Brannon Johnson, a Philadelphia native and current resident, is the head coach and owner of BLJ Community Rowing (@bljcommunityrowing - Instagram), one of the most diverse community rowing programs in the Philadelphia metro area. She has built an extensive resume in rowing, teaching and coaching over the past 15+ years.
At the age of 15 she learned to row at the Fairmount Park Community Rowing Program. Continuing to reign locally on the Schuylkill River, she began to develop as a single sculler under the tutelage of Kay MacDonald. She began her racing career and started to distinguish herself from other athletes which lead to training at Boston University’s elite summer program two consecutive years. She competed in and placed in the Stotesbury Regatta as well as Philadelphia City Championships. Brannon received a full athletic scholarship to attend the University of Texas, where she rowed at the Division 1 varsity level all 4 years. In 2003, Brannon competed as a single sculler in the internationally known Henley Royal Regatta, one of the most prestigious regattas held on the Thames River in England. Brannon currently still rows and competes and is a fixture in the Philadelphia rowing community.
Brannon began teaching rowing classes thru Mt. Airy Learning Tree (MALT) in 2003 and now teaches numerous rowing courses during the spring, summer and fall for Chester County Night School and Main Line School Night. Brannon also teaches an Introduction to Rowing Course for Temple University in the Kinesiology Department. Affectionately called “A boathouse without walls,” BLJ Community Rowing spawned from Brannon’s vision of having a community rowing program available to all. Thus the formation of BLJ Community Rowing, officially incorporated in 2013. The program has since expanded to include course offerings to other community centers and private citizens.