All my life has been enriched by those that have come to me in this game. There is a richness in this game. It’s people in their hearts that give the game life.
Stanley Richard Pocock (1923-2014) was a legendary figure in the world of rowing in the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised in Seattle, Stan had an early connection with rowing as both an oarsman at UW and as a boatbuilding apprentice with his father, George – a legendary pioneer in the world of building racing shells.
Although many associate Stan, like his father, with boatbuilding, he also had a gift for coaching. One of the greats of his time, Pocock coached eight different crews to the Olympics between 1956 and 1964. Seven of the eight crews made it to the finals, four won gold medals, and two won bronze. No coach in U.S. Olympic history has come close to matching this record in men’s rowing.
Locally, Stan was also one of the most successful coaches for UW freshman rowers, coaching the powerhouse team for eight years from 1947 to 1955. He also served as the very first coach for the Lake Washington Rowing Club.
Stan carried on the family tradition and ran the boatbuilding shop for almost 20 years, overseeing its transition from building wooden boats to using synthetic materials, and is credited with creating the first fiberglass rowing shell in 1961. Under Stan’s careful stewardship, the Pocock company transitioned to these new, technologically superior materials and pioneered a new breed of racing shells that were stronger, lighter, and faster than ever.
For decades, Stan Pocock was a key part of rowing in the Pacific Northwest. Crew was his life’s work. He died at the age of 91 in December 2014, leaving an unparalleled legacy of innovation and excellence in both coaching and boatbuilding.