Rowing has a deep history in Saint Louis; the area's first team, St. Louis Rowing Club, was established in 1875 on the banks of Creve Coeur Lake - the site of the rowing event for the 1904 World Olympic Games.
In 1985, Andy Laine, a graduate student, along with Yale Oarsman Karl Heilman, founded the Washington University Rowing Team. The next year, Ahsan Iqbal was hired as head coach. In 1987, the team participated in its first race against the University of Kansas and lost but took the defeat as motivation to build a stronger program. That same year, the Men's Novice Four won the team's first gold medal at the Great Plains Rowing Championship Regatta.
Over the next few years, Wash U. Crew continued to grow, leading to the employment of the first full-time head coach, Matthew Deifenbach. Coming to St. Louis from the Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia's Boathouse Row, Deifenbach led the team to its first Dad Vail gold. Diefenbach left Wash U. Crew in 1992, taking a position on the Olympic coaching staff for the US National Team. Upon his departure, Cameron Carter assumed the role of head coach. Carter coached the team to many victories including another gold medal at the Dad Vail Regatta.
In 2010 Rudy Ryback, who had been the Men's Novice coach for five years, replaced Carter as Head Coach of Wash U. Crew. Under Rybacks leadership, the team continued to grow and found national prominence at regattas across the US, including a gold medal at the Head of the Charles Regatta in the Collegiate Women's Four event.
In 2012, Coach Stephen Harris continued the legacy of Wash U. Crew. After a successful three years, Harris left for Stetson University, and Maggie Boze, former DI rower for Loyola Marymount University, assumed the role of interim Head Coach as of January 2016.
Since Fall 2016, Andrew Black, former Varsity Boys' coach for the St. Louis Rowing Club, has headed WashU rowing.
Alumni Favorite Memories
Will Wilder, '15
"Quad Cities Classic Regatta in Fall 2012. We slept on a crowded YMCA floor the night before, and it was storming most of the day at the race course. The men's V8+ was delayed for hours and everyone took cover in a hotel lobby by the course - 500 wet and muddy rowers crammed into a hotel lobby was quite a sight! Things finally got started again in the late afternoon, and the V8+ came home with a 13 second win. It was the first big win of my college career and was worth every bit of wind and rain we fought through to get it."
Ben "Rosy" Rosenbaum, '16
“SIRAS 2013 in our Men's Frosh 8+. We placed 2nd in the heats ahead of UNC by 0.31 seconds and went on to qualify for the Grand Final by placing 3rd in the semis, 1.6 seconds ahead of Colorado.”
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