University of California Berkeley University of California Bancroft Library/Berkeley Regional Oral History Office Carroll "Ky" Ebright KY BBRIGHT: CREW COACH FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AND THE OLYMPICS Interview By Arthur M. Arlett Berkeley 1968 Ky Ebright, Crew Coach, University of California Photograph by ASUC Photography All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement between the Regents of the University of California and Carroll "Ky" Ebright. The manuscript is thereby made available for research purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley. Requests for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal agreement with Carroll "Ky" Ebright requires that he be notified of the request and allowed thirty days in which to respond. PREFACE Under a grant from the University of California Alumni Foundation, the Regional Oral History Office has been conducting a series of interviews with persons who have made a significant contribution to the development of the University of California at Berkeley. The following interview with Carroll "Ky" Ebright, California varsity crew coach, is one of this University History series. An earlier group of interviews included persons representing a wide range of University activity Dean Lucy Sprague (Mitchell), Regent John Francis Neylan, Professor Stephen Pepper, Dr. Langley Porter, Ida Wittschen Sproul, and Dean William Wurster. Among those in the on going series are Mary Blossom Davidson, Dean of Women; Allen C. Blaisdell, Director of International House; Robert Underhill, University Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Regents; and in athletics, Brutus Hamilton, Clinton W. Evans, and Carroll M. "Ky" Ebright. The University History interviews have been benefited greatly from the expert advice and assistance of Richard E. Erickson, Executive Manager of the Alumni Association; Arthur M. Arlett, Intercollegiate Athletic Coordinator for Alumni and Public Relations; and Verne A. Stadtman, Centennial Editor. 11 In March 196? Ky Ebright was asked to tape record his story of the development of the athletic program at Gal. His reply Indicates the active life he leads in retirement. "I ll be glad to cooperate on this. I might point out that we now spend half the time in the Northwest. Will be here till about June 1, back about September 1. Going to Europe September 21 to October 18. Ky." The interview took place on April ?, 196?, with the interviewing being done by Arthur Arlett, a long-time friend and co-worker in athletics of Mr. Ebright *s. It was then transcribed and returned to Mr. Ebright for checking and approval. Aside from the removal of a few excess "wells" and "ahs", the final typescript is almost the same as the verbatim transcript. The Regional Oral History Office was established to tape record autobiographical interviews with persons prominent in recent California history. The Office is under the administrative supervision of the Director of the Bancroft Library. Wllla Baum, Head Regional Oral History Office 2 July 1968 Regional Oral History Office Room ^4-86 The Bancroft Library University of California Berkeley, California iii INTRODUCTION Ky Ebright, then a young alumnus of the University of Washington and a former coxswain there, was brought to Berkeley as head crew coach in 1924 and remained in that capacity until his retirement in 1959- No other head coach in any sport at the University of California has served for such a long period of time. Nor has any other crew coach in the entire nation matched his record of winning three Olympic championships. He guided the Bears to victory at Amsterdam in 1928, at Los Angeles in 1932, and at London in 1948. In those same years and also in 1934, 1935, 1939 and 1949 he coached California varsity crews to national (IRA) championships, while his junior varsities won corresponding honors in 1941, 1947, 1951 and 1959. Small of stature, as befits a coxswain, he is affectionately known as "The Little Admiral," but he has been a giant in his profound influence on the young men who learn to love rowing. Of all the sports in which student athletes compete, none is more demanding in maximum effort and total dedication, or in self-effacement and working as a team, yet as individuals over the years iv men in crew have learned from Ky Ebright and his successors to compete with equal vigor in the classroom. Their remarkably high scholastic averages testify to his teaching. Arthur M. Arlett Coordinator for Alumni and Public Relations 2? June 1968 Department of Intercollegiate Athletics *f08 Eshleman Hall University of California Berkeley, California CONTENTS PREFACE 1 INTRODUCTION ill FAMILY RECOLLECTIONS 1 Growing up In Seattle 1 Parents and In-laws 3 i Children and Grandchildren 4 Retirement In California and Washington. 1959 5 The University of Washington, 1912-17 7 Interim; The Army and the Steel Mill 9 THE SPORT OF CREW 10 Some Washington Coaches 10 The Washington Board of Stewards and a Coach for California 11 Being Loyal to the Sport of Crew 13 Catching Up to Washington. 1927 15 The Rowing Hall of Fame 17 The 1926 Freshmen and the 1928 Varsity Crew 18 "California s Crew for California s Olympics , " 1932 21 The Business of Building Shells 22 Crewmen s Morale 27 vi The Coxswain Has the Savvy 28 Finding Oarsmen 30 The Olympic Games in Mexico 32 Conditioning for Crew 33 California s Ark 36 The Launch, the "Miss It" 37 Crew, the Purely Amateur Sport 39 Coordinating Men in a Crew 41 Size of the Oarsmen, Size of the Shell 4-5 Best and Best in Shells *f? Mementos 4-9 Boat Travel to the Olympic Games 51 Stowaways 52 Weather for the Olympic Races 55 The Margin of Victory 56 INDEX 59 FAMILY RECOLLECTIONS Growing up in Seattle Arlett: This is an interview with Carroll, better known as Ky Ebright, for thirty-five years the California varsity crew coach. The date, April ?th, 196?. Ky, this is going to be a very informal proceeding. Before we get into other things: how did you come by the name "Ky" when you started out with Carroll? Ebright: Well, it was a nickname I ve had a long, long time, and I really don t remember myself, but it was, I think, partially a contraction of my name, Carroll. Arlett : Practically everyone knows of Ky, but not everybody knows Carroll. Anybody that ever went to the University of California, I guess, knows of Ky Ebright. And a lot of people in places like Amsterdam, London, and other way points. Ky, I d like to find out a little bit about your own family, that is, your father and mother, and if you had Arlett: brothers and sisters, and Just a little bit of baok- drop on your personal beginnings. Ebright: Well, I m an only child. I m a member of the Society of California Pioneers, which means that my grand father was a Forty Niner. He came across the plains in 18*4-9, and was up in the Marysville area for ten years. Then he went back to his home in Ohio. My father was born in Xenia, Ohio. And then shortly thereafter they homesteaded on a farm in Kansas, where my father was raised. Well then, after my father grew up he left home and for awhile, in the Eighties, he was in San Diego, in business. And then he went back East, and I was born in Chicago. Things were kind of dull in that year, in 189^ a depression time. Then the big gold strike in Alaska. In ninety-eight, Seattle was a lively area, so my father and all of us migrated out there in 1900. And I went to school there, went on to high school and the University of Washington. Arlett: What high school did you go to? Ebright i The name of the school was Broadway High School, a central high school, in the middle of Seattle. Parents and In-Laws Arlett: Ky, Jumping ahead a bit I was interested in hearing more about your parents and a coincidence of age and events for your parents and your wife s parents. Ebright: My parents were very long lived. My father died at the age of 96, and my mother at the age of 93 both of them in 1959 the same year that I retired. And Kathryn s parents were long lived too. Her father was 91, her mother far into her 80 s. So our children have a pretty good heritage. Yes, and my parents and Kathryn s parents were friends, as a matter of fact, before she was born. Arlett: Did you two both go to the University of Washington? Ebright: No, Kathryn went to the University of Oregon. She s considerably younger than I am. But her brother Walter, Walter Doty, editor of Sunset magazine for a long time Arlett: An old friend of mine. Ebright: He was a classmate, a neighbor of ours. His family were neighbors of ours, and he was a classmate of mine in grammar school, high school, and college. So my parents and Kathryn s parents were friends, long long ago. Children and Grandchildren Arlett: Have any of the other members of your family, that is, any of your children, been involved in crew or in other forms of athletics? Ebright: No. I have two children, a son and a daughter. My son went to Cal, graduated in 195^ He went out for basketball manager, but he was not big enough to be an athlete, nor small enough to be a coxswain. My daughter Margaret was a pretty good swimmer and likes to ski. Arlett: Well, now you ve got yourself some smaller Ebrights. Ebright: Oh, yes. Arlett: Grandchildren. Ebright: My son who s living in San Francisco has three daughters. The oldest one s six years old. Both my son and son-in-law are attorneys. My son in Oakland, my son-in-law in Medford, Oregon. Our daughter has four children, three boys and a girl. The oldest one is seven. So we ve got seven young grandchildren. Retirement In California and Washington. 1959 Arlett: You talk about your children s having a chance of living a long time. I couldn t help notice as I came to your home some of the work you ve been doing, and it doesn t look to me like you ve slowed down any. How do you spend your time in retirement? Ebright: There s always stuff to do. As I say, we live in the Northwest on our country place there, near Seattle on the shore of Lake Sammamish. It s a pretty good-sized area, and we work on that, hard, and then this is a pretty big area here, and so it keeps us busy. And then, anybody interested in real estate has plenty to occupy both his thoughts and muscles. Arlett: You might Just give us a thumbnail idea of what you ve been building down below your house here. This is a real project I Ebright t We live in a place [in Berkeley] that we have lived in for thirty years, and there s a canyon goes through, and there s a bridge across the canyon. I built a bridge across it thirty years ago which has recently rotted out. And then there were some Ebright: big bay trees around it that were hanging out over. They re about thirty Inches In diameter at the butt. So before I built the new bridge I had to cut the bay trees. My chain saw does It very easily, but It takes some doing. And so I got those down, and now I m building the new bridge, and Arthur, you saw that as you came up to the house. Arlett: But I understand you and Mrs. Ebright carried those girders up yourselves, up the creek? Ebright: Oh, yes, we carried those up this morning. We decided not to make just a straightforward bridge, but to make a kind of a cantilevered arch. I put the redwood 4x6 pieces together down in the garage, and then we had to struggle up with them this morning. We figure that the more you do, why, the more it keeps you going. (Laughter) We don t try to get out of work. We try to figure out ways to make more of it for ourselves. Arlett t Are you very active in other organizations, apart from the University? Have you been active in things like Rotary or Lions or Kiwanls? Ebright: No, no, I ve never been active in any of those things. As a matter of fact, the only organization that I really belong to, I think, is the Order of Daedalians , Ebright: which is World War I flyers, and we got a lot of fun out of that. Matter of fact, we went to a meeting of it up at Travis Air Force Base Just a week ago. But that s the only thing. They have meetings all around. They re real nice people, and some have become old friends now, and we enjoy it very much. I flew up to Alaska with them in 1963, and that was a wonderful one-week trip. Arlett: What kind of planes were you flying and then instructing in? Ebright: Jennies. JN 4 D s, they call them Jennies. Much different from the current thing, you know. The University of Washington 1912-17 Arlett: You were at the University of Washington for what years then? Ebright: I went there in the fall of 1912, and I was there until the spring of 191?. I attended college for four and a half years. I went my four years, but I had a few more units, and so I worked on the Seattle waterfront for a fall term, and came back in the spring, and was coxswain on the crew again in 191?. 8 Arlett: How did you happen to get started In crew In the first place? I suppose Seattle was always a sort of a springboard to it? Ebright: I didn t really know anything about it. The only thing I remembered about it was when my dad and I and another fellow went out fishing one time on Lake Union, when I was a little bit of a kid, and the Washington crew went by, with a big splash and a clatter. It was quite a thing, you know, in those days, to see those crews go by. Then, when I took the physical examination, as a freshman, like all the kids do, I remember I weighed 113 pounds, and the fellow that was examining us said, "That s about the proper weight for coxswain. 11 Well, it had never occurred to me, you know, but I was interested, and started thinking about it, and sure enough, when the call came, I went out for freshman coxswain. Arlett: Did you in those days ever dream that you d eventually get around to coaching the big fellows here on these crews now? Ebright: Oh, no, no, never. Or even far later, you know, never. Arlett: What was your major? Ebright: Well, I was in what you would now call business administration. Then it was part of economics. Arlett: So you Intended to go into business of some kind? Ebright: Yes. Interim; The Army and the Steel Mill Arlett i How did you happen to get into the coaching part of it? Ebright Well, you see, I graduated in 1917. The First World War was Just starting, but there were a few months before I went into the service. My uncle had been employed, had been friends with the people that ran the Pacific Coast Steel Company, now part of Bethlehem Steel, a rolling mill there. So it was logical for me to go there and apply for a Job. And I worked there six months, from the time I graduated until about the first of the year, when I came down to Berkeley "Ground School for Military Aviation." Then down to North Island learned to fly down in San Diego, and then went to San Antonio, Brooks Field, learned to be an Instructor; went to Call Field, Wltchita Falls, Texas, and served as an instructor until the war ended. 10 THE SPORT OP CREW Some Washington Coaches Arlett And then you went back to Seattle? Ebrlght: Then I went back to Seattle, and went back to my old Job there in Pacific Coast Steel Company. I was interested in the Washington crews, and was out there helping them informally some with the coaching, although none of it formally, and Just kept in touch. That was in 1919. Arlett: Who was the head coach at Washington then? The University coach? Ebrlght: My coach had been Hiram Connibear, and he was killed by falling out of a plum tree in the fall of 1917 so I was the coxswain of the last crew that he coached. Then the war intervened, but it was only a short time, you know, one year, and Ed Leader became the coach. Arlett x Two famous names. Ebright: Yes. Ed coached there until 22. He went to Yale in 23 and Rusty Callow took over at Washington. I was kind of helping those fellows out there, Informally, you know. I suppose you d like to know how I happened 11 Ebrlghtt to come down here. Arlettt I certainly would. The Washington Board of Stewards and a Coach for California " Bbrlghti Well, you know, California hadn t been having very good luck with the crews. Washington had been winning pretty regularly. And Stanford had dropped out, in 1920. But California still had hopes of competing, and having a good crew. I was a member of what they called the Board of Stewards. Well, that s a term--they have it in the East alumni and older people who are interested in the crew and kind of help out with the handling of it, you know. There were two other fellows, Ward Kumm, who was the captain and stroke of the crews of which I was coxswain in 1916 and 17, and a fellow named Brous Beck, who was very Interested in rowing. They were the principal ones in this Board of Stewards. California decided that they d make one more stab at it, the crew, you know, and as long as Washington had been doing quite well against them, they decided to come up to Washington and look for 12 Ebright: a coach. And Ward Kumm there s his picture right there, he Just passed away a year ago they were in touch with Brous Beck and Ward Kumm. And Lute (Luther) Nichols, Cal graduate manager, came up there. Yes, Lute Nichols came up, in the fall of 1923, and he was staying at that so-called New Washington Hotel. He and Brous Beck and Ward Kumm and I went to lunch together, and we discussed the possibility of me coming down here. Now I don t remember whether we discussed the possibility of either Ward or me, or Just me. Because I know Ward came down, and talked to some of these people. He was an attorney in Seattle, and whether they really wanted him to come or not, I don t know. But he didn t want to come anyway. He wanted to practice law in his home town. Which he did, all his life. But anyway, that day we had lunch, afterward we sat there in the room and discussed the matter all afternoon; then we all three came down in the elevator together, walked out on the street, and the newsboys were hollering extras. The extra was the Berkeley fire. So I know to the day when I first talked about coming down here to coach. It was that day of the Berkeley fire, which was September l?th, 13 Ebright: 1923. So then the arrangement was made, and I came down here about the first of the year, looked the place over, and kind of talked to them again. And then, on the first of February 192^ I came down and took over the crew. Arlett: Had California given up the sport during the time when you were coxswain, or were you competing against California at the time? Ebright: Oh, California never gave it up. Stanford did. Arlett: Stanford gave it up? Ebright: Stanford gave it up, in 1920. But California continued, and competed against Washington every year, I think, except that one war year of 1918. Arlett : It probably would have been the Spring of 18. Ebright: When they didn t have the crew. But they were back again in 19. 17 and 19, and so forth. Being Loyal to the Sport of Crew Arlett: Now, of course, here s the $6^,000 question, in a way. You had gone to the University of Washington, and the rivalry between the California and Washington crews has always been, you know, so Intense. I ve Arlettt been curious how long it took you to become a con verted Californian. Ebright: Well, in a way, you know, we were always taught by old Hiram Connibear to be loyal to our own institu tion, but we were taught also to be loyal to the sport of crew. And we were very interested in not having California succumb, you know, quit. Because if that had been true, then the closest crew competi tion would have been Wisconsin, a long ways away, and meant the possible death of rowing at Washington too. And so some of us really thought that we were, in a way, helping the Washington crew; now actually this is no bull, by coming down here and maybe letting the California crew survive. Of course I felt that way, and Ward and Brous and some of them did; but there were others there that didn t. Now, it never occurred to me that there would be such a vicious and bloody feeling very shortly. And if I had realized that I don t believe I d ever have tackled it. But, after you get into it, why, you ve got to go for what it s worth, and stick it out. It was really quite an uncomfortable thing there for a long time because it was a really vicious competition. The thing was, here California 15 Ebrlght: didn t have much of a crew, and Washington had been beating them regularly. I came down here in 1924 to try and make something out of it. And Washington won the Poughkeepsie Championship in 23, 24, and 26, and took second in 25. So that s what I was bucking up against, you know. And it was tough. Arlettt Well, you not only bucked up against it, you caught up with it pretty soon too. Catching Up to Washington, 1927 Ebright: Yes, we finally won from Washington in 192?. So there was 24, *5 and 6 where the going was pretty tough. And I didn t know whether I was going to survive or not. And my employers there, I d discussed the matter with them before I left, with my boss there, Mr. Kllngan. Course, the idea of college athletics and professional athletics in that day was much different than it is now, you know, and professional athletics was sort of looked down upon. And he said, "Well, if it was professional athletics, I d say, don t do it, but as long as it s college athletics, why, you ll meet people there that will be fine people, 16 Ebright: and will be friends of yours all your life." And then he said, "It isn t as if you re somebody that we were trying to get rid of here. And so you can try it out, and if doesn t work, why, we ll be glad to have you come back." Arlett: Who was President of the University of California at that time? Was Wheeler still ? Ebright: William Wallace Campbell. Dr. Barrows had been an interim president, but Campbell had Just taken over, Just about at that time. Arlett: Then, of course, he wasn t on too long either before Sproul came in, I guess. Ebright: No. A matter of a few years there. President Sproul probably came in about 1930. Arlett: He did, in the fall of 30. Ebright: I came in 1924, so Campbell was president for several years, I know that. Arlett: Now, you know, I was a cinch to come to this matter of that Olympic Crew of 28, which is about to have quite an event. I d rather have you tell about it in your own words. 17 The Rowing Hall of Fame Ebright: Well, they re going to be inducted into the Rowing Hall of Fame at the time of the National Regatta at Syracuse, in June, this year. Two of the boys there are six still living two of the boys are already members of the Hall of Fame, and I am a member of it, so that ll mean that there ll be four new ones of them. But all of us will be there. Arlett: I understand that all but the two fellows who have passed on will be there, those two being Bill Thompson and Ebright: Bill Thompson, Number Six man, and Jack Brinck, the Number Two man. Arlett: This is going to be quite a year for things like this, I mean with that 28 crew of yours having this happen, and then your 32 crew, I believe, is Ebright: They re going to go en masse up to the Washington- California race on the 28th, 29th of April to celebrate their win up there, when they won from Washington by 18 lengths, the widest margin of any crew race between Washington and California in history. Arlett: And it happens also to be thirty-five years, sort of 18 Arlett: symbolic one of those numbers for reunions. Ebright: That was 1932 to 1967, yes. Arlett: This Is a marvelous thing, and I suppose you have many memories. In that 1928 year, when you first won the Olympics, what were the rough spots along the line? I mean, you had made some tremendous progress in two years there, apparently. The 1926 Freshmen and the 1928 Varsity Crew Ebright: Well, we didn t have too much of a crew until the 1926 freshmen. That was Pete Don! on and Fran Frederick and Bill Thompson and Jack Brlnck, all four of those fellows were members of that freshman crew, 26 freshman. And that was the basis of our 28 crew. Then those fellows were all in the 2? varsity, and went to Poughkeepsie, but we didn t win. We took third. We went to Poughkeepsie in 1926. That was the first year for a California crew to go in my time. One had gone before, in 1921, and had taken second. But in 1926 we took all three of them, our freshman, our Junior varsity, and our varsity. The freshman, that was the good crew, with Pete Donlon Sbrlghtt and those fellows, took second. Our J.T. S took third. And oar varsity took sixth. and those fresfaHen were, aooi men, yoo know, wz we had a ?ood rarslty, but we couldn t qwlte aaxe it nHck there, we took third. A*rd thes, of course, everybody was eyeing this 1923 t>i2f7, you know. Anc we were working for it, thinking about it. And taer we won all the races, beat *as&ln?toei. e *%d beatez. the* in 1927. That was down here. Ve d won by 9Vte a aargln, fiTe or six lengths. 7-.r- 1- 25 It w=^ up there, and it s tougher uc there. 3ut we woz., rj, oh, something like a lerxth, 1 r^ess. That was the t:_ e" -_^^le, and the , and at Poo^hkeepsls _r^ke toe rt^cr^. that had stood for a Ions, leer tlae. I tfelak It had been since 1901. So tbat was az: en^r-jTs^-arezT trr. and the guys really began to be ezsthoslastie a-^tf optimistic about it. And then Tale, yon see, with that saae Sd Leader as coach, h%d be*- : - ? Clrirri: representative la 192*^ at Paris, and tiej were the faTorlte at the Olyaale trials la Pniladelrtla. we went down there, and we Arlett: who won it in 20 Ebright: 1924. Ed Leader s time was 1924. In 1920 it was the Navy with Clyde King, now Admiral Clyde King of Stinson Beach, and those fellows. 1924 was Ed Leader and Yale. The most prominent member of Ed Leader s 1924 Crew is the bow man, Dr. Spook. Arlett* Oh. (Laughter) He s known in even more parts of the world than you are, I guess. (Laughter) That must have been a tremendous thrill, to to back there, I mean in what seems like a relatively short period of time, to go from scratch up to the Olympics. Ebright z It sure was. Yes. It took some doing, though, you know. There at Philadelphia, where we had three races, the first one was against, I think it was Columbia. They had taken second at Poughkeepsie. And we won from them quite easily. Maybe Princeton. Anyway, one heat was Princeton, and the next one was Columbia, and then the final one against Yale. And of course Yale was the big favorite, but we felt like we could do it, and we did. Arletti Then you went along for another four years, and lo and behold you went down to Los Angeles, Long Beach, or wherever it was. Ebright: Well, these things don t happen automatically, you 21 Ebright: know. And we d been working on that since 1928. That was our chance to get out of the woods, and these boys were good boys, you know, that I had. And they responded. But you have to have some angles, and this Olympic thing appealed very highly, "California s Crew for California s Olympics," 1932 Then, in 1932, you had to have something, and I dreamed up the slogan: "California s Crew For California s Olympics," and we worked on that, and it had a good appeal, you know. In other words, we got more good out of it than any other U.S. crew would have. Because all our people were from right here in our own back yard. Arlett: Looking back on it, of course, this is all hindsight, in a way, but was one of these more satisfying or more exciting than the other? Ebright: Of the wins, you mean? Arlett: Yes. Ebright: Well, I think that, if you look back, that winning at Poughkeepsie the first time was the most satisfying. Arlett: How many crews were there at that time? 22 Ebright: At Poughkeepsie? Arlett: Yes. Ebright: I think there were only six. A far cry from now, when they have fifteen. But still, to us it was a big thing, you know. Arlett: Now we have nineteen crews on the Pacific Coast. Ebright: Correct. In those days, when I first came down here we had a varsity and freshman race with Washington. That s all. That was all the rowing activity on the coast. Then a couple of years after I came we got the junior varsity going, and then a few years later Stanford came back in, and then Oregon State came, and then gradually all the Southern California ones. The Business of Building Shells Arlett: Well, even back in those days the California crew, the shells and the equipment, things like that, were those made for the California crew? Or had we v> inherited some of them from some place else, even as we since have donated equlnment to others? I was curious about the beginnings. 23 Ebright: I think originally California got some shells from Cornell, about 190? but that was long before I came. And the equipment that we had when I came was adequate. Seven eights. It was all made by George Pocook up in Seattle, who made the Washington shells, and still makes them for most of the colleges now, you know. Arlett: Is he still alive? Ebright: He still is. George Pocock is living, and works every day, hard. But his son, who was an oarsman at Washington, he s now perhaps 35 to ^-0, he works in the business too, and they ve got a fine business. Arlett : George Pocock must have been pretty young, then, when he started making these. Ebright: Yes, he was. He s only two or three years older than I am. And he first made shells when I was an under graduate, so you see, he was quite a young fellow. Arlett: Wonder how he got on to that. Ebright: We haven t got time to tell everything, you know. Arlett: Oh, we have time enough to hear the things that are interesting. Ebright: You know, his father was a boat man at Eton College in England. He built shells for them, and helped with the boating of the kids, and I don t know if Ebright: he coached, but anyway, just helped keep it going, and he was a competent boat builder. Well, George and his brother Dick, his brother Dick was a little older, three or four years older maybe, about that time, that must have been around 15, 1914 or *15, they decided to migrate from their home in Eton, in England, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, new country. And they didn t know what they were going to do, of course, and they didn t have any idea of building shells, because, you know, there certainly wasn t much of that activity out there in the woods. But they brought along some little slides and stuff, and of course their tools. They were competent workmen by this time. Their father had taught them. And the Jobs that they got up there in Vancouver weren t very satisfying. They heard of Washington crews so they began thinking about getting into their old trade of building shells, and they came down to Seattle to talk to Connibear. Sure enough, they arranged to come down there, I think that was 1915 and build two shells for the University of Washington. So, this George Pocock has been building the shells there ever since. Arlett: Does he build other kinds of craft too? I mean, there wouldn t be enough universities and colleges rowing in those days, I wouldn t think, to Ebright: But there are, by this time he makes oars, and send them all over the world, you know. And he has done other things. During the first war there was no activity, and so he worked for Boeing at that time, building planes, where it was wood work similar to the shells. Well, that s another story, and I won t tell that one. Arlett: (Laughter) Go ahead and tell it. Ebright: I was going to say that Boeing was not very affluent in those days, and so in lieu of paying him and his brother Dick, they gave them each a hundred shares of stock. And shortly thereafter Dick sold his hundred shares, but George kept his, and not very long after they split it eleven for one. So clear back there in the teens he had 1100 shares of Boeing. Now I don t know how many he still has, but I went through the library, the records, just for fun, and if he had kept those shares he would now have, I figured, around seven or eight thousand shares of Boeing stock. I was talking to him last summer when Boeing stock was going up fast, fast. The day before 26 Ebright: it had gone up, oh, a couple dollars or so I said, "Gee, George, you had a pretty bad day yesterday. You only made fifteen or twenty thousand dollars." And he laughed, and he said, "You know, I m going to be lousy rich." (Laughter) This year Boeing stock has ranged between 62 and 112. Arlett: Must be a wonderful feeling for a boat builder. Ebright: He works hard every day. He works the full day s shift Just like the rest of the workmen. Arlett: Hmmm. Well, back in those days there was a time when California crews had men on them who were in other sports there for awhile. I think of Dan McMillan. Ebright: Yes. Well, Dave DeVarona was about the last in 1939. Arlett: He was the last one. Ebright: Yes. Arlett: But did you have practice the year around, practically, like they