Charles S. "Buck" Walsh
Navy's Assistant Crew Coach 1926-1931
Navy's Crew Coach 1931-1950
Charles S. "Buck" Walsh graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1923 after rowing as part of the 1922 and 1923 crews. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1923 and while serving, he returned to the Academy in 1926-1927 to serve as coach of the freshman crew. In 1927, the freshman he coached won the race at Poughkeepsie.
In September 1927, he resigned his naval commission, but remained at the Academy as a civilian teaching seamanship and navigation and the permanent assistant crew coach to Richard A. "Dick"/"Pop" Glendon. He continued as freshman coach until Glendon resigned in 1931, whereupon he became head coach of the Navy crews.
Under Walsh, Navy's crews finished in the top 4 at Poughkeepsie and had a varsity 8 victory in Walsh's first year as head coach. They did not win again in the varsity 8 until 1938, which Walsh didn't see. Walsh was unable to coach his crews during the race, having injured himself while out with the other coaches in Rhinebeck, NY before the race. Determined to do their coach proud, the varsity went out to win the race for their coach, who watched them from his hospital window.
With the situation in Europe developing, Navy did not compete at Poughkeepsie after 1940. That same year, Walsh returned to active duty in the Reserve Commission and he would remain on active duty until his death. He continued to serve as a crew coach while on active duty.
Walsh continued as head crew coach until the spring of 1950 when he underwent surgery. He seemed to be recovering, but ended up back in the hospital a few weeks later. He passed away in November 1950 at the age of 49, the cause of death was listed as malignant tumors.
Walsh is remembered by the rowing world in the form of the Walsh Cup, awarded since 1967 to the winner of a varsity 8 race between the Naval Academy and University of Wisconsin.