History of the Crew

Since 1970...

In 1969 Rich Stager came up with an idea to initiate a Rowing program at Washington State University. Stager found Ken Abbey, and together began the story of Cougar Crew. Over forty years later, WSU Men's Crew continues to thrive.

This comprehensive history is a perpetual work in progress. Through your contribution of memories and photos, we hope to fully document the illustrious history of Men's Crew at Washington State University.

To contribute a piece of history, visit this link.

All of the photos seen here can be found in the image gallery, along with thousands of photos dating back to the 70's. Once again, we ask for your help to identify many of the historic photos that have been found.

As you browse the history, you will notice words in italics. This represents information that we are unsure of and request your reassurance or correction.

1970's - Where it all began. The Cougs enjoy success from both Heavyweight and Lightweight Crews, making frequent trips down the West Coast and to Midwest. In 1979, the "Meat Wagon" won the IRA National Championship in the V4+.

1980's - Cougars continue to make strong showings at the IRA's, winning the V2+ event. Competition heats up along the west coast. A new boathouse is constructed. Former rower Paul Enquist wins Olympic Gold. The Crew travels to Turkey for the University Sports Festival.

1990's - The Cougs continue to make strong showings at the Pac-10 Championships, with the Lightweights winning multiple championships. Wins are also recorded against Gonzaga, Oregon State, WWU, SPU, and other local clubs.

2000's - The CCAA is formed. A thrilling victory against Gonzaga to recapture the Fawley Cup. Cougs join the WIRA conference and capture championships in the HWT and LWT V4+. Several appearances at IRA's and the newly formed ACRA Nat'l Championships.

2010's - Cougs capture the WIRA V8+ and Team Points trophy. Men's crew attend ACRA National Championships and place a boat in the grand finals every year, with the 2013 Novice Lwt 4+ winning the first ACRA National Championship title in team history. Newly formed Lightweight Women's team continues to grow and find success.

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