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College Boat Club

College Boat Club
File:Penn Athletics logo.svg
Location #11 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Home water Schuylkill River
Established 1872
Navy admission 1875
Former names College Barge Club
  • Greg Myhr and Ed Golding (Hwt Men)
  • Colin Farrell (Lwt Men)
  • Mike Lane, Cassandra Cunningham and Megan Cotter (Women)
Athletics director Steve Bilsky
University University of Pennsylvania
Conference Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges
Ivy League
Association NCAA Division I (Women only)
Colors Red      and blue     
College Boat Club
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Governing body Local
Part of Boat House Row (#87000821[1])
Added to NRHP February 27, 1987

College Boat Club of the University of Pennsylvania is the rowing program for University of Pennsylvania Rowing, located at #11 Boathouse Row in the historic Boathouse Row of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its membership consists entirely of past and present rowers of the University of Pennsylvania.[2] It hosts both heavyweight and lightweight varsity men's teams and an openweight varsity women's team. The Wharton Crew Team, however, rows out of Bachelors Barge Club at #6 Boathouse Row. College Boat Club was founded in 1872 by the school's students, shortly after the school's campus was relocated from Center City to West Philadelphia.[3] College Boat Club was admitted to the Schuylkill Navy in 1875.[4]


College Boat Club, # 11 Boathouse Row

University Barge Club

The history of rowing at the University of Pennsylvania began in 1854 with the foundation of the University Barge Club.

Founding of College Boat Club

In 1872, University of Pennsylvania ("Penn") students founded the College Barge Club to provide an alternative to the school's first boat club, the University Barge Club, and to focus on preparing students for intercollegiate competitions.[5][6] The Club later changed its name from College Barge Club to College Boat Club.[6]

In the club's first year, it had only 20 members, mostly sophomores from the University's graduating Class of 1875.[6] At first, the Club rowed out of the Quaker City Barge Club.[6] However, College Boat Club grew quickly and was able to build its own boathouse in 1874.[6]

In 1877, sophomores from College Boat Club were victorious against seniors rowing out of University Barge Club.[6] By 1879, the Club was the base for most Penn crews, and members were rowing in intercollegiate competitions.[6] In 1893, College Boat Club opened membership to alumni as well as enrolled students.[6] In 1904, the Club admitted alumni crews as far back as 1899.[6] Currently, membership for alumni is limited to former varsity rowers.[6]


The crews of College Boat Club compete in several regattas throughout the rowing season. The three most competitive regattas are the Eastern Association of Rowing College (EARC) Championship, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championship, and the Henley Royal Regatta. As of 1997, the women's crews compete in the NCAA Division I Rowing Championship instead of the IRAs.[7]

EARC Championship (Eastern Sprints)

The Penn heavyweight men's eight has won the Eastern Sprints six times: 1955, 1962 (tied with Yale), 1986, 1991, 1996, and 1998.[8]

The lightweight men's eight has won 4 times: 1951, 1952, 1955, and 1976.[9]

IRA Championship

Penn, along with Columbia and Cornell, founded the Intercollegiate Rowing Association and competes annually in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship, which is the most competitive race in American collegiate rowing.[10] In 2004, Penn finished fourth in the grand final for the Men's Freshman Four w/Cox[11] and fifth in the Men's Open Four w/Cox grand final.[12]

In 2005, Penn finished third in the Men's Varsity Lightweight Eight[13] and fourth in the Men's Freshman Eight.[14] In 2006, the Men's Freshman Eight finished third.[15]

In 2008, the Men's Open Four qualified for the grand final, but finished sixth.[16] The last time that the Penn won the Ivy League Championship at IRAs was 1992, when Penn tied Dartmouth.[8] Penn has won the Ivy League Championship eight additional times in 1898, 1899, 1900, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, and 1989.[8][17]

Henley Royal Regatta

Penn Crew has competed at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. In 1994, College Boat Club won the Ladies' Challenge Plate.[18][19] In 1991, Penn won the Thames Challenge Cup.[18] In 1955, Penn won the most prestigious of all prizes at Henley, the Grand Challenge Cup.[19] Penn also won the Thames Challenge Cup in 1951 and 1952.[19]

National Collegiate Rowing Championship

The men's team won the National Collegiate Rowing Championship in 1991.