do now? It seems to me that it starts pretty early in the fall. Ebright: Oh, yes. We had fall practice right from the time I came. We had fall practice and spring practice. Well, I remember old Andy Smith was a little apprehensive. He didn t want us to steal any of 27 Ebrlght: his men, but he was very friendly. In those days there was more of being on more teams than now. It s still practical, I guess, for the proper people, and Dave DeVarona, you know, he s a unique person, only one in the world that ever rowed on a winning Poughkeepsie crew, and played in a winning Rose Bowl football game. Arlett: That s quite a combination. Ebrlght: It sure is. He wasn t a Phi Beta Kappa, but his daughter Donna won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Arlett: Well, you can t have everything. Ebright: No. (Laughter) Crewmen s Morale Arlett: There s one thing about crew that s always intrigued me, Ky, and you re the man who s pretty much made it that way at Berkeley. Maybe it s this same way at other places, but the dedication of the fellows that go out for crew seems to carry right on with them all through their lives. I mean, they re the most, I don t know what to call it, devoted, or loyal. I don t know what the word is. They have a tremendously 28 Arlett: high morale of their own, it seems like. Is it because you attract that kind of people, or do they make it this way? Ebright: There s Just something about the sport, I think, that attracts that kind of people. And there s something inherent in it that kind of stimulates that sort of a feeling. And I think it s pretty much the same way with all crew men everywhere. Arlett i There s no room for selfishness in a boat with eight men. Ebright: Yes, that s right. Arlett: Pulling together. You can t be a lone ranger. Ebright: No, no, you can t. The Coxswain Has the Savvy Arlett: I d like to get back to this other thing. Are there very many men who, like yourself, have gone on from being a coxswain to being coaches in this sport? Ebright: Well, yes. Of course when I came, you know, Buss Nagler came with me from Washington as my assistant. He was freshman coach for many years. He was a 29 Ebrlght: coxswain. And the coach at Harvard, for many years, Harvey Love, was a Washington coxswain. A kid that coached the freshmen at Yale, Don Grant, was a coxswain from Washington. And others. There ve been quite a few. Quite a few. Arlett: In learning the things that the coach has to be able to teach the oarsmen, and most of your oarsmen have to be taught because they ve never done it before, the coxswain must have to absorb an awful lot of what is told to the oarsmen in order for him to impart this knowledge to others. Ebright: Yes. Well, what I would say is that the coxswain really is the more logical one to be a coach because, in a way, his Job is coaching those men, stimulating them and correcting them. And of course the oarsman himself, he Just sits there and tries to do it, but he doesn t tell the other fellow, so, the coxswain really is the logical one. Now I think, from a psychological point of view, a coxswain is not at an advantage. A big fellow, the youngsters look up to more, you know, and he has Just a more massive opportunity to project himself. But really, I think the coxswain generally savvies better. Arlett: There s still a lot of repartee between the coxswain 30 Arlett: and the oarsman on that 1928 crew of yours. Ebright: Yes. Oh, yes. (Laughter) Arlett: Do you see much of these fellows that were on that crew? Ebright: Oh, yes, I see them frequently, here and there, run into them. For Instance, last night we went to the Charter Day Banquet. We had discussed it with Dave Dunlap, and his wife, Elizabeth, at Alumni Crew Day, so we went together last night, Just like that, Arlett: I imagine you see Pete Don! on from time to time. Ebright: Oh, yes. We re friendly, and run into them here and there. Arlett: He looks like he d still get out there and row. Ebright: Yes, he does. He looks like a sophomore. Arlett: Oh, isn t that the truth, though? (Laughter) Finding Oarsmen Arlett: The other thing about your sport is the question of the way you round these fellows up. A moment ago you said, it attracts that type of man, but that type of man, in the first place, probably doesn t even know about it. When a man comes to the University of 31 Arlett: California, he may not be familiar with crew, and hasn t been someplace where it was popularized, and yet you people always seem to find a way to get these men that you need. Ebright: Well, I think the oarsmen themselves, they watch, that s part of their preoccupation, as they go about the campus, to find kids that look like they d be good oarsmen. And then, of course, we re always at the registration line. We check them, you know, and talk to the tall ones, and get their names and addresses, and follow them up, and try to get them down there and get them interested. Arlett: I guess that s become a little more difficult with them registering by mail. Ebright: Yes. Yes, it has. (Laughter) You have to depend on your own people talking to the fellows in their classes, and bring them down, get them interested. Arlett: Is it possible in this sport for one or two to stand out above the others? Even In a crew that is well coordinated, are there certain men that are above others? Ebright: It s a difficult thing, but of course the stroke and the coxswain are always the ones that you think of the most. The strongest fellow Is generally in the 32 Ebright: middle of the shell. But really, they all do exactly the same all the time, and it is hard to single any out. And yet the stroke is the fellow that is really the key. You ve got to have a good stroke. Arlett: I think I heard Marty McNair say the other day that he has one tremendously strong man on this year s crew, and he s having a little trouble finding some body almost as strong to put on the other side. Ebright: Well, that s better than to not have one strong one, anyway. The Olympic Games in Mexico Arlett: Have you been down to see what the crew facilities are in Mexico? Do you know what they re going to be doing about that? Ebright: We were down in Mexico two or three years ago, but we didn t get out to Lake Xochimilco. We tried to find it one day we were driving but we never made it, so I don t know. Arlett: Well, you know, there s been so much controversy about altitude. 33 Ebright: That s right. Arlett: Is this going to be a real problem to the oarsmen? This is a two thousand meter event only a mile and a quarter so I suppose it isn t quite as bad. Ebright: I think it takes a little while to get acclimated, but it ll be as fair, for the ones that come from a lower altitude, for one as the other. Of course, the man that wins the marathon and has won it twice, now, is from Addis Ababa. He s probably a sure winner this third time because Addis Ababa is in a high country. There are all kinds of studies on it, and they say that it s a difficult problem. We didn t notice too much difference, but of course you don t do any violent exercise. But we climbed the pyramids down there, and without any trouble. I think probably within a couple or three weeks a person could get acclimated. Conditioning for Crew Arlett: This leads me into something else I wanted to ask you about. And that is, having been watching Marty Arlett: McNair and having watched Jim Lemmon before him, and knowing that Jim learned it from you, and Marty learned it from Jim, I am of the opinion, without having been a close observer, that you must have been a pretty insistent coach on conditioning, whether they were going up to a high altitude or not. Ebrlght: Well, that s part of the business, you know. And although they now only row three mile races, in my era, up to the very last part of it, we rowed four mile races in the east, and the only way to get ready for that is to do a lot of hard work. Arlett: I m trying to get you to tell me a little bit about the different kinds of conditioning that crews under go, because some people, all they think of is a man sitting and pulling oars, and there are other parts of the anatomy that have to be developed too. There are different kinds of exercising and of conditioning that you folks have learned through the years to require. Ebright: Of course, most of the propulsion is done by the legs, through the sliding seats. And so anything that develops the legs Is good exercise. I always felt the best exercise for rowing was to row, you know. And that s what we did, mile after mile, mile after mile. 35 Arlett: Now they send the boys down for awhile, to work out with Coach Sam Bell, of the track squad. And there s a lot of this back and forth nowadays, which I don t recall there having been some years back. Ebright: While I was coach we never did anything but the actual rowing. When I was an undergraduate at Washington, it was difficult to row all the time, so Connie used to send all of us, Including the coxswains me out to run, cross country, with the cross country fellows, in the fall. And I think, as far as conditioning is concerned, that s great. And if you can t like here, you ve got to go nine, ten miles away it s a lot easier to Just go out and run around the campus than to go way down there, you know. And so that s advantageous. And in the east, where it s all frozen up in the winter, they have tanks, you know, that they row in. Well, fortunately, we don t have that problem. But I ve always thought that the rowing, the actual rowing, was the best exercise you could get. 36 California s Ark Arlett: Getting back to this tremendous spirit, the alumni crew men have now undertaken to set up an organiza tion of their own, and I gather you ve been at least quietly active in helping to bring them together. Ebright: Sure. Well, I think they can do a lot to help, their alumni rowing club, Ark, not Noah s, California s Ark, and be beneficial. California s never had an alumni advisory group, formally, for the crew, and I think it would be a good thing. Like what I was saying, about the Board of Stewards of the University of Washington. They still have one of those, by the way, up there. Arlett i How many men do they have on theirs? Ebright: I really don t know, but I had lunch with their coach when I was up there a couple months ago, and he was saying that they had just had a meeting. From what he said, and he named them all, I d imagine there were eight or ten. Something like that. Arlett: You still have pretty deep roots up there. I know you go back up there a good deal of the time. Ebright: Oh, yes. We spend half the time up there. 