WAHS Remembers Coach Myriam Pitts


Grace Berigan, Staff Writer

Myriam Pitts passed away on Monday, November 7, after struggling with both breast and bone cancer. After being a world language teacher, she founded the Western Albemarle Rowing Team in 2007. Her devotion to the rowing team never faltered throughout her battle with cancer, and the team was extremely important to her.

“During the chemo, Ms. Pitts still coached as much as she could. She always worked really hard for the team,” said Western rower Carrie Smith. “She was always careful about her health, but she was always there and the team was always really important to her. It was all terribly sad, but also inspiring in a way, because Ms. Pitts gave all that she could.” Smith said. “Her cancer became a thing that everyone knew about. We always knew that she worked really hard and put a lot of effort into the team. Ms. Pitts always had the most positive attitude and encouraged you to do your best.”

“Inspiring is the perfect word to describe her,” said Maggie Vidal, another rower for the team. “She was sick for a very long time, and her treatments lasted really long as well. Even after having cancer twice, she managed to stay positive, she even joked about it sometimes. I remember when we complained about our hard pieces, she would say something like, ‘Hah. You think that’s hard?’”

After working for international embassies and as a flight attendant, Myriam Pitts moved to D.C. and married John Pitts. Coach Pitts was a prominent member in the community and at Western, and her struggle with cancer never affected her passion for coaching and Western.