The University of Florida Crew Team


Florida Crew is a club sport that was founded in 1984 for the purpose of promoting the sport of rowing to the students at UF. The club's goal is to provide students the opportunity to row, regardless of skill or previous experience, in a competitive and fun environment. It is currently the largest club sport at UF, with 87 rowers on the four teams--Women's Varsity, Men's Varsity, Women's Novice and Men's Novice. The team is entirely student-run, by an elected executive board and a paid coaching staff. The team is mostly driven by its fundraising efforts, but it does receive a small annual stipend from the Department of Recreational Sports at UF.

From the ground up

As a club sport, the team acted as such, with more focus on partying than actual rowing, until 2002 when Justin Knust, of Orlando Area Rowing, took over as the Men's Varsity head coach with the intent to bring the team up to a Division I level. From that point the men's team began a gradual growth that climaxed with a gold and a bronze medal at the Head of the Hooch, the largest fall regatta in the southeast, in 2006. Since that time the men's team has been consistently invited to selective races such as The Rollins Invitational and The Mayor's Cup. In 2007, Raf Crowley, of Bucknell University Crew, took over as the Women's Varsity head coach with the intent to follow Knust's standard and build a women's team out of nothing. He succeeded in just one year, builing a team that consisted of 26 girls by 2008. At the 2008 Head of the Hooch, the largest fall race in the southeast, the women's team won two gold medals--an unprecedented victory for the women's side. Both the men's and women's team are thriving today, gaining national recognition as each team competes on par with Division I and II schools from across the country.

Check out the official Florida Crew Web site at: Florida Crew

Recruiting the Best

To the left is the 2008-2009 recruitment video made by the team's Vice President, Emily Congdon. A huge component of the team is its recruitment efforts as the Novice Teams must thrive so that the Varsity prgrams will thrive as well. Florida Crew gives out no scholarships and receives no money to attract former rowers, and yet the team has managed to snag some excellent high school rowers as well as complete novices who have grown to love and excel at this sport. The Women's Novice Team is coached by Brian Scanlon, an alum of Winter Park Crew, and the Men's Novice Team is coached by Montia Rice, an alum of Jacksonville University Crew. The Women's Novice Team and Scanlon have greatly added to the success of the Varsity Women by producing three straight years of quality rowers. In 2006 the Novice Women came in 4th at the Head of the Hooch, and for the last two years, the Novice Women have placed 3rd. The Novice Men and Rice have also seen great success over the past few years, particularly at the Fall State Championships. Also, Rice's team last year took 3rd place at Regionals, a great accomplishment for the Men's side. Through its recruitment efforts and also fundraising efforts, Florida Crew has seen incredible growth in just a few short years, and more is sure to come.

Local Publicity

Check out some articles that have appeared in Gainesville newspapers on Florida Crew:

  1. The Gainesville Sun:
  2. The Independent Alligator:
  3. The Independent Alligator: