Group pushes to bring rowing back to Buffalo State for first time in over 40 years

Dan Almasi, Managing Editor

Buffalo State hasn’t had a rowing team in over four decades. It was 1975 when the Westside Rowing Club – the facility which the team used – burnt to the ground. The facility was rebuilt shortly thereafter, but rowing never returned to Buffalo State.

A group of faculty members and students are pushing for the return of rowing to Buffalo State. Sue McCartney, director of the Small Business Development Center and William Durfree, a chemistry professor, are working to gain support for the return of a rowing program.

Due to Title IX, the school could only field a varsity women’s team, but there are talks of also creating a men’s club team.
“I think there’s a good possibility,” Buffalo State will be able to reinstitute a rowing program, said Jim Schaab, an oarsman and former president of WSRC and head rowing coach at Buffalo State from 1966-74. “We still have to iron some things out. We’re still in the early stages. People are saying it’s a great idea.”

A group of students, professors and others from the campus community took a tour of the West Side Rowing Club facility on Porter Avenue in Buffalo this past March.

Canisius College, D’Youville College and many area high schools field rowing teams which use WSRC’s facilities.

“We’re more than willing to work with them, more than happy to accommodate,” said Schaab, a member of the Buffalo State Athletics Hall of Fame. “I’m excited about it not only as an old coach, but as a member of the West Side Rowing Club. Our mission since 1912 is to teach the sport of rowing to the youth of Western New York.”

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