1955 Crew

File:Joe Burk.jpg
Joe Burk, "world’s greatest oarsman," WWII PT boat commander

The 1955 Men's Heavyweight 8, coached by Joe Burk, won at the Henley Regatta, and the crew's speed drew attention and acclaim internationally. One source highlights the accolades as follows:[20]

Everywhere they competed, particularly in Germany, they were referred to as the world's fastest crew, and hence became models for local oarsmen.

To European observers, Penn seemed to defy the laws of physics that applied to all other crews. In their Henley semifinal, they had beaten Britain's best, Thames Rowing Club by a half-length of open water at a rating The Times termed "a majestic thirty."

The strength and speed of the Penn pullthrough, the endless run on the impossibly long recovery, seemed as unattainable in its own way as Joe Burk's sculling technique had seemed to them seventeen years earlier.

At their regatta in Hamburg, when Penn made its first impression on the German rowing community, one of the most interested spectators was Dr. Karl Adam of Ratzeburger Ruderklub. He was already working out a new international technique, initially under the influence of Steve Fairbairn.

Eight years later, Adam confessed to Joe Burk that he had returned home from Hamburg very depressed and wondering whether they could ever beat the invincible Americans.

Coaching staff

Penn has enjoyed the tutelage of many of the best rowing coaches of all time including Rusty Callow, Joe Burk, Ted Nash, Stan Bergman, and Brendan Cunningham.

Ted Nash

Main article: Ted Nash (rower)

In 2004, former Penn coach Ted Nash became the first person to participate in 10 Olympic games as either an athlete or coach when he was appointed as a coach on the 2004 team in Athens. This is a record for any member of any US Olympic team, regardless of event or sport. During his first games at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Nash was on the gold-medal winning four without coxswain boat. In 2008 he showed no signs of slowing down as made it 11 by returning again to the Olympic stage in Beijing as coach of the heavyweight men's coxless pair.


  • Head Coach of Women's Crew/Owner of the Schuylkill River: Michael Touchdown Lane
  • Assistant Coach of Women's Crew: Megan Cotter
  • Assistant Coach of Women's Crew/Head Weather Woman: Cassandra Carmen Cunningham
  • Volunteer Coach of Women's Crew: Taya DiAngelo
  • Captain: Margaret 'Hottest Girl at the Party' Dwyer
  • Captain: Emily 'Most Likely to Fall Off Skateboard' Redfield

Heavyweight Men

  • Head Coach: Greg Myhr
  • Manager Emeritus: James Senese[21]

Captain: Harry Holroyd

Commodore: Snitch Wallace

Captain Emeriti: Matthew (McPeak) McPeak and Jeffrey Schimmel

Lightweight Men

  • Head Coach: Colin Farrell[22]
  • Chief Whistle-Blower: Colin Farrell


Prominent members

  • Ted A. Nash (former Penn Coach)- 1960 (gold medal) & 1964 (bronze medal) US Olympic Teams and US Olympic Coach from 1968-2008[23]
  • John A. Pescatore, Class of '86 - 1988 (bronze medal) & 1992 US Olympic Teams[24]
  • Hugh Matheson, '84 - 1972, 1976 & 1980 Great Britain Olympic Teams (silver medal)[25]
  • James E. Moroney III '75 - 1972 & 1976 US Olympic Teams[26]
  • Luther H. Jones, '72 - 1968 & 1972 US Olympic Teams[27]
  • John Hartigan, '63 - 1968 & 1976 US Olympic Teams[28]
  • Harry Parker, '57 - 1960 US Olympic Team[29] and US Olympic Coach 1964-1984
  • John B. Kelly, Jr., '50 - 1948, 1952, 1956 & 1960 US Olympic Teams[30]

Rowers with one Olympic Team appearance[31][32]

1928 US Olympic Team: Charles J. McIlvaine '57[33]

1936 US Olympic Team:

  • George L. Dahm Jr. '40
  • George G. Loveless '32[34]

1940 US Olympic Team: Joseph Burk '34 (no games - WWII)

1952 US Olympic Team:

  • James J. Begg '56[35]
  • Russell S. Callow '30 (coach)

1956 US Olympic Team:

  • James Wynne '60[36]
  • James McMullen '59[37]

1960 US Olympic Team: Lyman S. Perry '68[38]

1968 Canadian Olympic Team: W. Richard Crooker '72[39]

1968 US Olympic Team:

  • A. Gardner Cadwalader '71[40]
  • Anthony E. Martin III '70[41]
  • William K. Purdy '68[42]

1972 US Olympic Team:

1976 Canadian Olympic Team: George H. Tintor '79[46]

1976 US Olympic Team:

  • James Catellan '74
  • Steven E. Christensen '79[47]
  • Kenneth Dreyfuss '69, '77[48]

