Nov. 16, 2012
SEATTLE - Stan Pocock, a Seattle native and former University of Washington oarsmen and coach, received the Medal of Honor award from USRowing at their annual Golden Awards Banquet on Wednesday night in New York City. Regarded as the highest honor in USRowing, it is a life-time achievement award given to those who have demonstrated excellence and accomplished extraordinary feats in rowing.
Pocock, the son of Pocock Racing Shells founder George Pocock, was introduced to rowing at a young age. His father taught him how to row and introduced him to boat building when he was just a teenager. Pocock attended the University Washington and was a member of the crew team, rowing two seat on the varsity eight boat that placed third at the IRA Championships under head coach Al Ulbrickson in 1947. He graduated from UW with an engineering degree and joined Ulbrickson's coaching staff in 1948 as the freshman coach. Pocock coached at Washington from 1948-1955. He became the first coach of the Lake Washington Rowing Club when it was founded three years later in 1958.
Pocock also coached several crews that competed in the Olympics, winning multiple medals including a gold in Rome with the men's four.
His innovate ideas in boat design forever changed the landscape of rowing. Working in his father's shop, Pocock was the first boat builder to incorporate fiberglass into a boat design, and in 1961 created the first full fiberglass shell.
As a memorial to his father, Pocock , his sister Patricia, and others in the rowing community established the Pocock Rowing Center--a premier rowing facility located in Seattle in just below the I5 bridge over Lake Union.
On Wednesday night, Pocock was called up to receive his award in front of a crowd that included another former Husky and three-time Olympic gold medal winner Mary Whipple. He received a standing ovation after his acceptance speech.
Also honored as part of Golden Oars ceremony were the fans choice awards. Greg King, a former Husky crew athlete and 2005 UW graduate, was chosen as Junior Coach of the Year. In his first season as head coach of the Washington, D.C. based high school, King's crews dominated on the national stage, winning gold at the 2012 Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta in the women's eight and took silver at the Stotesbury Regatta. The Washington Post named him a 2012 All-Met Coach.
USRowing announced that Whipple and the other members of US women's eight have won the 2012 Ernestine Bayer Award and will be honored at the 2012 USRowing Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, Okla. in December.