Friends of UCLA Rowing - FOUR

The Friends of UCLA Rowing (F.O.U.R.) provides financial support and assistance to the UCLA men's rowing program. The Men's Rowing Team is not funded by the university, and for the program to continue to grow and prosper, it is vital that new sources of revenue are found. One of the most important functions of F.O.U.R. is building the Men's Crew Endowment. A gift to the endowment will provide for the program in perpetuity. F.O.U.R. has tax-exempt status and is affiliated with the UCLA Alumni Association. Funds raised by F.O.U.R. become part of the UCLA Foundation.


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USRowing awards the Julian wolf award

Sheila Parker Tolle (right) officiating a USRowing regatta.

Sheila Parker Tolle (right) officiating a USRowing regatta.

On December 3rd, USRowing will be awarding their Julian Wolf award to the wonderful Sheila Parker Tolle. Not only has she been incredibly active in supporting this organization, but she has also been giving her time to serve as a USRowing Referee, FISA Umpire, and FISA Sub-Committee Member to keep regattas running smoothly all over the country.

We are very thankful to Sheila for all the work she has done and proud of all the contributions she made to the sport of rowing.

[the following is a requote from the USRowing article found Here]

The Julian Wolf Award pays tribute to a rowing official in the USA that stood apart from the rest in his/her contribution to rowing in the past year. It is based upon one, several, or all of the following: outstanding performance, dedication, heroic acts or outstanding contributions to officiating. The winner is selected by five past Wolf award winners. Sheila Tolle is the recipient of this year’s award.

A USRowing referee since 1980 and a lead referee in the southwest region, Sheila Tolle has averaged 15 regatta days a year for over a decade. In her career so far, Tolle has chiefed more than 20 regattas including the 2016 NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships. Tolle has worked as a FISA umpire for 13 years and currently serves as a FISA Candidate Sub-Committee Member.

Tolle began her rowing career as the University of California coxswain from 1974-1978 before coxing the Harvard Business School Crew for two years. Still active from her southern California home, Tolle serves as a member of the Board of Directors and an Executive Committee Member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of UCLA Men’s Rowing. Hailed for her ability to manage the start tower, Tolle leads by example and is a model for the next generation of referees.


[article pulled from the June 2016 edition of the Strokewatch]

On May 10, 2016, the Pac-12 announced the Men’s and Women’s Rowing All-Century Teams. The teams, comprised of 22 rowers and 3 coxswains, were voted on by a panel consisting of coaches, players, administrators and members of the media. Each member of the team was chosen based on their collegiate careers in the Conference.

Out of 85 nominees on the men’s side, Washington leads all schools with eight team selections, followed by California (7), Stanford (4), UCLA (3), Oregon State (2) and USC (1). Spanning over 10 decades, members of the team hold a total of 28 IRA National team titles won. Twenty-two of the 25 members are Olympians, and all-century team members have competed in 39 Olympic games with a total of 26 Olympic medals won.

The UCLA Men’s Rowing program is honored to have 3 athletes and 1 of our coaches (Duvall Hecht, Kevin Still, Michael Still, and Kerry Turner) associated with the Bruins on the All-Century Team:

Duvall Hecht, Stanford 1949-52

Olympic Games
          Gold medal, 1956 Melbourne, Australia - Pair without coxswain
Established and coached Menlo College Rowing Program
Established and coached University of California, Irvine, Rowing Program
UCLA Men’s Rowing, Varsity Coach 1975-79

Duvall Hecht stroked the pair without coxswain with his teammate Jim Fifer in the bow to a gold medal victory in the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne, Australia. This pair was named as one of the most beautiful examples of American rowing. Their crushing defeat of the heavily favored Soviet pair was unprecedented. Te Soviets were two time winners at Henley and European Championships. No American pair has won a gold in the sixty years since.

While still a student at Stanford, Duvall teamed up with his best friend and team captain, James Fifer, to race in the Men’s Pair w/cox at the 1952 Olympics. They were narrowly eliminated in the semifinals by a quarter of a length. He then joined the Marine Corps but continued to row. In 1956, Duvall once again teamed up with Jim Fifer to earn a spot on the 1956 Olympic team. This time in the Men’s pair without cox. At the 1956 US Olympic Trials, Hecht and Fifer beat the defending Olympic champions, Tom Logg and Charles Price, to earn their spot on the team.

He obtained a Master's degree in Journalism from Stanford University and was a Marine pilot. Hecht went on to teach English at Menlo College. While at Menlo, Hecht established Menlo's first rowing club where he was head coach until he moved to Southern California. In 1965, Hecht then established the rowing team at University of California, Irvine. In 1973, he went on to coach the UCLA rowing program before coming back to Irvine in the 1990s. Hecht once again returned as the head coach of the men's varsity rowing program at UCI in the fall of 2008. A pioneer of the audiobook industry, Hecht founded Books on Tape, Inc. in 1975. He later sold it to Random House.