37 Arlett: The Northwest is one of your favorite places. So I imagine you must have a lot of evenings of conversa tion with some of those people sometimes. Ebright: Well, we have many old friends, quite a few old friends from the old days. After being down here for thirty-five years, we don t have any new friends much up there, but we still have the old ones. And we live, when we re up there, at a country place about twenty miles out of Seattle, on a little lake. It s on property that my father bought from the Indians in 1904. The Launch . the "Miss It" Arlett: There s a kind of a sidelight to this, the friends, and the people you know, and remembering a few kind of comical incidents, like the famous launch. You might recount that. Ebright: I forget what year it was, probably was in the thirties. I know Wally Frederick was the publicity man for Cal at that time. They always had to have a launch for the reporters to follow the races in, and it s difficult to get a launch that ll hold very 38 Ebright: many people, or it was In those days ... there are more now... that will keep up with the crews. They go a pretty good lick, you know. Arlett: How fast do they go? Ebright: Oh, about fifteen miles an hour. Which doesn t seem fast, in this day of jet speed, you know, but when you re doing it yourself it seems pretty fast. And for larger boats to carry quite a few people, it s difficult to find one. When the man is looking for one, why, the fellow that s trying to rent the boat says, "Oh, yeah, they ll keep up. Yeah, they can keep up. No trouble about that." So Wally, that year rented a boat called the "Miss It". And they all climbed aboard, forty or fifty of them, I guess, and started out. And the crews started, the race started, but the crews went away, but the poor old "Miss It" kept getting farther and farther behind. Couldn t keep up. And so the reporters had a lot of fun out of that. They missed it. They missed the race, with the name "Miss It". Arlett: Well, even your coach s launch would have trouble, it would seem to me, if the race is not an even one. For instance, like the 32 crew that beat Washington by eighteen lengths, you can t get your coach s 39 Arlett: launches up ahead. Ebright: No, you have to stay behind the last crew. It s the same at Poughkeepsie. There s a wide gap back there now that they have fifteen crews between the leader and the last one. But the launches have to stay behind the last one, of course. Arlett : Seems like the best vantage point would be a helicopter or a blimp. We had the blimp. fibrlght: They ve used the blimp at the 1932 Olympics. Crew, the Purely Amateur Sport Arlett: Something I d like to get your thoughts on is your general philosophy about athletics and the part that crew has played in the lives of the men who participated in it. Different coaches have different outlooks on things. Sometimes they re close together, sometimes they re widely divergent. I m sure you must feel that crew has done a great deal for a great many. It s done a great deal for you, I m sure, too, but I d like to get your slant on where it figures in the life of the University. Ebright: Well, I think it s a fine sport. I think it s the Ebright: best sport, especially for college men. I m never one to talk adversely about any other sport, because they all have their place, but the one thing that s advantageous, I think, for the crew, is that there s no money involved in any way. It s all done for the love of the game, as they say. There s nothing in it except Just the actual participation. And there s no chance of getting a Job, or almost none, maybe a few will be coaches. None at all to be employed as a competitor. And so there s Just no monetary reward of any kind. Arlett: No pro contracts. Ebright: No, not at all. Of course, as I say, for us older people, there used to be more of a difference, a cleavage between the idea of pro sports and amateur sports. And you kind of keep the same ideas that you always had, all your life. And so I kind of go along with Avery Brundage s point of view, although modern people say he s crazy. That s one thing about the crew. It s purely amateur, and there s something about it that brings out, I think, the best in the fellows. Coordinating the Men in a Crew Arlett: Even though eight men rowing may look all right to someone on the shore, watching the shell go by, there s quite a difference. I wonder if you d touch on that for us. Ebright: Well, everyone rows differently. Every single one rows differently, some much differently from others, some just a little bit differently, but it s always different. And one reason for that is that every body, really, is built a little bit differently. Oh, they re longer in the waist or longer in the thighs, or shorter, or their back is straight, or their back is curved, or the hinge in their hips works freely, or less free, and anyway, in going about this process of rowing everyone does it Just a little bit differently. And the trick is to coordinate them so that they all do it as near alike as possible. But to the casual observer it just looks like a group doing exactly the same thing all the time. Then, of course, not only physically, but every fellow is a little bit different in the head, you know, and you ve got to handle them a little bit Ebright: differently. Different ideas appeal to different ones of them, and you must stress this with one and something else with the other in order to get the most production out. Arlett: I m thinking now more of the physical differences than the mental ones, or emotional does this also, then, have a bearing on adjacent men in the boat? That is to say, does one man row better before or behind another man? Ebright: Yes, yes, I think that s true, but of course there are certain limitations. First you try to get a fellow that s a good stroke. He is generally not too tall, not too short, not necessarily the strongest, not necessarily the least strong, but he just has a certain something that feeds this rhythm to the fellows behind him and that makes the crew go. Well, then you establish him as the stroke. Then, in the other end of the crew, up in the bow, generally are smaller fellows. And, in the middle, are the big ones. And then you kind of try to fit them together, and some reach farther or not as far. Some by nature lay back farther than others. Some have a hard time reaching forward, they Just don t swing so easily. And you ve Just got to try to put them EbrightJ together, all of them in such a way that they fit as well as possible, Arlett: How do you determine who s going to row an oar on which side of that boat, whether the left or right, or port or starboard, or whatever you want to call it? Ebrightt Well, you ve Just got to have half on one side and half on the other, obviously. The man manipulates the oar with his hand that s closest to the blade, bevels and feathers it, and so if you have any left- handed people you put them on the starboard side. There re not many left-handed ones, so then part of the right hand fellows have to be on the starboard also. And then, there are other things. Maybe if the next year all of your starboard fellows come back, and none of the port fellows do, why then you ve got to change them around. And it s a little bit different, learning to manipulate the oar with the other hand. But principally, you Just got to have the same number on each side. Arlett: This is something I ve never even thought about before, but you Just made me think of it. Is there some particular reason why the stroke s oar is always Arlett: on one particular side of the boat? Ebright: No. The modern American college way is to have the stroke on the port side. But oftentimes they have them on the starboard. Arlett: They do? Ebright: Yes. In foreign countries. It doesn t make a. bit of difference, you know. There re just four on one side and four on the other. Then always, in my era, up until not too long ago, all the port oars were, well, eight, six, four and two. Seven, five, three, and bow were starboard. But now they have arrangements changing that, so that the eight man and the five man are on the port side, and the seven and six are on the starboard. Some think there are some advantages. I really can t see quite why there would be, but it s something to do that s different, that s one thing. That s one of the problems with rowing. You know, with most of the other sports, there s all kinds of latitude for doing something different. Like with the football, you can pass or you can run or you can deploy your fellows this way or that way. You can do a million different things. But with a crew, they ve Just got to sit there all the time. And to relieve the Ebright* monotony of It, If you can think of something to change, you know, a wide blade, a narrow blade, a change like I m talking about, or other things; anything to relieve the monotony of it I think is advantageous . Size of the Oarsmen, Size of the Shell Arlett J Now, quite apart from Just relieving the monotony, that brings up another facet of this whole sport, and that is the development of the design of shells and particularly the design of the oars, the blades. I imagine there *ve been a great many changes in the oars, haven t there, over these years? Ebright: Oh, yes. But the curious part of it is that, if you look at the history of rowing, which goes back a 125 years well, forever, really that most of these things have been thought of a long, long time ago, tried and changed, and they go back. Of course, with the shells, the limitation of the water and the dynamics of the thing, they make it so that there isn t too much possibility of changing. Arlett: Does the nature of the sport and the size of the Arlett: shell, then, put sort of a maximum, sort of a ceiling on the size of the man, too, that could participate? I mean, would a man who is too tall or, say, too wide in the beam be handicapped? Ebright: The oarsmen now are much bigger than they were, say, in my day, as an undergraduate. And so they build the shells a little bit bigger, and they could keep on building them "bigger yet. Of course when there are tall fellows, seven feet tall, why, they ve got to have a little bit nore leg room too. The shell would have to be specially built. And we can change our shells so that they fit in pretty well, but the way it has worked out, the fellows that are the best have generally been between six feet two and six feet five inches tall, and from 165 to about 200 pounds weight. Arlett: Is there some latitude in the length or the weight or whatever you want to call it of the shells? I mean, can one person s shell perhaps be a little longer or a little shorter than someone else s? Ebright: Oh, yes, there s no limitation. Arlett: As long as you can get eight men in there. Best and Best in Shells Ebright: What they used to call in the old professional rowing days, "best and best." You can get the best boat you can, and !