2013 CRCA General Membership Meeting

Minutes of General Membership Meeting

Friday December 6, 2013


  1. Greetings
  2. Thank USrowing for use of facility
  3. Introduce Current Board
  4. Introduce NCAA reps – Kelly Shaul DII-DIII Liaison
  5. Thank Pocock for title sponsorship of awards for the past 9 years


  1. Committee Reports

Awards – put forth the proposed change of “Staff of the Year”

Championship and Competition

Talked about the site selection, how that was done, reminded of date of announcement

Legislative Review – discussion on the 4th paid coach

Mentioned potential changes in the recruiting calendar

Membership – pressed for full staff and full participation by all NCAA programs

Kelly Shaul – Answered questions about legislative process around 4th coach issue,

and about NCAA site and Championship.

Confirmed that the post-championship surveys were read and acted on

Confirmed why hotel arrangements are organized the way they are

Coaches Poll- put forth a request for pollers, reminded membership of how the poll is run,

and what the criteria for polling is

Education – Described the proposed CRCA “Day” as part of USRowing – feedback was positive

Described the “scholarship” for Asst. Coaches to attend

Hall of Fame – Chris Combs daughter Kristen accepted the award and read remarks

(attached at bottom)


  1. Other Business:

Website improvements – let the membership know about improvements coming

Salary and Staffing Survey – Asked the membership for ideas –

Many ideas were put forward, and the membership suggested that this survey be used specifically to support the growth of all rowing programs, and to include not just salary and staffing, but overall funding, facilities, financial support, equipment, etc.

(Draft of survey sent by Martin to Board) Goal will be a CRCA “Position Paper”

Will hire an outside firm to do the survey





Remarks from Chris Combs (read by Kristen Combs as she accepted the award for her father)

                                                                                                       Christopher Combs

                                                                                                            170 Maple Street

                                                                                                                        Litchfield, CT  06759



Yes, I sincerely wanted to join your meeting today to thank the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association for the honor and recognition you bestowed on me with the nomination to the CRCA Hall of Fame. However – occasionally business has interfered with time I am able to spend at our sport’s events, and today is one of those conflicts for me.


I would like to share this honor with the supporters from our rowing community that we see at various regatta’s who work during races to give our athletes a chance to compete on a fair venue to the best of the athletes’ ability. This is very important and appreciated.


Some of you may understand that I have worked in rowing these many years organizing races and managing regatta’s just for the racing and the community we have all enjoyed. My appreciation for the sport has always been about the people, the connection with water and effort needed to succeed, not only the physical commitment but also the mental element and need for some to pursue persistence, over and over and over….


We can agree that we all found our way to rowing in varied journeys.  I will thank Hart Perry from Kent School and Chick Willing at South Kent School for adding me to their teams at various times to help set up, organize, manage, report results and promote rowing. I have been lucky to see the growth of women’s rowing from a unique perspective since the 1979 Sprints arrived at Lake Waramaug for a 20 year visit. In that era parents were trying to find their daughters at the first race they had ever attended and needed someone to explain so much.


The years, since then, have added to the history, great races, talented athletes and wonderful coaches I have had a chance to work with and provide whatever help I could to a sport I have always loved and appreciated. Understanding the mental and physical effort that rowing requires has always given me great respect and value of the efforts our coaches need to create a better and faster racing crew each year with new and different challenges.


By the way, since I am missing from Seattle,   if you see US Rowing’s Willie Black at this convention please thank him for his work organizing – in the early 90’s – pulling the course from Lake Waramaug. Until he offered to spend a day at the lake, that job was just one more thing to fit in for me and after he left Connecticut, my kids were big enough to be helpful. I am proud both my children found their way to our sport after getting a “back stage” perspective of rowing as the regattas were often a family effort.


Finally – the assistance and community created for our sport by Row 2K with Ed Hewitt and his team of unsung helpers was incredibly helpful to our efforts to manage and promote better Sprint’s and Ivy Championships as well the positive effect for all rowers everywhere.


I look forward to offering as many of you as I can a personal thank you when we meet on the side of a river or lake during next few years. My sincere thanks to the CRCA, your officers and the Hall of Fame Committee for their support.


Thank you all, very much.