At the end of 2015, the former World Surfski Champion Michelle Eray, left her role as Sprint High-Performance Director at USA Canoe Kayak.
A culmination of reasons led to this change of career path for her. Primarily, wanting to focus her full attention on coaching Maggie Hogan towards a potential Olympic Qualification, she felt that with a full-time job (at that point she was the only staff member on the sprint side of USACK) there was very little time and energy left in the day to coach effectively-"I would hate to look back on it and realize that she had a shot, and we messed it up by not focusing 100% on the goal".
Eray started working with Hogan in the middle of 2014. Hogan began to make excellent progress, winning the 500m K1 event at the US National Sprint Trials in 2015, and going on to be the first US citizen to win a medal at a World Championship in 2 decades at the 2015 Canoe Sprint World Championships in August in Milan.
It was a difficult decision for Eray to leave her job and pursue this new endeavor, and both she and Hogan have made huge sacrifices to give this qualification a shot. Unfunded by the National Governing Body, they have been very fortunate to have the great people at the Newport Aquatic Center provide them with a training base and a fundraiser. Based in Newport/Costa Mesa area, they enjoy the privilege of being on the water with many Olympic paddlers on a daily basis.
Eray has embarked on other exciting projects as well, including MultiCoach, which offers Paddling Workshops, Training Plans and Coaching Education. She has also begun working with the recent analytics technology start up---Motionize.
"I felt that, within my role at the NGB, I could not make as positive an impact as I could with a more hands on approach. Working with Maggie directly and through MultiCoach, I can grow the sport of paddling, from surf ski to kayaking to marathons and sprints. We want to spread the stoke of this awesome sport to as many people as possible!"
If you are interested in getting world class coaching from Eray, you can register here: https://www.facebook.com/MultiCoach1?__mref=message_bubble
Note: Hogan has since qualified to represent America in the Olympics and has recently won Silver at the World Cup.
You can help fund Hogan on her Olympic berth here: https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/3228