University of Pennsylvania Rowing
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University of Pennsylvania Rowing
College Boat Club
Penn Quakers logo.svg
Location#11 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Home waterSchuylkill River
Navy admission1875
Former namesCollege Barge Club
  • Bryan Volpenhein (Hwt Men)
  • Colin Farrell (Lwt Men)
  • Wesley Ng (Women)
Athletics directorSteve Bilsky
NicknameQuakers, Men of Penn
UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania
ConferenceEastern Association of Rowing Colleges
Ivy League
AssociationNCAA Division I (Women only)
ColorsRed and Blue

College Boat Club
College Boat Club is located in Pennsylvania
College Boat Club
College Boat Club is located in the United States
College Boat Club
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
CoordinatesCoordinates: 39°58?10?N 75°11?09?W / 39.96948°N 75.18590°W / 39.96948; -75.18590
Part ofBoat House Row (#87000821[1])
Added to NRHPFebruary 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

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.

-- Peter Mallory, Evolution of the Rowing Stroke

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, Brendan Cunningham, and Hudson Peters.

Rusty Callow

Ted Nash

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.

Stan Bergman

Stan Bergman coached the Men's Heavyweight Rowing Program to numerous championships at all levels. He is held in extraordinary regard in the rowing community, and beyond, for his success with his crews on and off the water.


  • Head Coach of Women's Crew: Wesley Ng
  • Head Coach of Women's Crew Emeritus/Quaker Rowing Camp Director: Michael "Touchdown" Lane

Heavyweight men

  • Head Coach: Brian Volpenhein

Assistant Coaches: Phil Brunner, Matt Carmody

Boatman: Andrew Blum

Lightweight men

  • Head Coach: Colin Farrell[21]
  • Most Malnourished:Colin Farrell

Captain(s): Sam Ward and Zach Howell


Prominent members

  • Ted A. Nash (former Penn Coach)- 1960 (gold medal) & 1964 (bronze medal) US Olympic Teams and US Olympic Coach from 1968-2008[22]
  • John A. Pescatore, Class of '86 - 1988 (bronze medal) & 1992 US Olympic Teams[23]
  • Hugh Matheson, '84 - 1972, 1976 & 1980 Great Britain Olympic Teams (silver medal)[24]
  • James E. Moroney III '75 - 1972 & 1976 US Olympic Teams[25]
  • Luther H. Jones, '72 - 1968 & 1972 US Olympic Teams[26]
  • Luther Vandross, '73 - American singer, songwriter and record producer
  • John Hartigan, '63 - 1968 & 1976 US Olympic Teams[27][28]
  • Merrill McPeak, '58 - American politician and Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
  • 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

These include:[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. Beggs '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]
  • Laura Catherine Terdoslavich Staines '75
  • Susan Morgan

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. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ "Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 2009 Program" (PDF). p. 19.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Penn Crew in the 1800s". Retrieved .
  4. ^ Janssen's A History of American Amateur Athletics and Aquatics (1888) p. 211. 2005-05-05. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Seth S. Tannenbaum, Clifton R. Hood, and Mary D. McConaghy, University Barge Club, Penn Crew, (April 2006)". Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Seth S. Tannenbaum, Clifton R. Hood, & Mary D. McConaghy, College Boat Club, Penn Crew, (April 2006)". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Ivy League Women's Rowing" (PDF). p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2004. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c "Ivy League Men's Heavyweight Rowing" (PDF). p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2004. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Ivy League Men's Lightweight Rowing" (PDF). p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2004. Retrieved .
  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 .
  12. ^ "2004 IRA Regatta, p. 4, Race 99". 2004-06-05. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "2005 IRA Regatta, p. 6, Race 120". 2005-06-04. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "2005 IRA Regatta, p. 2, Race 110". 2005-06-04. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "2006 IRA Regatta". 2006-06-03. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Event # 81 Men's Open Four Grand Final Results - IRA National Championship 2008". Archived from the original on 2008-08-02. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ a b "Recent Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-10-07. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b c "Henley Royal Regatta Results of Final Races - 1946-2003". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved .
  20. ^ Mallory, Peter (7 March 2007). "Chapter 59. Joe Burk, Coach". Evolution of the Rowing Stroke. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Ted Nash". 1932-10-29. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "John Pescatore". 1964-02-02. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Hugh Matheson". 1949-04-16. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "James Moroney". 1953-03-19. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Luther Jones". 1948-10-29. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "John Hartigan". 1940-02-28. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "John Hartigan," Archived 2015-09-15 at the Wayback Machine Penn Athletics University of Pennsylvania, 03/01/2007. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  29. ^ "Harry Parker". 1935-10-28. Retrieved .
  30. ^ "Jack Kelly, Jr". 1985-03-02. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Penn Rowing in the Olympics". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "University Archives and Records Center University of Pennsylvania, Penn in the Olympics: Penn Athletes Competing in the Olympic Games". Archived from the original on 2010-12-11. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "Charley McIlvaine". 1975-01-30. Retrieved .
  34. ^ "George Loveless". 1909-10-15. Retrieved .
  35. ^ "James Begg". 1924-01-06. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "James Wynne". 1937-07-24. Retrieved .
  37. ^ "James McMullen". 1939-06-12. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "Lyman Perry". 1938-08-22. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Richard Crooker". 1948-04-09. Retrieved .
  40. ^ "Gardner Cadwalader". 1948-07-29. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "Anthony Martin". 2005-05-13. Retrieved .
  42. ^ "William Purdy". 1946-06-26. Retrieved .
  43. ^ "Gene Clapp". 1949-11-19. Retrieved .
  44. ^ "Aaron Herman". 1953-02-17. Retrieved .
  45. ^ "Hugh Stevenson". 1948-10-13. Retrieved .
  46. ^ "George Tintor". 1957-05-06. Retrieved .
  47. ^ "Steve Christiansen". 1956-11-10. Retrieved .
  48. ^ "Kenneth Dreyfuss". 1947-10-08. Retrieved .
  49. ^ "Phillip Stekl". 1956-01-20. Retrieved .
  50. ^ "Jonathan Fish". 1962-06-22. Retrieved .
  51. ^ "Janusz Hooker". 1969-09-28. Retrieved .
  52. ^ "Mike Peterson". 1967-01-04. Retrieved .
  53. ^ "Jeff Pfaendtner". 1967-02-28. Retrieved .
  54. ^ "Garrett Miller". 1977-06-07. Retrieved .
  55. ^ "Tom Paradiso". 1979-12-07. Retrieved .

Further reading

External links

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