Staff
Head Coach
Jane LaRiviere

Under the direction of 17th-year head coach Jane LaRiviere, Washington State University has established a heritage as one of the leading women’s rowing programs in the nation. The second head coach since Washington State rowing became an NCAA varsity team in 1990, LaRiviere led the Cougars to their 12th NCAA Championship appearance in program history last season (2018) and eighth in nine years. In 2002, LaRiviere started the Cougars’ NCAA Championship history by guiding the varsity eight to a 13th-place finish at Indianapolis, Ind.

LaRiviere came to the Palouse after spending eight years at Oregon State University where she served as the recruiting coordinator as well as the women’s freshman and novice coach. While at OSU, LaRiviere guided the Beavers’ novice eight to a 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championship and the varsity four to a second-place finish. In addition, LaRiviere directed the Beavers’ novice eight to respective second and third-place finishes at the Pac-10 Championships in 2000 and 2001 and the varsity four to a second-place effort at the 2001 conference championships.

During LaRiviere’s tenure at Oregon State, the women’s rowing program posted third-place overall finishes at the Pac-10 Championships in 1998, 2001 and 2002. In addition, the Beavers’ varsity eight placed 13th and 15th at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

LaRiviere began her coaching career in 1989 while attending graduate school at the University of Oregon. A native of Alberta, Canada, she went on to coach at the University of Western Ontario and for the London (Ontario) Rowing Club. While in Ontario, she assisted with the Canadian Women’s National Team development camps. During the summer of 2001, LaRiviere was an apprentice national rowing team coach in Canada.

A U.S. Rowing Level III certified coach, LaRiviere earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Calgary (1986), a master’s degree in athletic therapy from Oregon (1990), and her Ph.D. in biomechanics from Oregon State (2002).

Her daughter, Alice Jean LaRiviere, was born in August, 2003.

Note: LaRiviere is pronounced La-riv-e-a.

Assistant Coach
Karl Huhta

Karl Huhta enters his fifth year as a member of the Cougar coaching staff and his second year as the associate head coach. Formerly an intern coach at Washington State from 2008-10, Huhta returned to Pullman four seasons ago after a four-year absence.

In 2017-18, Huhta aided the rest of the coaching staff by getting the team to the 2018 NCAA Championships in Sarasota, Fla. The team placed 14th overall while both the varsity eight and second varsity eight placed 14th in their races. The varsity four placed 11th in their race.

In 2016-17, Huhta was an integral part to the coaching staff that saw the Cougars achieve and maintain status as a top-15 program all season. The season culminated with the Cougars placing 14th at the 2017 NCAA Championships in West Windsor, N.J. With Huhta’s guidance the Cougars went onto their third-straight top-four finish at the Pac-12 Rowing Championships. WSU fought hard to secure 4th place against top ranked talent, beating out No. 10 Virginia, at the Clemson Invitational.

In 2015-16, Huhta took over the recruiting and training of the Cougars’ novice student-athletes. At Gonzaga, the third and fourth varsity eights, consisting of some novice team members, defeated No. 19 Gonzaga by 10 and 7 seconds, respectively. The novices continued their successful run at the San Diego Crew Classic, finishing second in the grand final to No. 9 Texas. The third varsity eight also went on to finish first, second, and third, in three heats at the Clemson Invite, competing against crews that included No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 8 Texas, and No. 10 Michigan. The season came to a close with a defeat of Oregon State, as WSU went on to win a seventh-straight Winchell Cup, and the crew finished third at the Pac-12 Championships, behind only Washington and California.

In 2014-15, Huhta was named the Cougar rowing Coordinator of Operations. WSU rowing placed eighth in the NCAA tournament, matching its second-best finish in school history and best since 2008. The team finished third overall in PAC-12 competition and the coaching staff was named the CRCA West Regional Staff of the Year.

