As a 5th year senior at SDSU in ’73/’74, it was my last year to get a Varsity jacket. As a Community College transfer, I sat out the spring semester so I could start in the Fall of ’71 with all the other new students. Tennis was my primary sport at the time. However, my JC did not have tennis and the Athletic Director would not let me start a program, hence my tennis career took a nosedive – other than me teaching private lessons and entering SoCal tournaments.
Fast forward to the Fall of ’73. My roommate, who I transferred to SDSU with and knew since the 8th grade, met a couple of guys on the rowing team. He told me he was thinking about going out for Crew. I told him we didn’t know anything about rowing, and would never make a boat as novices. He went out anyway and 3 weeks later told me I should go out – the team wasn’t very good and he thought we could make Varsity. I said you’ve got to be kidding, but knowing it was my last shot at a Varsity jacket, I would give it a try. Back then Men’s Crew was a Varsity (funded) sport and Women’s Crew did not yet exist.
Long story short, my roommate was right; we made the Varsity. We raced in the Western Sprints up in Canada at the end of the season in a Varsity 4+ and made it through the heats and reps to make the final where we finished 5th. Back in those days all the crews on the west coast raced in the Western Sprints. That included Washington, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Long Beach, UCLA, Santa Barbara and several Oregon schools.
We had so much fun and everything was paid for by SDSU that I’ve rowed continuously now for 47 years. Rowing has changed my life. I met my wife rowing (she was a coxin), two of my daughters rowed for the SDRC Juniors and my best friends are all rowers.