I will always be thankful that I was approached by UCI Crew coach, Bob Newman, while registering for my first semester of classes in the fall of 1978 as a transfer student. Bob convinced me that rowing would be great for me, and that I could be great at rowing. Although, I’m pretty certain my 6′ 4″ height had a lot to do with that. Bob was a larger than life man by all accounts and a very convincing, if not intimidating, recruiter for his own cause as coach. He explained that as a novice, I would start trial workouts with the freshman in afternoon sessions just a few days a week. If I liked it, I could continue in the winter and spring quarters as a full-time member of the team. Like there was no pressure to continue and I could quit anytime….yeah, right!

After my first workout in the Pocock eight, I was hooked and found an instant connection with my future crewmates in the boat. How could I ever quit, or much less, miss a workout and let them down? What would they say?