After 36 seasons on boathouse row, Gavin White is stepping down as Temple’s crew coach.
White told his team the news on Thursday morning as the Owls are set to compete in the Dad Vail Regatta on Friday and Saturday.
White was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease—a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to move —in 2002. With the help of assistant coach Brian Perkins, who joined the Owls’ staff in 2010, White’s role has been reduced after the past few seasons as his health has declined.
The longtime coach is one of only two coaches to lead the Temple program. He took over for Tom Curran in 1979 and has been the Owls head man since then.
In his career at Temple, White has guided the Owls to invitations from the Royal Henley Regatta on the Thames River in Thames, England. He also helped coach the U.S. Olympic team at the 2000 summer games in Sydney.
White has won 20 Dad Vail Regatta varsity 8 championships in his 36 seasons. Last year, the boat finished sixth at the regatta.
This season, the varsity 8 boat has three first place finishes including a victory at the 19-team San Diego Crew Classic.
Perkins rowed for White from 1988 to 1992, when he was team captain, and spent time as a graduate assistant for the program.from 1995 to 1998.
White’s tenure at Temple extends beyond his coaching career. He attended the university from 1969 to 1973, graduating with a bachelor’s in physical education. During his time as an undergraduate he rowed on the crew team for three seasons.
White also received his doctorate from Temple in 1986.
Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Owen_McCue