Today would have been Duvall Hecht's 94th birthday, so please join us to take a moment and remember our dear founder, coach and mentor! 

Visit our tribute page to reminisce with photos and learn about some of his incredible life accomplishments:

  • His gold medal in the 1956 Olympics with actual race video footage!
  • How he got the UCI Rowing program started back in 1965, almost 60 years ago!
  • An audio interview he gave in 1992 about founding the program and coaching at UCI.
  • Photos throughout his rowing history.
  • A media section with a collection of links to interesting resources about Duvall's larger than life career from being a US Navy pilot, english professor, business man, entrepreneur (ever heard of Books on Tape?), truck driver, and of course, crew coach.

There's also a comments section at the bottom of the page with memories and tributes collected from the rowing community for his memorial in 2022. You can still add your own tribute today, if so inspired, we'd love to hear from you! 

Duvall was also a highly successful fundraiser for UCI Rowing over the years. He consistently brought donors to the table to fund new boats and sponsor students' trips to national competitions. He would also personally contribute, demonstrating to potential donors that he had, as he liked to say, "skin in the game."

With his guidance, we established our Team 100 Rower Emeritus program in 2019. The goal was to motivate alumni to match the current student athletes' annual club sports dues (still $1500 per year). In Duvall's words, "if they've got skin in the game, we should match them stroke for stroke."

We are extremely proud and grateful for our 50+ Team 100 members, who are a testament to Duvall's lasting legacy. This group of alumni ensures a steady cash flow, allowing us to afford top-notch coaching and ensure UCI student athletes are well-prepared for race day. These funds also free up our volunteer Board of Directors to collaborate more with the coaching staff and students to plan the Challenge Cup (another concept by Duvall) and to address other operational and equipment needs.

If you've been thinking about becoming a sustaining donor, what better time to start than on Duvall's birthday? If you aren't able to commit to the full Team 100 level, we have other tiers and a custom level, allowing you to choose your preferred donation amount, either monthly or annually.

Thank you, Duvall, for always showing us the way... stroke for stroke.
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On the qualities of a 4-year rower...

"They know something about themselves that they didn’t know four years earlier. What they know is that nobody will ever give them anything they can’t do."
- Duvall Hecht
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