Former UW coach and rowing pioneer dies at 91

Stanley Pocock, former coach of the UW men’s rowing team, died Dec. 16 at the age of 91.

He served as the UW’s rowing coach from 1948 to 1955 and was the first coach for the Lake Washington Rowing Club, and a coach for the U.S. men’s crew teams during the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games.

Via The Daily

By his teens, Pocock built his first boat. His father, George Pocock, filled his son’s mind with thoughts of Husky rowing and shell-building.

In 1947, Pocock found himself rowing the second seat on the Husky varsity eight-oared racing shell and winning third place in the IRA Championships. That same year, he graduated from the UW with a degree in engineering.

Stemming from his degree, and having worked as an apprentice for experienced family members, Pocock began creating and innovating rowing shells. He created the renowned Pocock shells, which are now a standard across college campuses, clubs, and national rowing associations. He was also the first to put fiberglass into boat designs.

In 1984, Pocock established the George Pocock Rowing Foundation to promote rowing throughout the Pacific Northwest.

This past October, Pocock received recognition at the UW Athletic Department’s Hall of Fame Banquet. He received the Dr. Don H. Palmer award, the most prestigious award given by the Big W Alumni Club. This award recognizes those who have shown special commitment to the UW Athletic Department.

From his birth in 1923 to his death, Pocock made a big impact on the UW’s rowing team — winning gold medals in 1936, 1948, and 1952 — and on the rowing community across the state.

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