Men’s Team History

The Ithaca College Men’s Rowing team was formed during the administration of President Howard Dillingham in the fall of 1968.The first competition was on April 19, 1969, when the Bombers rowed against Buffalo, Buffalo State and Canisius. Two weeks later coach Gary Kilpatrick and team captain and stroke Tim McNell guided the Bombers to a victory over Manhattan, Canisius and Buffalo in the Metropolitan Championship in New York City. Breif coaching stints by Kilpatrick and Bill Cromwall were followed by the successful tenure of Bob Tallman. From 1972-79 he built the bombers from fledging program into a small-college powerhouse.

In the mid-1970s, Ithaca’s crews established themselves as medal winners at the annual Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, recognized as the small college national championship. In 1975 Ithaca’s heavyweights went 12-0 and finished third at the Dad Vail (behind Massachusetts and the Coast Guard). Two years later, led by Stew Leonard and Dave Pustell, the Bombers repeated the bronze-medal performance.
Ward Romer joined the coaching staff in 1973 as an assistant and has remained a fixture with the Bomber crew since. He became Ithaca’s fourth head coach after Tallman’s retirement in 1979. Romer’s arrival coincided with Ithaca’s entrance into lightweight rowing. The Bombers lightweights finished in the top 10 at the Dad Vails in each of their first 11 years.

Dan Robinson, a 1979 Ithaca graduate, has been a consistent contributor to Bomber rowing. The current men’s head coach, Robinson helped engineer the program’s move from the Dad Vail Regatta, where the Bombers accumulated four varsity and 14 additional medals, to the CICR in 1993 (renamed the Avaya Regatta in 2001 and now permanently renamed the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championship).


Recent program highlights include top 10 finishes at the ECAC regatta in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2010; 17 of 19 point titles from two decades of the New York State championship regatta; a varsity 8 New York State gold medal in 2009; a program best 14 varsity 8 wins in 2003; and an undefeated regular season for the freshmen 8 crew in 2011 that won the bronze medal at the ECAC.


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