Meet the coaches

Houston Heat would not be the team it is today without the hard work and dedication of its coaches. They spend countless hours reviewing videos, going over seating charts and discussing racing strategies.

All the time and effort they put into the team is sometimes lost in the frenzy that is dragon boat racing but their leadership is the key to our victory. They are the heart and soul of our team. Learn more about our awesome coaches by scrolling further down the page.


Coach Jackson has had a passion for paddling since 2013 when he joined the Houston Heat. He has since competed in the Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race across the Panama Canal, the MR340 race down the Missouri River, the Chattajack31, and in Gainesville, Georgia as a member of the 2018 ICF US National Dragon Boat Team. Most recently he competed as part of Team USA in the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Thailand. His current goal as Head Coach is to get Houston Heat to the Club Crew World Championships 2022 in Sarasota, Florida and continue to train to make Team USA again for Hong Kong in 2021.

During his free time, he continues to find ways to motivate and improve the team.

Coach Jeff has been a loyal and proud Houston Heat member since he first stepped onto a dragon boat in 2007. With his prior racing experiences, he quickly rose to the coaching position in 2008. From 2009 to 2018, he proudly served as head coach, taking the team to new levels. His natural leadership abilities and encouraging coaching style put the paddlers at ease before a race. With an emphasize on teamwork as the key to success, Coach Jeff often sacrifices his own love for paddling by steering during a race to help the team focus and come together when it’s crunch time.

For 2019, he has executed an even more leadership role by stepping down and letting the next generation take control. But fear not, Coach Jeff will still be around, coaching and taking care of the things that keep the club running smoothly.

Coach Albert has the noted distinction of being both a coach and the President of the Houston Heat Dragon Boat Club.  Having picked up a paddle for the Houston races since 2000, he jumped on board and became one of the founding members of Houston Heat. An active sports enthusiast — from tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, skiing, you name it — Coach Albert claims dragon boating has brought him the greatest enjoyment.    Underneath the calm and “zen master” demeanor lurks a fierce competitor who has a constant drive for improvement in and out of the water.

Coach Albert also finds assisting Blind Fury, a dragon boat team consisting of visually impaired paddlers, especially rewarding and fulfilling.

Since 2010, Assistant Coach Joel has been a cornerstone of the Houston Heat family, propelling his love for dragon boat racing to unprecedented heights. What started as a yearning for a team sports experience, after years dedicated to individual pursuits like marathons, trail races, and triathlons, has evolved into an extraordinary journey marked by shared victories and global camaraderie. His commitment to endurance sports seamlessly resonates with the team’s vibrant energy.

A humble representative of the Stars and Stripes, Joel has had the honor of being a three-time member of the USA National Dragon Boat Team, where he strives to showcase the Gulf Coast spirit on the international stage. Additionally, Joel was a member of the first-ever USA National Dragon Boat Paradragons Team as a support paddler, adding a unique and inspiring dimension to his paddling odyssey. Paddling across the Panama Canal with teammates during the Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race stands as another cherished highlight.

As the spirit of adventure transcends seasons, Joel answers the mountains’ call beyond the paddling racing calendar. Beyond relishing in hiking and backpacking, his enthusiasm extends to mastering snowboarding, ice climbing, and technical mountain climbing on a global scale. He’s even successfully rallied teammates for a shared adventure, tackling the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike.

Christi started her dragon boat journey in 2006 as a festival paddler. After paddling in festivals for a couple of years, she eventually joined Houston Heat in 2011. With her experience, she was selected to join HH coaching staff in 2023. Outside of Houston Heat, she was a member of the 2018 ICF US National Dragon Boat Team and Lone Star Dragons.

On land, Christi can be found rock climbing, working out at a studio or clipping plants for her garden.