National Championship). Acosta's 1998 Varsity Eight finished the year with a record of 65 wins and 1 loss, including a second place finish at the Youth Invitational.

Acosta served as the head coach and associate head coach at national team development camps for high school boys as well as collegiate women.

He rowed collegiately for Santa Barbara City College before transferring to the University of California at Berkeley. A 1993 graduate of Cal with a bachelor’s degree in Art, Acosta is a member of the Phi Betta Kappa Honor Society. While coaching the Oakland Strokes, Acosta taught in the Alameda Unified School District.

Al, his wife Linda, and their children Annabelle and Henry reside in San Francisco.