University of Rhode Island Men’s Crew is a successful club rowing program that competes in the New England region against some of the best club and varsity teams in the country. The team is open to anyone willing to make the rigorous commitment.
The team was founded in 1965 by Math Professor Ralp Kopperman (Columbia ’62) with the help of a student Bill Sonzogni (URI ’67). (For more information see the history of the program). Since then, the URI Crew Club has been teaching young men and women about rowing, teamwork, responsibility, commitment, competitive and success.
The club program has been open to all URI students who are interested in trying the sport. Many of our rowers are novices, the program has a history of taking inexperienced athletes and making them into champions. No less than 5 athletes over the history of the program have gone on to represent the United States in International and Olympic competition.
The team trains throughout the school year, from September to June. URI competes in a few, “Head – style” races in the fall (Ex. Head of the Charles). However the real racing season runs in the spring from late March to early June. Schools on our regular racing schedule are as follows; UNH, Boston College, Bates, WPI, UMass, Coast Guard, Trinity, and Wesleyan. The team competes every year at The New England Championships in Worcester, MA in early May and the ECAC National Invitational . If the team also attends the ACRA’s National Championship.
The team rows on the Narrow River out of the Campanella Rowing Center. The rowing center houses two spacious boat bays, a workshop, erg room, weight room, conference room, men’s and women’s shower/changing room, and a coach’s apartment. The Narrow River offers a 2000 meter, four lane race course, as well as an additional 3000 meters of rowable water further downstream.
The program is partially subsidized by the University Student Senate and Recreational Services Department. However, most of the financial support comes from generous alumni, parents and friends.
Because of the support from Alumni, Parents & Friends, the team is blessed with a great rowing facility, good equipment, and a committed coaching staff.