Friends, we have some heartbreaking news to share. Today we learned of the passing of UCI Rowing's founder, longtime director, and all-around Renaissance man Duvall Y. Hecht.
To many of us, Duvall was more than a coach. He was a mentor and an inspirational leader whose words and wit propelled many of us into becoming who we are today. Erudite but rugged, he was always ready with a quote, whether from one of his own mentors, master boat builder George Pocock, or someone of great historic stature like Winston Churchill. After all, Duvall was not only well-read, but he also helped bring audiobooks into the mainstream with his company, Books on Tape.
Duvall pulled the rowing program into existence back in 1965 and then kept it moving year after year after year with the same dedication and vigor that he demanded of his rowers — stroke after stroke after stroke. Though he had removed himself from regular involvement in the program a few years ago, his absence is felt like a chasm. Indeed, it now takes a board of dedicated alumni in full swing to keep the program going, something Duvall seemed able to do almost single-handedly over the years.
We will post more details soon, including any ways in which you can offer your condolences to the family or simply pay tribute to the man we called Coach.
For now, you can read more about his legacy and impact on the program here.