_ get the best I, can. There are no qualifications or limitations, except, as I say, the dynamics of the thing have indicated that a certain design is Just about the best. Arletti Well, what is about the right length average? Ebright: Well, the length of the shell that they use now, and have used in my career, is about 62 feet long, and they re about 2k inches wide. They use oars that are about 12 feet long. With an oar that s 12 feet long and a shell that s two feet wide you ve got to put the oarlock, not in the gunwale, like it is in a rowboat, you ve got to extend it out there a ways, that is, on an outrigger. They go out there about 18 inches. And all those things are fairly standard. Although if men keep on getting bigger, why, I. can see how the shells will have to accommodate for it. They ll have to get bigger too. You know, there are no rules about the length or anything about shells, but they generally start a race with the rudders even, hold on to the rudders, and then the finish Ebright: line is when the bow crosses the finish. But in Olympics, where there s a big variation in the length of the shells, where there might be several feet difference, why, they have to adjust so that the bows are even at the start so that when they go Arlett: I see. So they go the same distance! (Laughter) Ebright: There could be five or six feet, and sometimes that could make a difference in who wins. Arlett: I can well imagine. Ebright: You know, the Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia won the Olympics in Japan, in 64, isn t this something new, people ask me. I say, well, yes, this is the first time a club has won, but if you think back to, say, the Olympic Trials in 1932 at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts, when we won from the Penn Athletic Club of Philadelphia, in the finals, by two feet, if they had been three feet faster or we had been three feet slower the Vesper Club wouldn t have been the first ones. They were right on our tail, and it wasn t as if this is a huge difference. Arlett: Thirty-five years. (Laughter) Well, I Imagine that, as you say, they re going to probably adapt some of the equipment to the men, but it doesn t Arlett: seem that they change the men. I mean, they continue to turn out these tremendous people. They ve cer tainly been wonderful at the University of California, Mementos Ebright: The race does get bigger, however, you know. Like old alumni that rowed in the teens or before, in the 1890 s, even, they re almost universally smaller than the ones now. And if you look back through the old IRA programs I think you ll find that I have them for 35 or 40 years the average size of the oarsman now is much bigger than it was 35 years ago. Arlett: Speaking of these things that you have, these IRA programs, you must have a pretty wonderful collection of trophies. Sitting here, I can see a number of photographs. Do you have a whole separate room set aside for these? You must have a great collection of mementos. Ebright: Well, that bookcase over there is full of a lot of the stuff. All of the Olympic books there and quite a battery of rowing books, which perhaps some day will go to the University of California rowing 50 Ebright: library. They have a rowing library down there. Arlett: Well, not only a rowing library. Maybe you didn t know about this, but we are working on trying to create our own University of California exhibit place, where we re collecting what we can from various sports. So that one of these days, if you find items that you think you would be willing to part with, that we would like to add them to the collection there. Ebright: I ve often given things to the Archives Department of UC Library. There s a fellow named Kantor, who was, by the way, a coxswain at Cornell, who is now in the Archives Department, and he s very interested in making a collection. Arlett: He s the new Archivist of the University. fibright: Yes. Miss Dornin, I used to give things to her. . Now this young fellow s there. Arlett: I know that you would have many things that would be of interest * even if you Just loaned them for a little while. By the way, there s a display that you probably have seen. There s a crew display right now in the library. Ebright: Yes. Kathryn and I went down and looked at it, and we went in to call on Mr. Kantor at the same time, but he was on vacation. 51 Boat Travel to the Olympic Games Ebright: You know, now, in this Olympics, the teams all go by airplane, but in my era, in 1928, we went by boat, and also 19^8, by boat. I think they lose a lot now, in the planes, for instance, in 1928 from New York to Amsterdam, it was a nine-day crossing on the steamship Roosevelt. Here were all these athletes of all the various sports, *K)0 of them, and all of them keeping in shape, working out on the boat there, all of them with this nine days to get acquainted with one another. It was a wonderful experience for all of those boys, for everybody. And, getting to Amsterdam, hotel accommodations were pretty tight, as they always are at Olympic time, and so we lived aboard, the steamship Roosevelt, The first part of the time, it was anchored out in the stream. There was no dockage facility, so we had to go back and forth by water taxi to the boat, and lived aboard there. And General MacArthur, Douglas, was the head man of the party. Of course, there are many things you d think of that could be talked about. 52 Stowaways Ebright: One of them is that we had two stowaways went with us all the way to Amsterdam. In that day, it was quite a thing for kids to stow away on the trips, you know. One time, when we were going to Seattle, we took our shells and our launch and everything in a baggage car and there were eleven kids in there. This time, in 1928, there was one boy named Dick Van Lieu, who was manager, who had stowed away and gotten to Poughkeepsie, and then he and a guy named Phil Condit, number six on the freshmen crew, who s a doctor around this area someplace now, stowed away aboard the Roosevelt with us, and they went all the way to Amsterdam. It became quite a thing. They were trying to catch them, the management, General MaoArthur and his aide, Major Rose, now General Rose, and they were after me, trying to get me to turn them in, which, of course, I wouldn t do. One of them was sleeping on the floor in my state room. And they couldn t catch them. It was kind of a little bit of an annoyance. Coming home, as the boat pulled out from Amsterdam, neither of them were there. I thought, 53 Ebright: well, we don t have that problem. But, after you go away from Amsterdam a day or so, you go through a canal that cuts across maybe part of Denmark. Anyway, we were going through this canal, in the lock, and it took quite a while for the water to come up or down. Here were Van Lieu and Gondit again, climbing aboard for the trip on to New York. (Laughter) They finally caught them, about two days out of New York. But they only put them to chipping rust, and it didn t hurt them much. Arlett: Well, Condit was pretty good sized to be stowing away. Ebright: He sure was. Arlett: I went to high school with him, and he played end on the football team. Ebright: He rowed six on the freshman crew that year. And the time I m telling you about, when the eleven were in the baggage car, there was one kid, I forgot his name, who was not a bona fide member of the crew squad. But I let him go, and I learned my lesson then. They were going through Oregon the baggage car was not on our train, it was on another train this guy pulled that bell cord. Well, the train came to a grinding halt, and then the train Ebright: people knew Just where it had come from, by some way, so they all stormed in there. But these kids were so well secreted that, of the eleven, they only caught five of them. They only got five, and they rousted them out. It was somewhere south of Portland. And the ingenuity of these guys. These kids, they kicked them off the train, but they got on a bus, and went up to Portland, and then they went around to the railroad yards, and found the baggage car, and knocked on the door, so the six kids who were in there let them in, and they went the rest of the way, back in the baggage car, up to Seattle. (Laughter) Arlett: Well, that s something, but that business of going all the way to Amsterdam* And back. Ebright: That was a real feat, all right. As we were saying, about the trip on the boat, very few know it, but this very coaching launch that Marty McNair uses now went to Amsterdam in 1928 aboard the steamship Roosevelt, and we used it as a coaching launch on the Sloten Canal, coaching the crew. Arlett: That s a fantastic thing. I had no idea of that. Ebright: There was a kid named Clarence Mitchell who had been the senior manager a couple of years before, who 55 Ebright: drove the launch for us, and on the way over on the boat he painted it red, white, and blue. Well, in 19^8 we went on the steamship America, and there it was again. Of course, the crossing was only about four and a half or five days for that. But it s a wonderful experience to get acquainted with all those other people, something that they don t have now. Arlett: The 48 Olympics were in ? Ebright: In London. We landed at Southampton, and took the shells by motor lorry, as they call it, up to Henley on the Thames. Weather for the Olympic Eaces Arlett i I m curious about what kind of weather conditions you encountered in these different Olympic races that you have been in. Were you lucky in all of them, or did you hit bad weather? EbriRht: Well, in Amsterdam it was poor, quite poor weather, but on the Sloten Canal, where the rowing was in 1928, it s only 100 feet wide, so the water couldn t rough up very much. I remember it rained quite a 56 Ebright: bit, but the weather didn t bother us there. Then, of course, in Los Angeles, the prevailing wind comes off the ocean, which was kind of annoying, but the weather was good there. It was quite bad weather in London, at Henley, and there, you know, there were three crews on the course, and there they race against the current. And when the weather was bad, a lot of rain, it made the current pretty strong. In every one of our heats, every one of the three, we had the center lane, which, of course, is where the water flows the strongest. But we were so much stronger than any of the rest of them that it was no problem. The Margin of Victory As a matter of fact, you know, they bet on everything over there, and they made book on the Olympic rowing, and California I ve got some records to show them, printed material from a bookie that California was a hundred to one to win. In other words, you would have had to put up $100 to win one, risk losing $100 to win one dollar on 57 Ebright: California. Arlett: I imagine it would be pretty hard to put odds like that on a crew race nowadays. Ebright: And then the margin there was quite considerable. You see, we won by two and a half lengths, which is wide for 2000 meters. Six minutes of rowing. In Amsterdam, the margin was about two-thirds of a length, with Peter Donlon the stroke, and at Long Beach, the Los Angeles Olympics, it was something like twelve feet, a short deck length. Arlett: H mmm. The deck being the distance from the what from the bow man to the prow? Ebright: To the tip, yes. It s about fifteen feet from the bow man to the tip. I ll show you a picture of it here in a minute. Arlett: Okay. Ebright: I ve got most of these things around here someplace, Arlett: I suppose many of the men you coached have become prominent in later life? Ebright: Oh, yes, a great many, too many to mention here. But two do instantly come to mind. Bob McNamara, Secretary of Defense, stroked the freshman crew in 1936. He wasn t very big so decided to go out for manager in the following year. He was a sophomore 58 Ebright: manager in 1937 and a Junior manager in 1938. But he didn t get the senior manager appointment, Leland Stanford Scott, Jr. beat him out. Oh well. Then a fellow named Eldred Peck stroked the Junior Varsity in 1937* We know him as Gregory Peck of the movies now. Of course there have been many, many prominent attorneys, doctors, teachers, financiers, and most any other field that could be mentioned, who did a stint as members of the University of California crew squad over the years. Well, I m afraid I ve forgotten a lot of things. Of course, in these times, you know, brother, it s a strain, and you ve got all you can handle just to stay alive. (Laughter) You can t remember, either, everything. Arlett: Well, you ve been remembering well, and we re very grateful. Ebright: That s enough for today, I guess. Arlett: And thanks ever so much, Ky. Ebright: Well, I m glad to have cooperated. 