The Best Colleges With Rowing Teams

February 14, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Best Colleges With Rowing Teams

Rowing is a unique and physically demanding sport requiring strength and endurance. It is no wonder why so many colleges and universities have embraced the sport by establishing their rowing teams. These teams not only provide an excellent opportunity for student-athletes to compete at a high level, but they also offer a sense of camaraderie and community that is unique to the sport. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the best colleges with rowing teams.

Whether you are a prospective student-athlete or simply a fan of the sport, this guide will surely provide some valuable insights into the world of collegiate rowing.

How do you get scouted for rowing?

How do you get scouted for rowing? Rowing is a sport that requires a combination of physical strength, endurance, and technique. If you are interested in getting scouted for rowing, there are a few steps you can take:

Join a rowing club or team: Look for rowing clubs or teams in your area and join one. This will allow you to train and compete regularly and let coaches see your potential.

Attend rowing camps: Many colleges and universities offer rowing camps and clinics during the summer months. Attending these camps can expose you to college coaches and help you develop your rowing skills.

Participate in rowing competitions: Participating in local and regional competitions is a great way to gain experience and showcase your skills to coaches and scouts.

Create a rowing profile: Create a rowing profile on recruiting websites like NCSA, BeRecruited, or CaptainU. These websites allow you to highlight your academic and athletic achievements, as well as your rowing experience and goals.

UPenn rowing team

Reach out to coaches: Once you have established a solid rowing background and have some results, reach out to college coaches to express your interest in their rowing program. Coaches are always looking for talented and committed athletes, and showing initiative can make a big difference in getting scouted for rowing.

Keep your grades up: College rowing coaches are interested in your athletic abilities and your academic performance. Make sure to maintain good grades and meet the academic requirements of the colleges you are interested in.

Attend rowing recruitment events: Some colleges host events such as prospect days or official visits. These events provide an opportunity to meet with coaches, tour the campus, and learn more about the rowing program.

Stay in shape: Rowing is a physically demanding sport, so it’s essential to stay in shape year-round. Keep up your training and conditioning, and improve your technique and skills.

What are the best colleges with rowing teams?

What are the best colleges with rowing teams? There are approximately 8,400 students that are rowing for their college, which accounts for about 2% of all collegiate athletes. Rowing is one of the only competitive sports in which athletes are not heavily recruited, which is an interesting fact.

To put it another way, rowing competitively in high school is helpful but optional for participation in elite crew competitions. We have compiled a list of the top 10 institutions offering rowing teams to assist students with the drive and determination in competing at the collegiate level.

Princeton University

Since 1870, when a group of undergraduates purchased a handful of old boats and started their own “navy,” rowing has been a vital part of Princeton life and culture. Today, Princeton is regarded as one of the country’s top — if not the best — rowing programs. More than 150 rowers, 12 outstanding coaches, 60 rowing shells, and the $8 million-plus Shea Rowing Center comprise the program.

Competition rower front view between red pylons.

The Center is so exceptional that the United States frequently uses it. National training team. Princeton teams regularly compete at the Eastern Sprints, NCAA Rowing Championships, IRA National Championships, and the Henley Royal Regatta. Former Princeton rowers are frequently added to the US. The Olympic team and the national team.

Harvard University

Harvard University has long been regarded as one of the most excellent rowing universities in the world. Both the men’s and women’s teams have won numerous national titles. This includes the Intercollegiate Rowing Association’s National Championships in every odd year from 1989 through 2003 – one of college athletics’ most impressive winning streaks. Harvard was one of the first universities to have a rowing squad, and it competed in the historic Harvard-Yale Regatta, the first collegiate event in America.

Stanford University

Stanford University is known for its athletic prowess, and rowing is no exception. It is among the best colleges with rowing teams. The university has both men’s and women’s rowing teams sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Stanford bell tower

The women’s rowing team won the NCAA National Championship in 2009, and the lightweight crew has won the IRA title seven times – in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017! Stanford fights against its primary opponent, U.C., every year. The Big Row in Berkeley.

University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) has a rich and storied history in collegiate rowing, and it’s consistently ranked as one of the best rowing programs in the United States.

A large part of what sets the University of Washington rowing program apart is its historic and ongoing success. UW Rowing has a legacy of winning that stretches back more than a century, with their first Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship dating back to 1923. Since then, the Huskies have won numerous national titles in both men’s and women’s rowing.

In 1936, the UW men’s eight crew won gold at the Berlin Olympics, defeating Germany and Italy, an event chronicled in the New York Times bestseller “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.

The UW rowing program’s success is not confined to the past. Modern-day Husky crews have continued this tradition of excellence, frequently placing among the top teams at the IRA National Championships and the NCAA Rowing Championships. UW rowing teams have consistently demonstrated their prowess against both domestic and international competition.

Part of UW’s strength in rowing comes from its world-class facilities. The Conibear Shellhouse, named after legendary UW rowing coach Hiram Conibear, is a state-of-the-art rowing center providing an excellent training environment. Additionally, the university’s location provides access to the Montlake Cut and Lake Washington, offering great rowing conditions.

Yale University

Yale University is not just one of the most excellent rowing universities in the country, but it also has the country’s oldest crew club. Rowing at Yale began in 1843. Since then, the team has won numerous championships and trophies.

