Stetson Crew was established in 1988 by Betsy Cowan and Katherine Bryan, two students, with the help of the West Volusia YMCA and local supporter, Mrs. Dorothea Griesman. Coached by Warren Morgan, the original co-ed team was composed of a small group of students who wanted to pursue an activity that would challenge them both mentally and physically. The YMCA loaned the team 3 eight-oared shells and a launch for the coach. With space donated by the Lake Beresford Yacht Club, the team built racks and a shed to store their boats and equipment. Although the team had little money, it survived due largely to it’s own enthusiasm and the generosity of others.
In the spring of 1991, Dr. Curt Rausch joined Stetson Crew as the Women’s Coach and that fall became the Head coach. Stetson Crew hosted its first regatta in 1992, winning 4 of the 7 races against the University of Florida. This year also brought Stetson its first 4-man shells.
In 1993 Stetson Crew gained Varsity status with the University. As an NCAA Div. I sport, crew was now funded by the university to the point of hiring coaches to make Stetson Crew a competitive sport. These coaches include former Stetson Crew member Dino Evans (Head coach, 93-94), Michael O’Gorman (Head coach 94-97) and Anne Dinshah (97-98). During this time Stetson Crew attended the Dad Vail regatta for the first time in Philadelphia.
In the Fall of 1998, Charles Huthmaker (Stetson Crew c/o ‘92) was hired as Head Coach to help rebuild. Over the next two years Stetson Crew flourished with numerous medals at the FIRA and SIRA Championships.
As a result of this success, Stetson University increased the coaching staff to 2 full-time Head Coaches. For the first time, Stetson Crew had 2 full-time coaches whose sole purpose was the growth and prosperity of the program. Chris Day (Stetson Crew c/o 2000) was hired as Stetson’s first Head Men’s Coach. The competitiveness of the program has reflected the vision and leadership.
The crew program has continued to grow in the early part of the decade. In 2004, Stetson took home a record six medals at the FIRA State Championships. The women's varsity pair went on to finish fifth in the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta at the end of the season.
Huthmaker moved on following the 2003-04 season and Stetson hired former Temple coach Christine Deatrick to head the program.
A new and exciting future lies ahead for Stetson Crew with the imminent purchase of a permanent home for Stetson Crew. With this, the sky is the limit. All we must do is reach for the stars and our dreams will be realized.