59 INDEX Beck, Brous, 11, 12, 14 Bell, Sam, 35 Brinck, Jack, 1?, 18 Brundage, Avery, *K> Callow, Rusty, 10 Campbell, William Wallace, 16 Condi t, Phil, 52, 53 Connibear, Hiram, 10, 24, 35 Daedal ians, Order of, 6 DeVarona, Dave, 26, 2? Donlon, Pete, 18, 30, 57 Dornin, May, 50 Doty, Walter, 3 Dunlap, Dave, 30 Ebright, Kathyrn, 3, 50 Prederi ck , Fran , 18 Frederick, Wally, 37 Grant, Don, 29 Kantor, J.R.K., 50 King, Clyde (Admiral), 20 Kumm, Ward, 11, 12, 1*4- Leader, Ed, 10, 19, 20 Lemmon, Jim, 3^ Lieu, Van, 52, 53 Love, Harvey, 29 MacArthur, Douglas, 51 > 52 McMillan, Dan, 26 McNair, Marty, 32, 3^, 5^ McNamara, Robert, 57 Mitchell, Clarence, 5^ Nagler, Russ, 28 Nichols, Luther (Lute), 12 60 Peck, Eldred (Gregory), 58 Pocook, George, 23, 24 Scott, Leland Stanford, Jr., 58 Smith, Andy, 26 Spook, Benjamin, 20 Sproul, Robert Gordon, 16 Thompson, Bill, 1?, 18 61 CALIFORNIA S THREE OLYMPIC EIGHT-OARED CHAMPIONS 1928 at AMSTERDAM 8 Pete Donlon 7 Hub Caldwell 6 Jim Workman 5 BiU Dally U Bill Thompson 3 "Fsrad Irfederick 2 Jack Brinck Bow Marvin Stalder Cox Don Blessing 1932 at LOS ANGELES 8 Ed Salisbury 7 James Blair 6 Duncan Gregg 5 Dave Dunlap 4 Burt Jastram 3 Charlie Chandler 2 Harold Tower Bow Winslow Hall Cox Norrie Graham at LONDON 8 Ian Turner 7 David Turner 6 Jim Hardy 5 George Ahlgren U Lloyd Butler 3 Dave Brown 2 Justus Smith Bow Jack Stack Cox Ralph Purchase IRA CHAMPIONS (Varsity): 128 (same boating as above); 1932 (same as above) 1939 8 7 6 I 3 2 Bow Cox Kirk Smith Chet Gibson Stan Freebom Emil Burgh Linton Emerson Dave deVarona Stan Backlund Benson Roe Jim Dieter ich 19Jt2 8 7 6 3 2 Bow Cox Ian Turner Dave Draves Bob Livermore Dick Careen Lloyd Butler George Bauman Justus Smith Bob Sprenger Ralph Purchase I960 8 7 6 k 3 2 Bow Cow Don Martin Elmore Chilton Chris Barnes Jack Matkin Marty McNair Bob Berry Bruce Hans en Gary Yancey Arlen Lackey 8 7 6 k 3 2 Bow Cox Marty McNair Kent Fleming Chris Barnes Steve Brandt Rich Costello Bob Berry Tim Lyman Jack Mat kin Chuck Ortman 1964 8 7 6 3 2 Bow Cox Steve Johnson Gus Schilling Scott Gregg Malcolm Thornley Mike Page John Sellers Alan Mooeis Ed Bradbury Jim Liebien IRA CHAMPIONS (Junior Varsity): 19Ul, 19U7, 1951, 1959 IRA CHAMPIONS (Freshman): 1938 OTHER KEY DATES IN CALIFORNIA CREW: 1870 Rowing Club formed at Cal l893--lst coach, E. M. Garnett 1899- -1st crew championship won, by four with cox, Portland, Oregon 1902--W. B. Goodwin coach, 1st inter collegiate race, win over Stanford 1905 Garnett returned as coach, undefeated season 1907 1st 8-oaied race, Richardson s Bay, Stanford beat the Bears. 1909 Dean Witter became coach 1916 Ben Wallis new Bear coach 1921~lst of great Bear boats, 2nd to Navy in 1st Eastern race 192^--Ky Ebright named coach 1959-~Ebright re tired and Jim Lemmon took over 1966 Lemmon became Dean of Men and Marty McNair became the new Bear coach. Rowing News May 1968 OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS KY EBRIGHT AND HIS "GOLDEN BEARS" In this Olympic year it is appropriate to look back and note the Olympic laurels of Carroll M. "Ky" Ebright, the only man to produce three Olympic 8-oared championship crews, all from the University of California. Navy and Yale can boast two Olympic Eight winners and only Vesper Boat Club can match California s 3 gold medals in this event. But these were all gained under different coaches. (It should be noted that the U.S.A. has won every Olympic 8-oared contest except England s victories by Leander B.C. in 1908 and 1912, when the U.S. did not compete and 1960, when the U.S. entry, Navy, ran 5th behind Germany.) The record of Ky Ebright and his "Golden Bears" is unique and without equal. Three times his tough, rangy crews earned the honor of representing the U.S.A. and three times in 1928, 1932 and again in 1948, they returned victorious. The first of these illustri ous aggregations, the 1928 crew, gained new honors Just last year, when they were elected to the Helms Founda tion Hall of Fame, only the 6th 8-oared crew to be so honored. The Helms induc tions are held annually at the Steward s Dinner just prior to the I.R.A. Championships at Syracuse. All seven surviving members of the 28 Olym pic winners held a happy reunion at Syracuse last June with their illustrious coach. They are still an active, vig orous group, belying their plus-60 years. They were a "picture" crew almost perfectly uniform in size during their racing days. Today their stroke Pete Donlon (stroke for 3 years and winner of the outstanding oarsman award at Cal in 29) is a retired contractor in Oakland, Calif. Hubert Caldwell is an executive with U.S. Steel in the same city. Jim Workman is a retired executive. William Dally is an agri culturalist at Elmira, Calif. Frank Frederick is a mining engineer at Berkeley. Colonel Marvin Stalder is U.S.A.F. retired. Coxie Don Blessing, a San Francisco stock broker was previously elected to the Helms Hall on an individual basis. Two members of the crew, Bill Thompson and Jack Brinck, are deceased. They won their gold medals in a sizzling 5:46 on the Sloten at Amsterdam, after first upsetting favored Yale in the U.S. Trials. Ky s 1932 Olympic gang also held a reunion a year ago, at Seattle on the occasion of the annual Cal- Washington duel. Inappropriately, they did not witness a "Golden Bear" victory, much less anything like their own 18 length triumph over the Huskies in 1932, a feat still un matched in this ancient rivalry. Their rallying cry was "California s crew for the California Olympics." They won one of the greatest 8-oared battles in Olympic history in a hairline heartstopper over Italy in the then new Marine Stadium at Long Beach, Calif., which will be the site of the Olympic try-outs later this year. They were boated as stroke Ed Salisbury, now a Cali fornia fruit packing executive; Jim Blair, in the same business with another west coast firm; Duncan Gregg, executive with Kaiser Aluminum; Dave Dunlop, San Fran cisco attorney; Burt Jastram, architect for Standard Oil; Charles Chandler, executive of a business forms concern; Winslow Hall, executive of food processing company and coxie Norris Graham, owner of a welding equipment com pany at Long Beach. (Continued on page 22) The hair may be a bit thinner and the waists a trifle wider, but 36 years ago they were the World s best. The 1932 Olympic Champions. Sir. Ed Salisbury, Jim Blair, Dun can Cregg, Dave Dunlap, Burt Jastram, Charles Chand ler, Harold Tower, Bow Winslow Hall, Mgr. Dave White, Coach Ky Ebright. (Kneeling) Cox Norrie Graham, shown here in a 1967 reunion gathering at Seattle. 1948 California Varsity Olympic Champions aboard the S.S. America. (Standing I. to r.) Str. Ian Turner, Dave Turner, Jim Hardy, George Ahlgren, Lloyd Butler, Dave Brown, Justus Smith, Bow Jack Stack. (Kneeling) Al ternate Hans Jensen, Mgr. Jim Yost, Cox Ralph Purchase, Coach Ky Ebright, Alternate Walt Deets. The 1928 California Champions at their induction into the Helms Hall of Fame at Syracuse in 1967. (Standing) Hu bert Caldwell, Jim Wortman, Bill Daily, Fran Frederick, Marv Staider. (Seated) Stroke Pete Donlon, Coach Ky Ebright, Cox Don Blessing. 63 California Olympic champs at Philadelphia in 1928. KY EBRIGHT (continued) The last California Olympians won their gold medals at the first post-war Olympiad, at Henley in 1948. They lost their duel meet with Washington and fell again to their arch rivals at Poughkeepsie in the I.R.A., but finally in the semi-finals at the Trials at Princeton, they squeezed past the Huskies by a hair-breadth 1/10 second and then went on to nip Harvard by a narrow deck length in the finals. At Henley these low stroking Yanks romped through 2 easy heats, winning by 5 and 4 lengths. Then in the finals against England and Norway, they trailed the British by a half length at 1000 m. but they came on to win going away by 3 lengths in 5:56, a fantastic time against a very swift current. Their stroke, Ian Turner, still regarded as one of the all-time great collegiate strokes is now a planning execu tive at the University of California. Lieut Commander David Turner is a Navy flyer. Jim Hardy is a traffic engineer in Los Angeles; Lloyd Butler, a petroleum ex ecutive in L.A.; Dr. David Brown, medical research; Jus tus Smith, city planning engineer in Denver; Jack Stack, x-ray electrical engineering and Ralph Purchase is a paper company sales executive in Sacramento. The future will very probably produce even faster crews than these and hopefully there will be many more new American Olympic 8-oared champions. But an Olympic championship is something special, unique and ever time less. Their feats will never really dim, nor is the future ever likely to match the three Olympic 8-oared titles won by Ky Ebright. More Than a Century of Coaching Art Arlett Accomplishments of coaches (above, from left to right) Nibs Price, Ky Ebright, Clint Evans, and Brutus Hamilton have earned great respect and deep affection. | Longevity is not in itself a mark of distinction so much as of durability. But at a time when the Univer sity of California is being honored on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, many of its alumni and friends are paying simultaneous tribute to four remarkable men whose combined careers as coaches of Golden Bear