Interview with Mike Bell


The members of the GV Crew have had a guest coach with us in the launch all week, and the guest is none other than Coach Bancheri’s longtime friend Mike Bell. Mike and Coach Bancheri go back to when Coach B got his very first coaching job 35 years ago with West Virginia University Crew. We asked Mike a few questions about his history with rowing and our illustrious coach.

When asked about his history with rowing, Mike said that his son joined the WVU Crew which was Coach B’s first coaching job. As time passed, Coach B got to know the Bell family very well, being invited to dinner and other family gatherings, and Mike started to drive the boat trailer to and from regattas for the team. Mike said that he loved being around rowing because it gave him a chance to be around his kids more often.

On the topic of his personal relationship with Coach Bancheri, Mike said that Coach is easy to talk to, both on and off of the course. They quickly became dinner buddies, then Mike helped Coach out with a paper he was writing, and Coach even invited Mike to his wedding! Mike said that Coach “taught him how to eat cannolis like a real Italian”.

Mike also said that he is absolutely blown away by how efficient our program is. “Everybody is always busy fixing boats, organizing equipment, or preparing to go on the water. On the water, Coach is all business, and doesn’t hold onto anything that happens out there. I’m also impressed by his level of attention to detail for rowing”.

When asked about any final comments he has about his time with us, he said “I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and I want to thank all of you for welcoming me to your practices. I guess I haven’t knocked Coach out of the launch yet, so that’s good, I guess!”

Coach Bancheri had the following to say about Mike:
Old friends mean more to me than new friends because they know where you are and they know where you’ve been.
Mike and I go back to 1981 when I coached his son as part of my Co Op coaching program at WVU.
Mike it’s been a great week to be with you on the water and our chats off the water. Til next year!


The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club challenges its student-athletes to reach the highest level to which they aspire both academically and athletically, while continuing to build and sustain a nationally competitive intercollegiate rowing program.

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