• Stanford Rowing

People, Not Profits

Updated: Jul 20


When people ask me what the biggest impact Stanford made on me, I tell them about the rowing team.

I tell them about the instant family you make your first van ride to the boathouse.

I tell them about the discipline of waking up at 5 am for practice after submitting an assignment due at midnight.

I tell them about the rush of representing your institution on the national stage.

I tell them about the pride of being the last sport where you can feasibly walk-on your freshman year in September, and be a National Champion come June.

I tell them about Saturday brunch with the team.

In rowing, there’s this shared feeling that you’re not a spectator sport. There is no nationwide glory that comes with winning a race, even though you train just as hard, if not harder than every other athlete on campus.

It’s a feeling of pride, knowing that you won’t have a lucrative career after college, and you won’t sign a multi-million dollar deal. You are doing this for you, and the 8 other athletes in your boat. Not for fans. Not for money. But for your rowing family.

And I tell them that, because to me, my Stanford career was defined by my time with my teammates. They made me stronger. They made me smarter. They made me a fighter.


To quote 3 time collegiate national champion, Stanford alumna, and aspiring Olympian Christine Cavallo,

“Stanford athletics doesn’t make profits, it makes people.”

And Stanford is nothing without its people.


- John Coffey '19 MA '20


Rowing has been a force for good. 

Stanford Rowing has enriched the Stanford community since 1905. In over 100 years, our alumni have given back countless hours and love to the Stanford experience, and our goal is to continue to empower future classes of exceptional students and exceptional alumni.

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