In Memorium ~ Harry Parker 1935-2013

26.06.2013 BY: National Rowing Foundation

Harry_Parker-150x150  NRF mourns the death of legendary Harvard University rowing coach Harry Parker.

Upon hearing the news Co-Chairs Marcia Hooper and Jamie Koven wrote the following tributes:

Harry’s imprint on rowing is indelible not only for the crews he rowed in or coached and the medals they won (earned), but they love of the sport his crews had. Harry’s crew pushed the sport upwards to reach for new heights, new goals and every crew that raced a Parker crew pushed themselves to take their measure against Harry. The sport of rowing in the US is far better off because of Harry Parker, and I daresay international rowing as well. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on in the heart of every competitive rower. I know it”. – Marcia Hooper 6/25/13

“Harry competed for the US and coached our team to success. Decades of Olympic medalists were coached, mentored and supported by Harry with his intimidating quiet way. Many of us also raced against Harry’s crews. It was a hell of a lot more fun to have a tough competitor year after year to ty to beat and Harry delivered. Harry was one of a kind and will be sorely missed” – Jamie Koven 6/25/13

NRF Director Liz O’Leary wrote in a note to her Harvard-Radcliffe crews:

“Just this past Sunday Harry was at Newell driving his coaching launch on the Charles River directing most all of the members of the 1980 Men’s USA Olympic Team (and a few of us hearty women) in a reunion row.  The best part of the event came when they realized that they were short just one person to get 2 eights on the water, so of course, Harry’s solution was to have his daughter Abigail Parker (Harvard-Radcliffe Class of ‘17) jump in and be the stroke for one of the boats.  She did a terrific job, Harry was thrilled and all of the ’80 guys were tremendously impressed.   Harry was in his element surrounded by family and friends.   He was happy”. – Liz O’Leary 6/25/13

There will be a public memorial service on the Harvard campus some time in August.