Single scull rowing competitor

Recent wins have included the National Championship (men’s lightweight, 2000), the Henley Royal Regatta Temple Challenge Cup (men’s lightweight, 2000), a record-breaking Eastern Sprints victory (men’s lightweight, 2001), the Jope Cup (lightweight men’s, 2001), a victory in the Women’s Henley (women’s varsity, 2001), three Intercollegiate Rowing Association wins (men’s, 2005, 2017, 2018), and runners up at the NCAA National Championships (women’s team, 2004).

Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the best colleges with rowing teams. Imagine rowing over the Harlem and Hudson rivers, past New York City attractions such as Yankee Stadium and the George Washington Bridge. The men and women of Columbia University’s rowing squads are used to that. Although the women’s teams at the institution are competitive club sports, the men’s teams are sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA).

Since its first intercollegiate regatta in 1873, Columbia has been a competitive institution. But in the last decade, it has genuinely established itself as a force to be reckoned with. The lightweight eight and the varsity lightweight four finished second in the IRA National Championships in 2015.

University of Pennsylvania

Rowing has been practiced at the University of Pennsylvania since 1854. Penn currently has men’s (lightweight and heavyweight) and women’s (open-weight) teams. All of them are sanctioned and participate in the Eastern Sprints League.

UPenn rowing team

Even though it happened in 1955, Penn’s men’s heavyweight crew is one of just two American collegiate teams to have won the famous Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. Susan Francia, Joe Burk, Ted Nash, Rusty Callow, John B. Kelly Jr., and Harry Parker are among Penn’s distinguished rowing graduates.

Brown University

Rowing is the oldest intercollegiate sport at Brown University. Brown University, a key adversary of both Harvard and Yale, has produced 32 Olympic rowers. The university has a distinct edge regarding training rowers: the Seekonk River is recognized for its strong current and demanding rowing conditions.

Brown’s men’s varsity squad has won the Ivy League Championships (2008), the Ladies’ Plate Challenge Cup at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in London (2009), and the Eastern Sprints events every year since 2000. Meanwhile, the women have won six NCAA titles and finished second twice since 2000.

University of Texas

Rowing has been a proud tradition at the University of Texas since 1969. The university boasts both men’s and women’s teams, all fully recognized and active participants in the American Collegiate Rowing Association.

Notably, the Texas women’s rowing team, established in 1998, has proven its mettle in the Big 12 Conference with numerous titles to its name. Similarly, the men’s team has shown considerable prowess, impressively holding their own against top-tier teams from across the nation.

The Longhorns, as they are commonly referred to, can boast of several esteemed alumni who have made significant strides in the sport. Their achievements, alongside many others, illuminate the rich rowing history at the University of Texas, instilling pride and fostering an intense competitive spirit within the university community.

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley is one of the best colleges with rowing teams. Since the 1920s, Cal’s men’s teams have been ranked at the game’s top. The men have won five consecutive Pac-10 conference titles in the last two decades. The Bears have often been crowned Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national champions.

UC Berkeley campus

The most recent ones were in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2016. Cal’s women’s crew teams have had equal success. They’ve competed in the NCAA Rowing Championship every year since 1998 and won the title in 2005, 2006, 2016, and 2018. In addition, the women have won the Pac-10 Championships seven times and the Varsity 8 race six times. Cal’s crew teams compete at the Big Row every year against their fiercest rival, Stanford University.

Dartmouth College

Rowing is the most popular sport at Dartmouth College, with over 200 student participants. Men’s heavyweight and men’s lightweight teams are available. Both are sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association and compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges, as is women’s open-weight, which competes in the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges and is sanctioned by the NCAA.

Since its establishment in 1833, Dartmouth’s rowing department has produced several National Team Members and Olympic rowers. The fact that the teams train on the difficult Connecticut River contributes significantly to their success.

Cornell University

Cornell University’s rowing teams compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) and the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (EAWRC), respectively. While both teams are fierce competitors, the men’s varsity squad has performed exceptionally well in recent years. Their lightweight crew won the IRA National Championship Regatta six times in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015, and 2017.

How to get into the best colleges with rowing teams?

How to get into the best colleges with rowing teams? Getting into the best colleges with rowing teams can be a competitive process, but there are some steps you can take to improve your chances:

Focus on academics: Besides rowing ability, top colleges and universities prioritize academic performance. Make sure to maintain good grades and take challenging courses to demonstrate intellectual curiosity and academic potential.

Develop your rowing skills: To catch the eye of college coaches, it’s essential to develop your rowing skills and compete in local and regional rowing competitions. Join a local rowing club or team to get regular training and coaching and participate in summer camps and clinics to improve your technique.

Reach out to college coaches: Don’t wait for coaches to reach out to you – take the initiative to contact them and express your interest in their rowing program. Provide them with your rowing resume, a highlight video, and other relevant information to demonstrate your potential as a recruit.

Attend rowing recruitment events: Many colleges host events such as prospect days or official visits. Attend these events to meet with coaches, tour the campus, and learn more about the rowing program.

Showcase your character and leadership abilities: Top colleges and universities look for well-rounded student-athletes who are not only talented rowers but also demonstrate strong character and leadership potential. Participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer in your community, and show a commitment to teamwork and collaboration.

Apply to a range of colleges: Even with solid academics and rowing ability, getting into a top college or university is not guaranteed. It’s important to apply to various schools, including safety and reach schools, to maximize your options.

Remember, getting into one of the top colleges with rowing teams is a competitive process. Still, with dedication, hard work, and strategic planning, you can improve your chances of getting recruited and accepted into the college of your choice.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students as you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.







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