Thaddeus Bennett


Thad Bennett joined the Deerfield Rowing Program in the spring of 2018 as a “volunteer coach.”  Having just moved to Conway, he wrote Coach Washburn to see if there was a way he could help the program.  Thad told Coach Washburn, “I want to give back what rowing did for me as a young man. I learned more from rowing than from most of my schooling and I want to help rowers encounter the wonder and challenge of this sport.”

He was a coxswain and rowed at Kent School (1967-1971) and Dartmouth College (1972-1976).  His experience included being on the United States Youth Rowing Team in 1969 (spare cox) and 1970 (cox of the eight) that competed in the World Youth Championships.  He also helped manage the 1974 US Team at Lucerne (gold medal eight) and managed the 1976 US Youth and Lightweight teams at Villach.  Thad was the first Executive Director (1978-79) of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (NAAO), which is now USRowing.  He is also the President Emeritus of the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing, helped with the revitalization of that group and with the funding and building of The Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse in 1986.

In between “rowing gigs” he has served the Episcopal Church for 38 years as a priest in Connecticut, California and Vermont.  He “retired” in 2010 and moved to Conway in 2017.  He remembers that his high school coach taught him “Rowing isn’t a sport; it is a way of life” and he is sure that God rows.


This coach is not currently assigned to any teams.


Frequently Asked Questions

Deerfield students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and try new experiences. If a student wishes to play a new sport, then he/she can participate in tryouts along with the other athletes, and will be placed according to their skill level. Most sports at Deerfield have multiple teams, so those new to a particular sport will usually have the opportunity to play at an appropriate level. Beginners should be sure to notify the coach if they require guidance in navigating a new sport.

Students are required to participate in a co-corricular each term. “Co-curriculars” do not necessarily have to be an interscholastic sport. Other options include community service, dance, theater, recreational sports, or even managing a sport. Additionally, students with talents in certain areas such as the arts may apply for a co-curricular exemption, in which they pursue their talent under the guidance of a Deerfield faculty member. Freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to participate in at least two terms of interscholastic athletics per year.

Varsity candidates will typically have preseason tryouts before school begins, and therefore should plan on arriving three or more days early. Coaches notify candidates during the summer if they should arrive early, and arrival dates are posted on the Deerfield Academy calendar.

Deerfield does provide laundry services for athletic clothing. Students should be aware that due to turnaround time they may want to have multiple sets of clothing to avoid any problems.

Each sport holds tryouts at the beginning of the season to determine appropriate placement for students trying out. Deerfield does its best to put all of its students in the position to succeed and grow as athletes, and these efforts are reflected in the composition of its teams.

All students, faculty, and staff can seek help from Deerfield’s skilled athletic training staff regardless of their involvement in Deerfield athletics.

Certain equipment, including game uniforms and practice clothing, is provided by the Athletic Stockroom. Some non-clothing items are also available for loan upon request, or available to purchase through the Athletic Store. Because each sport has varying equipment needs, students should be in touch with their coach or the stockroom staff when they arrive on campus. If students need to purchase athletic equipment or clothing not found in the Athletic Store or stockroom, they can usually find it at any one of several local retail stores.

Recreational sports are typically open to juniors and seniors as a co-curricular option, but some may allow underclassmen to participate with the coach’s permission.

The athletic facilities, including the gym, pool, tennis courts, and squash courts, are open to all students, faculty, and staff during their hours of operation. At the beginning of the year all students participate in an orientation that walks them through proper use of the fitness center, and all new students take a required swim test before they can use the pool. Hours for athletic facilities are posted online.

Contact Athletics

Office West Gym
Mail PO Box 36
Deerfield, MA 01342