Coach Parker's Crew Squad: Another Championship Season?

If you are 6'2" and weigh over 170 lbs., you've probably met Harry Parker, coach of the Harvard crew.

For the past few weeks, Parker has been busy enticing oversized oarsmen, past and potential, with an offer that is hard to refuse--the chance to be a champion.

Parker is no foot-in-the-door, fast-talking salesman. He doesn't have to be: the record is convincing enough.

Last spring all three of Parker's boats were undefeated. In May the varsity won the Eastern Sprints in Worcester for the first time in four years and in June, the varsity decisively thrashed Intercolligiate Rowing Association champion Wisconsin and Western Sprints-winner Washington on their home waters.

"There's something about Harry that gives everyone in his boats a sense of confidence, a pride that refuses to entertain the idea of anyone else even being close to us," said number-six-man, senior Dick Cashin.


Perhaps it was that same pride which made five varsity members discontent to be simply intercolligiate rowing champions.

Cashin, stroke Al Shealy and coxswain David Weinberg '74 went on to earn gold medals in last summer's U.S. national heavyweight eights in Switzerland.

Bringing Home the Bacon

JV stroke Rick Grogan stroked the U.S. lightweight eight which also gold-medalled in Switzerland and two-man Ollie Scholle captured the Wyfold Cup at Henley in a straight four representing the Porcellian Club.

Last fall, everyone at Newell Boathouse wondered whether or not Harvard could get back on top. This fall, the question is not whether they can remain on top, but rather just how much better than everyone else Harvard can be.

Only two varsity oarsmen have graduated and four return as international champions. Half of the undefeated JV boat and four promising sophomores are back as well, eager to fill the vacant positions and challenge for the filled ones.

Gold medalist Cashin said, "I can't imagine anyone beating us. You look around and I don't know how good they are but I know how good we are. And I know that nobody could be as good or as well-trained or as superbly coached. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll burn everyone."

Still, Parker is cautious. "There's no way of predicting if we'll be faster," he said. "It's too easy to count up heads and say we'll be fast. People forget how hard they worked. Fast crews don't happen automatically."

Parker's proposed traveling itinerary for this season is extensive. If it is accepted, Harvard will do a lot of traveling in search of competition.

Parker will treat the only fall race, the Head of the Charles, informally. The oarsmen will make up their own boats and train individually for the three mile race.

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