Courtesy/Ventnor City

ATLANTIC CITY – Stockton Athletics will host a Rowing & Growing with the Ospreys fundraiser 7 p.m. March 8 in the Fannie Lou Hamer Event Room at the Stockton University Atlantic City campus. Rowing icon Stan Bergman will be the guest of honor and the evening will include a strolling cocktail reception, auctions, a 50/50 raffle and entertainment by Stockton students.

Bergman, who is chief of the Ventnor City Beach Patrol, is a legend in rowing circles. His distinguished career includes coaching stints of 22 years at the University of Pennsylvania and 20 years at Holy Spirit High School. He coached five U.S. Olympians and received four Coach of the Year awards from the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges while at Penn.

Bergman’s teams at Holy Spirit won the Henley Royal Regatta in England four times and 18 boats won national scholastic championships under his direction.

Although he did not row when he was a student at Atlantic City High School, Bergman started rowing when Margate Dr. John Holland started the Viking Rowing Club in Ventnor.

The Rowing & Growing fundraiser also will serve as a welcome to new Stockton head rowing coach John Bancheri, who assumed his role as university’s first full-time rowing coach in January. Bancheri is an Atlantic City native who returns to South Jersey with 35 years of coaching experience.

“I am delighted to welcome John back to Atlantic City and South Jersey.” Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman said. “His record and reputation are impressive and will help attract competitive rowers to Stockton. We look forward to cheering them on for many successful seasons.”

Bancheri is a four-time American Collegiate Rowing Association Coach of the Year and 2002 Dad Vail Men’s Coach of the Year who has coached two U.S. Olympians and led two teams to points titles at the Dad Vail Regatta. Prior to his arrival at Stockton, Bancheri coached at Grand Valley State (MI), Marietta College (OH), Witchita State (KS) and the University of Charleston, (WV), his alma mater.

After graduating from Atlantic City High School, Bancheri attended the University of Charleston, earning a bachelor’s degree in history in 1983. He later was inducted into the Golden Eagle Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 for his success as a coach at Charleston. Bancheri obtained his master’s degree from Marietta in 2003 with an emphasis in liberal learning and coaching.

“I am beyond excited to come home and be part of the growth and success of the University and help Stockton build a rowing power,” Bancheri said. “Everything that I’ve done in my career has prepared me for this role and I really believe that we have an opportunity to do great things at Stockton.”

Proceeds from the event will help grow the Stockton rowing program, which is comprised of an NCAA Division III women’s team and men’s club team. The NCAA does not sponsor men’s rowing as an intercollegiate sport.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 and a variety of sponsorship options also are available.To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit www.stockton.edu/rowingevent.