teams have covered the even longer span of 1 25 years. The four men, whose names and accomplishments have been woven into the very texture of the Univer sity s illustrious history, are Carroll "Ky" Ebright, Clinton "Clint" Evans, Brutus Hamilton, and Clarence "Nibs" Price. Neither the conveniently rounded figure of 125 years or the prudently alphabetized listing of their names does them justice. From a standpoint of sheer arithmetic, the figure falls short of the truth, because it covers only the periods when they wer^ head coaches, and overlooks still other years of service as assistants and counselors. It is a figure, however, which helped dramatize an impressive gathering of several hundred former Bear athletes who joined early in May of this year to express their respect and deep affection for the four retired and revered coaches. Ky, Clint, Brutus, and Nibs had transcended, long ago, the gap between paid coaches and personal friends. They had taught, and taught well, the mastery of athletic skills, but more than that, they had left their lasting imprint in two other ways. They had drilled and disciplined their teams to meet the physical demand of sports, but also they had taught by word and their own example the more exacting creed of sportsmanship. Who is there, for example, in the world of crew who can forget Ky, "The Little Admiral," barking through his megaphone from the coach s weather- beaten launch and guiding his 1928, 1932, and 1948 oarsmen to Olympic championships? Well remem bered, too, are the facts that seven of his crews won 52 / CALIFORNIA MONTHI v / DF.CF.MBP.R 1967 65 IRA varsity titles, and that his 36 years in command of the Blue and Gold armada still stands as the longest period of service of any California head coach in any sport. It would take a distortion of history and a grievous lapse of memory to erase the pioneering performance of Clint Evans 1947 baseball team in winning the first national collegiate tournament. It is also a matter of record, although not so widely realized, that in his 25 years as boss man on the Berkeley diamond, there was only one season in which his teams did not win more games than they lost. That was in 1944, when World War II was nearing its end but still had thousands of college-age men in uniform. The whole world was the stage in 1952 when Brutus Hamilton stepped into the spotlight as head coach of the United States team which won the Olympic Games track and field championship. But while this may have been the most memorable year in his long and dis tinguished career, it reflected only one of his coaching accomplishments. For 33 years, until he retired in 1965, the backdrop for his many other claims to fame was the University of California. During that time, as the record books again testify, the Bears who ran and jumped and threw under his tutelage held 12 world records, won four Olympic gold medals and took first place in 15 NCAA championship events. Dwarfed in stature by most of the basketball and football players whom he coached, Nibs Price stands tall in their estimation and in California s athletic annals. Looking back on his 31 years as head basket ball coach, he can point to six conference champion ships, eight southern division titles and a total of 464 victories against 299 losses. For five of those years he was also head football coach, and in two of the five his California teams were conference champions, one of them going to the Rose Bowl for the historic game in which the Bears were edged by Georgia Tech, 8-7. | No man is a robot, certainly no man who has helped to shape the destinies of hundreds of other men, of generation after generation of young college athletes. In their 125 years as head coaches at Cali fornia, Ky, Clint, Brutus, and Nibs have left their mark upon the University and its people in many, many ways, and it was not done merely with won-and- lost records or rows of medals and trophies. DECEMBER 1967 / CALIFORNIA MONTHLY / 53 66 Ky Ebriglit s arrival on the Berkeley campus was almost accidental. Brutus Hamilton s was deliberate. Clint Evans and Nibs Price s were inevitable. With these divergent origins and motives, it would seem impossible for such a foursome to reach a mutual pinnacle of agreement and acclaim. It happened, how ever, and the reasons are well worth exploring. The rivalry in crew between California and Wash ington had been spirited from its beginning, but in the early 1920s there was a period of time when the Hus kies superiority became overwhelming and the Bears interest in rowing sagged so low that it appeared the sport might be discontinued here. This was as much a matter of concern in Seattle as it was in Berkeley, perhaps more so. These were the only two schools on the Pacific Coast with crews, an activity that is not inexpensive to maintain but is well suited to the lake- dotted northwestern area. If California abandoned the sport, Washington s nearest opponent would be the University of Wisconsin, more than half a continent away, and there would have been problems not only of distance and cost but of insufficient competition beforehand. Suddenly, Ky Ebright became the "Man of the Hour." A young Washington alumnus and credited with being a fine coxswain and knowledgeable crewman, Ky had embarked on a business career with no thought of going into coaching except as a volunteer assistant at his .alma mater. This was not to be. Alumni from the two universities converged on him and persuaded the former tillerman to change his course and take on the job of revitalizing crew at Cal. How well he succeeded is now legend. Within four years, he created the first of his three record-setting Olympic championship boatloads of Bears. Brutus Hamilton has been a track and field disciple, in all the connotations of the sport s emphasis on im peccable amateurism, for almost as long as he can remember. Born in the Missouri community with the unforgettable name of Peculiar, he went to that state s university and ultimately reflected glory upon it by winning a silver medal in the Olympic Games decath lon. An avid and astute student of the techniques in volved in all of this singularly individualized sport, he went on to become coach at the University of Kan sas, where he developed such outstanding competitors as distance runner Glenn Cunningham. When the time came for the beloved Walter Christie to retire as California s first-and-only head track coach, the University was determined to replace him with the ablest man the nation had to offer. That man turned out to be Brutus Hamilton. What has not been said, however, is that Brutus is a man of many facets. He is a scholar, a poet, a former Air Force officer, a public speaker in wide demand, and a raconteur with ready wit that belies his sober mien and dignified manner. During his re gime as coach, he was never known as a stern or over ly demanding disciplinarian, preferring to let his ath letes pace themselves to what they felt could be their peak performances. n It is not easy to separate Clint Evans and Nibs Price in any description of California coaches who are dedicated to the University from the soles of their feet to the roots of their hair. Both of them are alumni. Both competed here as undergraduates. Both went into high school coaching, their teams often playing each other. Both were instrumental in bringing to Berkeley many of California s most celebrated ath letes, including members of the famed Wonder Team. Both, on their return to the campus, coached more than one sport. And both have another interest in common grandchildren. Add a son of Clint to a daughter of Nibs, and you have instant Californians. Just color the picture Blue and Gold. Nevertheless, for all of their similarities and long- shared friendship and loyalties, they are not alike and they do not evoke the same memories among Old Blues. Clint, sitting in his chair beside the varsity baseball dugout or pacing the field in front of his freshman football bench, was always the shrilled- voiced epitome of the title he plans someday to use for his autobiography, "Be a good loser but DON T LOSE!" He served as the Associated Students* grad uate manager, predecessor title to the present director of athletics but with non-sports responsibilities added to the task. And when his baseball team won the NCAA s initial championship, he was more than normally pleased because, in taking his players to Hawaii, Japan, and to many parts of the continental United States, he had laid much of the groundwork of goodwill that eventually brought about the national tournament. Nibs, softer spoken than Clint but just as jut-jawed in protest against basketball referees decisions as Evans ever was against baseball umpires, is revered by his players because of his close comradeship with them. He is remembered as a basketball coach whose team, beaten the first night in a two-game series, would come up with the right answers and seldom lose two in a row to the same opponent. His knowl edge of football was equally respected, and for many years after he relinquished the head coach s position, he was called upon to scout for his successors and to officiate at important games throughout the West. A coxswain from Washington, a decathlon man from Missouri, and a pair of deep-rooted Califor nians have given the University 1 25 years of dedicated coaching that merits honoring .in these days of Cen tennial celebration. 54 / CALIFORNIA MONTHLY / DF.CF.MBP.R 1967 Arthur K. Arlett Born in Berkeley; both parents born in Oakland. Attended Claremont and Piedmont Avenue grammar schools and University High School, all in Oakland. B. A, in political science, University of California, 1931. Editor", Daily Calif ornian, Fall, 1930. Member: Golden Bear, Winged Helmet, Sigma Delta Chi, Pi Delta Epsilon, English Club, Phi Phi. Newspaper reporter (San Francisco Call-Bulletin) and teaching assistant in journalism (U. C.) 1931-2. In advertising and public relations work in San Francisco and Los Angeles, 193U-1965. Past president, San Francisco Advertising Club. Past director, Advertising Club of Los Angeles. At Golden Gate College, in San Francisco: Instructor in advertising, 196-6lu Associate Dean School of Business, 1961-65. Sports interests and activities: Began watching California games in early 1920 s. "worked in press box at Berkeley, 1929-35. Started announcing on radio in 1935. Public address announcer for California football, basketball, baseball, track and crew, 1936-1953. Producer, sports radio broadcasts, Los Angeles, 1953-55. Resumed public address duties for football and basketball only, Berkeley, 1956 to present. Public address announcer for four Rose Bowl games, eight East-West Shrine Games. Honorary member and former director, Alumni Big C Society. Coordinator for Alumni and Public Relations, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, UCB, 1965 to present.