Our Story

Westerville Crew was founded in the fall of 1992, under the auspices of the former Ohio Athletic Club. WRC rowed out of the OAC on the Scioto River in downtown Columbus during its inaugural season. The original team consisted of five athletes from Westerville North. OAC generously allowed the team use of both coaches (Gary Summers and John Wilson) in addition to boats, oars and facilities.

During the Spring of 1994, the coaches gained sponsorship and permission to start a club sport within Westerville North and Westerville South which would row as one combined club.  During the fall 1994 season, Trish (Van Huffel) Chase (a member of the OAC at the time) joined the Club as an Assistant Coach.

It was determined that Westerville Crew needed a new venue that was closer to the local high schools.  The team was able to secure space at Hoover Yacht Club, on Hoover Reservoir (adjacent to the City of Westerville) where they constructed docks and boat storage racks.  By this time, the club had grown to 27 (10 males and 17 females) and added Tim Mills as an additional Assistant Coach. With borrowed boats from the OAC, in the spring of 1995, the team moved to their new location on Hoover Reservoir.


By the fall of 1995, with the Club’s continued growth, Matt Chase began to help and joined as an Assistant Coach.  Matt had learned to row at the OAC, and had competed in the Master’s (adult rowing) class with his twin brother, Bruce.  

Westerville Rowing Club was incorporated after the fall season of 1995 and a Board of Directors was formed. Initial Directors were Gary Summers, Ray Irvin, Matt Chase, and Robert Matheson.  Gary remained the Head Coach of the Westerville Rowing Club, Matt was the Assistant Coach, and Ray was the Chairperson. John Wilson left the Club during the 1995 fall season.


By the spring of 1997, membership had grown to over 60 students. After that season, coach Summers left the team moving to the Washington DC area. Matt and Trish remained on put in years or time and energy to grow the club into a nationally competitive rowing team, with its graduating seniors going on to row at the Ivies, Big Ten, PAC-12, ACC, Southeastern and other conferences, most on scholarship.

Matt Chase retired from coaching in 2017, after more than 20 years of service to the team after coaching hundreds of area youth in the sport of rowing. In keeping with the legacy of excellence Matt left behind, the team continues to produce nationally competitive rowers while teaching the values of teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship to the area youth and adult rowing community.

Westerville Crew stores its racing shells on land leased from the city of Columbus, but the rowers park their cars in the adjacent parking lot of the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Camp on Walnut Street.