Russell S. "Rusty" Callow

Washington's Crew Coach 1922-1927

Pennsylvania's Crew Coach 1928-1949

Navy's Crew Coach 1950-1959

Born in Washington State, it was no surprise that Russell S. "Rusty" Callow attended the University of Washington.  He played football and was on the crew where he served as varsity crew captain.  He captained the first Washington crew sent to Poughkeepsie in 1915.  In 1922, he returned to his alma mater and served as coach of the crews.  While coach, he encouraged George Pocock to make a shell for his crew, beginning a long relationship between Pocock and the University of Washington, and Pocock became a full time oar and shell maker shortly after agreeing to Callow's request.  In 1923, Callow's varsity crew became the first Washington crew to win at Poughkeepsie.  His crew would win again in 1924 and 1926.

In 1927, he was offered the head crew coach position at the University of Pennsylvania as a result of his successes with Washington's crews.  Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's crews did not have the same victories.  Callow eventually stopped bringing Pennsylvania's crews to Poughkeepsie starting in 1937, but they returned in 1947 when the regatta was revived.  Pennsylvania never realized success again at Poughkeepsie, but to his credit Callow continued to build the crew program up at Pennsylvania and coached the first women's crews.

In 1950 he left Pennsylvania for the United States Naval Academy where his crews had great success and in 1952, he coached the 1952 Olympic champion varsity 8 crew.  He would continue to coach there until his retirement in 1959.  He would pass away a few short years later in 1961.

Rusty Callow is known for his long spanning career and his contributions to the world of rowing.  He was involved in the creation of the Dad Vail Regatta and more.  The Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges gives out "The Rusty Callow Award" to crews that exhibit the virtues of “spirit, courage and unity.”

Callow was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1982.

Sources about Callow:

"Mr. Rowing." Sports Illustrated, June 6, 1955.

Woodard, Stanley H.  "Mr. Callow Takes on the West." Literary Digest, June 15, 1935. 

Ready All: George Yeoman Pocock and Crew Racing by Gordan R. Newell

Men's Crew History 1920-1929, University of Washington

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