The Shrewsbury High School Crew program was founded by Kenneth F. Burns in 1937. The Spring rowing season of 2017 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Shrewsbury High School Crew program.
Ken Burns was an avid oarsman, still holding a world record rowing around a stake in a single, which will never be broken because they no longer hold the event. Ken was the Chief of Police in Shrewsbury, a Commissioner of Fish and Game for the state, and was a force in the rowing world. A member of the Helms Hall of Fame for rowing, Ken was a judge in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, and was instrumental in bringing the rowing Olympic trials to Worcester at that time. He also was one of the founding fathers of the NEIRA in the late 1930’s, and brought the Eastern Sprints rowing championships to Worcester in the early 60’s. Ken coached boys crew until his death in 1982. Many of the boys that Ken coached went on to become leaders in industry and their communities.
Girls crew came on the scene in 1975, with Barbara Burns Caron as the first coach. Barbara coached until her retirement in 1994. Girls crew brought a whole new realm to the Shrewsbury crew. Between the two programs, yearly there were over 120 participants, until the DRC was built and space saw the program having to cut those trying out to keep the numbers below 90.
“A great art, is rowing. It’s the finest art there is. It’s a symphony of motion. And when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you reach perfection, you’re touching the divine. It touches the you of you’s, which is your soul,” – George Pocock.
Over the years the crew has been supported first and foremost by its coaches, the Town of Shrewsbury, and more recently by very generous benefactors, many of whom rowed for Coach Burns. Irving “Jim” Donahue, Jr. and his family have been the biggest contributors to facilities and equipment. Fitz Coghlin, the families of Forrest “Clink” Miner and Bob Doyle, and Anthony “Spag” Borgatti have all been very generous in support of the program. Numerous donors over the years have generously given money towards ergs, oars, boats, and electronics.
In 1987 a 50th anniversary of crew celebration was held here. People came from all over the country to attend. There was a banquet Friday night, with Jim Donahue as Master of Ceremonies, and an outing on Saturday at Regatta Point. A learn to row seminar for family and friends of crewmembers, a cookout, and races for alumni crews were all highlights of the day.
SHS Crew is a member of the following organizations: USRA (United States Rowing Association), NEIRA (New England Interscholastic Rowing Association), MPSRA (Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association), and the QRA (Quinsigamond Rowing Association).
Head Coaches Boys Crew program:
Ken Burns, 1937-1982
Pam Krause, 1983-Spring 2003, Fall 2005
Justin Lednar, Fall 2003-Spring 2005
Colin Regan, Spring 2006-Spring 2008
Russ Krause, Fall 2008-Fall 2016
Steve Moriarty, Spring 2017-present
Head Coaches Girls Crew program:
Barbara Caron, 1975-Spring 1994
Russ Krause, Fall 1994-Spring 2003
Jason Abraham, Fall 2003-Spring 2006
Pam Krause, Fall 2006-Fall 2016
Matt Hastings, Spring 2017-present