1980 US Olympic Team:

  • John A. Chatzky '78
  • Steven E. Christensen '79
  • Sean P. Colgan '77
  • Bruce E. Epke '78
  • Bruce Ibbetson '81
  • Thomas Woodman '81

1984 US Olympic Team:

  • Phillip W. Stekl '78 (silver medal)[49]

1988 US Olympic Team:

  • Jonathan B. Fish '84[50]
  • John E. Flobeck '87

1992 US Olympic Team: Bruce Konopka '78

1996 Australian Olympic Team: Janusz Hooker '93 (bronze medal)[51]

1996 US Olympic Team:

  • Mike Peterson '89[52]
  • Jeff Pfaendtner '90 (bronze medal)[53]

2000 US Olympic Team: Garrett Miller '99[54]

2008 US Olympic Team: Tom Paradiso '02[55]


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. "Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 2009 Program" (PDF). p. 19. 
  3. "Penn Crew in the 1800s". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  4. Janssen's A History of American Amateur Athletics and Aquatics (1888) p. 211. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  5. "Seth S. Tannenbaum, Clifton R. Hood, and Mary D. McConaghy, University Barge Club, Penn Crew, (April 2006)". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 "Seth S. Tannenbaum, Clifton R. Hood, & Mary D. McConaghy, College Boat Club, Penn Crew, (April 2006)". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  7. "Ivy League Women's Rowing" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 2009-04-21. [dead link]
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Ivy League Men's Heavyweight Rowing" (PDF). p. 1. Retrieved 2009-04-21. [dead link]
  9. "Ivy League Men's Lightweight Rowing" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 2009-04-21. [dead link]
  10. For examples, search for "Penn" in IRA results for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  11. "2004 IRA Regatta, p. 1, Race 95". 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  12. "2004 IRA Regatta, p. 4, Race 99". 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  13. "2005 IRA Regatta, p. 6, Race 120". 2005-06-04. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  14. "2005 IRA Regatta, p. 2, Race 110". 2005-06-04. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  15. "2006 IRA Regatta". 2006-06-03. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  16. "Event # 81 Men's Open Four Grand Final Results - IRA National Championship 2008". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Recent Winners". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Henley Royal Regatta Results of Final Races - 1946-2003". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  20. Mallory, Peter (7 March 2007). "Chapter 59. Joe Burk, Coach". Evolution of the Rowing Stroke.  (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)
  23. "Ted Nash". 1932-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  24. "John Pescatore". 1964-02-02. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  25. "Hugh Matheson". 1949-04-16. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  26. "James Moroney". 1953-03-19. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  27. "Luther Jones". 1948-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  28. "John Hartigan". 1940-02-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  29. "Harry Parker". 1935-10-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  30. "Jack Kelly, Jr.". 1985-03-02. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  31. "Penn Rowing in the Olympics". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  32. "University Archives and Records Center University of Pennsylvania, Penn in the Olympics: Penn Athletes Competing in the Olympic Games". Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  33. "Charley McIlvaine". 1975-01-30. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  34. "George Loveless". 1909-10-15. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  35. "James Begg". 1924-01-06. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  36. "James Wynne". 1937-07-24. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  37. "James McMullen". 1939-06-12. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  38. "Lyman Perry". 1938-08-22. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  39. "Richard Crooker". 1948-04-09. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  40. "Gardner Cadwalader". 1948-07-29. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  41. "Anthony Martin". 2005-05-13. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  42. "William Purdy". 1946-06-26. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  43. "Gene Clapp". 1949-11-19. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  44. "Aaron Herman". 1953-02-17. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  45. "Hugh Stevenson". 1948-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  46. "George Tintor". 1957-05-06. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  47. "Steve Christiansen". 1956-11-10. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  48. "Kenneth Dreyfuss". 1947-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  49. "Phillip Stekl". 1956-01-20. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  50. "Jonathan Fish". 1962-06-22. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  51. "Janusz Hooker". 1969-09-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  52. "Mike Peterson". 1967-01-04. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  53. "Jeff Pfaendtner". 1967-02-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  54. "Garrett Miller". 1977-06-07. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  55. "Tom Paradiso". 1979-12-07. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 39°58′10″N 75°11′09″W / 39.96948°N 75.18590°W / 39.96948; -75.18590{{#coordinates:39.96948|-75.18590|type:landmark_globe:earth_region:US-PA|||||| |primary |name= }}