In 2013-14, Huhta was a volunteer assistant women’s rowing coach at California. The Golden Bears were tabbed as the No. 1 team in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll twice in April and went on to place second at the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Prior to his time at California, Huhta spent three seasons as a graduate assistant with the Central Florida women’s rowing team, while completing his master's degree in sport and fitness, with an emphasis in sport leadership and coaching.

While at UCF, Huhta spent two spring seasons coaching the varsity four boats, and one spring season coaching the novice eight crews. He was also the lead recruiter during his final two seasons at UCF.

As an intern coach at WSU, Huhta was a member of the staff that helped lead the Cougars to a 13th-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships at Gold River, Calif.

Huhta was also an assistant coach at the U.S. Rowing National Men's Pre-Elite Camp during the summer of 2011. The camp was held at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Okla. The camp develops athletes for the U.S. under-23 and senior national teams.

Huhta was a four-year member of the Washington State men’s club rowing team from 2004-08. He was elected team commodore his senior year and was named to the 2008 All-Pacific 10 Conference Team. Huhta rowed with the varsity four crew that won the 2008 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Conference Championships, took silver at the 2008 Pacific Coast Rowing Championships (PCRCs) and competed in the 2008 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships. Huhta also rowed with the third-place varsity eight crew at the 2006 WIRA Championships.

Huhta earned his bachelor's degree in sport management with minors in business administration and history from Washington State in 2009, before earning his USRowing Level III Coaching Certification in December 2010.

Assistant Coach/Novice Coach
Brandon Campbell
Assistant Coach
Dave Kempsell

After being a Graduate Assistant for a year, Dave Kempsell was promoted to Washington State Women’s Rowing Assistant Coach in 2018. He helped head coach Jane LaRiviere get the team to 14th overall at the NCAA Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Fla. Both the varsity eight and second varsity eight placed 14th in their races while the varsity four placed 11th.

Kempsell joins Washington State Women’s Rowing as Graduate Assistant after being a volunteer coach through fall 2017. Kempsell previously coached the WSU Women’s Club Rowing team during the 2016-17 season after moving to Pullman from Bedford, England where he had coached at Bedford Modern School.

At Bedford Modern, Kempsell coached his U16 Boys’ four with coxswain to a bronze medal at the 2016 Inter-Regional Regatta, and a fifth place finish at the National Schools’ Regatta. His crews also picked up medals at the Bedford Head, St Neots Head and British Indoor Rowing Championships.

Kempsell started rowing at Brunel University, West London before moving to Star Rowing Club in Bedford. At Star, Kempsell won the Britannia Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, and was a two time winner of the Jackson Trophy at the Head of the River Race. Kempsell also represented England on two occasions, winning the Open Four with Coxswain event at the 2012 Home International Regatta. Kempsell finished his rowing career in 2013 at Leander Club, winning a bronze medal at the 2013 British Championships in the Open Eight.

A 2009 graduate of the University of Bedfordshire with a degree in Sport & Exercise Science, he is currently studying for a master’s in sport management at WSU.

Coordinator of Operations
Amy VanBuskirk

A decorated coxswain at Central Oklahoma, Amy Van Buskirk joins the Washington State rowing staff beginning with the spring 2018 semester, serving as coordinator of operations.

Van Buskirk comes to Pullman after spending two and a half years as a graduate assistant coach for Central Oklahoma where she was an instrumental part of Central Oklahoma’s success. In her two full seasons as a graduate assistant (2016 and 2017), the Bronchos put together back-to-back national runner up team finishes at the NCAA Division II Rowing Championships.

Van Buskirk was a successful walk-on, spending all four year of her collegiate career as a varsity coxswain for Central Oklahoma. While on the team Van Buskirk was named Most Valuable Athlete of 2012, the first coxswain awarded the title.

As an upperclassman, Van Buskirk was a two-year team captain. She was awarded All-America in 2014 and again in 2015, making her the first All-American coxswain in program history while also being the first two-time All-American in the young program’s history.

A 2015 graduate of Central Oklahoma, Van Buskirk received her Master’s degree in Crime and Intelligence Analysis.