Richard A. "Dick"/"Pop" Glendon Sr.
Navy's Crew Coach 1904-1923, 1927-1931
Columbia's Assistant Crew Coach 1934-1937
Richard A. "Pop" or "Dick" as he was affectionately known, began his life on the water not as a rower but as a sailor on a schooner. He spent 5 years on the sea and then returned to Boston. In Boston, he began sculling and competed in a few professional races without much sucess.
He was hired by the United States Naval Academy in 1904 and under his leadership, the rowing program developed and he was able to take a crew to Poughkeepsie in 1907, the first Navy crew to compete there. He also developed the "Glendon Stroke," a modification of the English stroke, during his time at Navy.
In 1920, his coaching and hard work paid off. The Naval Academy competed in the Olympics at Antwerp and took the gold medal. As a result of this victory, he and several members of this crew were inducted into the Rowing Hall of Fame in 1964.
He retired from coaching in 1923, leaving the crews in his son's, Richard J. Glendon, capable hands. But when Navy and Glendon Jr. parted ways in 1925, Pop Glendon was persuaded to return as Navy's coach in 1927. He retired again from coaching in 1931, but was pulled back in as assistant coach at Columbia University until he finally successfully retired in 1937.
He passed away at the age of 86 in July 1956.
Writings by Glendon
Rowing by Richard A. Glendon and Richard J. Glendon
Sources about Glendon
The Wonder Crew: The Untold Story of a Coach, Navy Rowing and Olympic Immortality by Susan Saint Sing