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Full text of "Ky Ebright: crew coach for the University of California and the Olympics : oral history transcript / and related material, 1967-1968"


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.