Rowing Alumni Chapter
History of GV Rowing
Timeline of Grand Valley Crew
• 1964- Rowing was offered as a Physical Education course at Grand Valley for the first time.
• 1966- So much interest was shown in rowing that Athletic Director, Charles Irwin, began holding team practices on Spring Lake.
• 1967- Grand Valley formed its first varsity team and began to race among other colleges.
• 1972- Grand Valley established its own boathouse on the Grand River in Allendale.
• 1981- The rowing teams switched from varsity to club status, but the program was maintained by three passionate varsity athletes from the previous year.
• 1994-1997- Grand Valley Alumni, Barry Klein raced on the National Team.
• 1996- Women’s varsity lightweight 4+ won the Dad Vail National Championship.
• 1996, 1998, 2002- Grand Valley boats raced in England at the Henley Royal Regatta.
• 1997- Men’s varsity heavyweight eight won the LaSalle Invitational and earned a bronze at Dad Vails
• 2004- Women’s Pair won silver, women’s 4 won bronze, men’s 8 finished 4th at the Dad Vails. Grand Valley boats women earned silver and men earned bronze in Zagreb, Croatia at the University Race of Eights.
• 2006- Varsity Women’s Eight won silver, and the team took 5th overall in team points at the Dad Vails.
• 2007- Varsity Women’s Eight won silver at the Dad Vails.
• 2008- Varsity Women’s Eight won silver, Women’s Frosh/Novice Eight and Men’s JV Eight win gold at the Dad Vails and the team takes 2nd Place in Team Points. GVSU wins inaugural ACRA National Club Championship team points trophy as Men’s Varsity eight takes bronze, Men’s Ltwt. four wins gold, Men’s pair wins silver, and Women’s F/N eight wins gold and goes undefeated.
• 2012- Grand Valley alumni, Sarah Zelenka races in the 2012 London Olympics and finishes 4th in the women’s pair event.
• 2013-Grand Valley Women’s Varsity Eight Wins Dad Vail.
Previous Head Coaches
•1964-1966 Charles Irwin
•1966-1968 Jack Anderson
•1968-1970 Steve Orova
•1970-1971 Jim Scott
•1971-1981 Paul Springer
•1981-1984 Bob Sawicki
•1984-1985 Rob Roys
•1985-1987 Brian Brewer
•1988-1990 Jack DeLine
•1991-1992 Doug Urey
•1992-1993 Tom Waukes
•1993-1994 Bradley Holdren
•1995-1996 Casey Haley
•1996-1999 Richard Laurance
•1999-2000 Khalid Senad
•2000-2005 Chad Jedlic
•2005-present John Bancheri
Read the Memoirs by Greg Hartsuff for an in-depth view of life as a Grand Valley Rower.
Rowing Alumni Association Leaders
Justin Wegner, '13
Kim Schmidt, '88 & '00