Aztec Rowing Celebrates 90 Years of Rowing Tradition

 

 

The Man Who Started it All
H.Del

As Aztec Rowing celebrates its 90th year, we remember commitment and sacrifice of all those who have rowed before us. Each morning as we carry our aching legs to the boathouse, we know that we are continuing a tradition of excellence that has perpetuated this team since 1925. As we pass this milestone, we take a look back at the life and legacy of the founding father of Aztec Crew, and San Diego rowing as a whole: H. Del Beekley (pictured left)

beekley

LA Times, March 22nd 1987

The reason he rose in the dark was to watch oars strike the water at a perfect angle, to coax rowers into precise form, and for a time, to be the winningest coxswain in the country. As a teenager , he took a seat in the stern of a shell with the San Diego Rowing Club–you can find aged photographs of him at the old rowing club turned Chart House restaurant–and went on to coach high school and San Diego State College teams. He says he watched San Diego rowing grow from a couple of state competitions to the annual Crew Classic he helped initiate 14 years ago. When the Mission Bay Aquatic Center opened a new Rowing Center in 1976, it was named for H. Del Beekley, “San Diego’s father of collegiate rowing.” At 88, the morning breeze is chilly, but Beekley is up coaching a crew of businessmen to win a race in the annual competition in April. “

-Nancy Reed

 

Scan_0008_NEW

Del, as most of his friends called him, joined SDRC in 1917 and remained an active member until his death in 2001 at the age of 102. He was not only a member of several championship teams from SDRC, but is also credited for reviving rowing at San Diego State University. As World War II veterans were coming home and taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, there was a renewed interest in rowing. Beekley restarted the program at SDSU in 1946. The program was discontinued after the 1948 season and then revived once again permanently in 1960. He retired as the Aztec’s coach in 1971, but remained on board as an advisor to the team until 1982. In 1975, when the Mission Bay Aquatic Center was opened, the wing that currently houses the rowing teams of SDSU men and women was dubbed the H. Del Beekley Rowing Center. Beekley, who stood barely 5 feet tall and weighed 110 pounds, was a loud and boisterous coxswain, coach, and ambassador for the sport. Even at 96, he would attend to the matters of repairing racing and rowing equipment as well as cleaning and worked for Prudential Insurance (SanDiegoHistory.org).

Read more about Del here

First Novice Practice/Tryouts

First Novice Practice/Tryouts

Recruiting for Aztec Rowing will be ongoing throughout September! Come out to the First Practice on Saturday September 3rd, 8:00-10:00am at our facility on Mission Bay! **Carpools will be available (Meet at the Bus turnaround in front of the ARC) Novice Tryouts will...

Back to School for the 2022 Fall Season

Calling all Aztecs! Move in date is upon us! Come by the Res Life Welcome Event from 8:00-11:00pm Wed (8/17) & Thurs (8/18) night on PG620 to meet some of the team while checking out the activities put on by AS! **PG620 is located directly behind the Fowler...

Fall Season Ends with 3rd Place Finish at Head of the Harbor

Fall Season Ends with 3rd Place Finish at Head of the Harbor

Head of the Harbor 2019 Finishing off the official racing season, the San Diego State Men’s Crew headed up to the Port of LA for fast racing against some of the Southwest’s best crews. Unlike most fall races, Head of the Harbor offered the opportunity to get a glimpse...