Coach Hecht instilled a true passion for the sport of rowing into his teams. This is evident by the fact that many of his athletes went on to a lifetime of not only supporting rowing but being actively involved in the sport.


Kevin Still, UCLA 1980-83
Full bio Here.

Olympic Games
          Bronze medal, 1984 Los Angeles - Coxed pair
World Championships
          Bronze medal, 1985 Hazewinkel, Belgium - Men’s eight
          Bronze medal, 1986 Nottingham, England - Men's eight
Goodwill Games
          Gold medal, 1986 Moscow, Soviet Union - Men's eight

After transferring from Humboldt State University to UCLA in the fall of 1980, Kevin began rowing for the Bruins during his junior year. Kevin and his UCLA teammates finished 5th at the 1983 Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta in the men's eight+. He graduated from UCLA in 1983.

In the summer of 1983, Kevin was selected to his first US National Rowing Team. At the 1983 World Rowing Championships in Duisburg, Kevin competed in the coxless four event with Robert Espeseth, Michael Bach, and Kevin Proctor and finished 6th. In 1984, his fourth competitive season, Kevin was selected for the first of two Olympic teams that in which he would participate. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Kevin finished 3rd in the men's coxed pairs competition with Robert Espeseth and Doug Herland, finishing behind Teams Italy and Romania in a time of 7:12.81. At the 1985 World Rowing Championships in Hazewinkel, Kevin sat in seat 6 of the American men's eight+ and finished in third place, 1 second from first place. At the 1986 World Rowing Championships in Nottingham, Kevin, sitting in seat 7, was a part of the American men's eight+ team that finished in third place, winning another bronze medal. Following the World Championships, Still competed at the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, winning a gold medal in the men's eight+. In 1987, Kevin sat in seat 3 of the USA coxed four team at the World Rowing Championships in Copenhagen, but the team had difficulty with the boat's rudder in the semifinals and they did not qualify for the final. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Kevin and his partner Glenn Florio competed but did not make it past the heats in the men's double sculls event.

During his post-collegiate rowing career, Kevin rowed for the New York Athletic Club where he won 13 US National Championship gold medals. In 1988, the NYAC selected Kevin for the Veteran's Award as their "Athlete of the Year.”

Kevin participated in the Olympic Job Opportunities program in 1987, and landed a training position at Johnson & Higgins (now Marsh & McLennan Companies). Kevin continues to work at Marsh USA as a Senior Vice President in its Japan Client Services unit in NYC. Continuously dedicating considerable time and energy to provide UCLA student athletes with the same opportunities he enjoyed as a student rower, Kevin serves an integral role on the Board of Directors of Friends of UCLA Rowing (FOUR) as its Treasurer and Executive Committee Member.


Michael Still, UCLA 1985-87

World Championships
          Gold medal, 1987 Copenhagen, Denmark - Men's eight
          Bronze medal, 1986 Nottingham - Men’s eight
Goodwill Games
          Gold medal, 1986 Moscow, Soviet Union - Men's eight

Mike was inducted into the USRowing Hall of Fame in '98 for winning gold in the eight at '87 World Championships. He has also won gold at ’87 US National Championships, '87 Pac-10 Championships (the first gold in the eight for UCLA in 17 years), ’86 Olympic Festival, Head of the Charles and San Diego Crew Classic. Mike paired with Bruin teammate, Craig Webster, to compete at World University Games in Germany where they were the ’89 finalists.

Mike coached at UCLA from 1990-91, where his freshman crew won the '90 San Diego Crew Classic and placed 2nd at Pac-10's. Mike also coached at University of San Diego and Stanford University. Mike founded and coached NorCal Crew, a high school rowing team, with 100+ athletes, for 12 years.

Mike Still continues to compete at the highest levels in masters regattas internationally and domestically. Most recently, he won 2 golds at San Diego Crew Classic last April, medaled at Head of the Charles in October and won gold at Henley Masters, England in July. Mike now coaches competitive sculling workouts for BIAC Masters.


Kerry Turner, UCLA 1976-78

US National Championships:
          Gold medal, 1978 - Men's Eight (Penn Elite Eight)
          Gold medal, 1979 - Men's Eight (Penn Elite Eight)
Pan-American Games:
          Gold medal, 1979 San Juan, Puerto Rico - Men's Eight

Kerry’s national and international rowing accomplishments put him in elite company. If not for the 1980 US boycott, Kerry would have represented Team USA at the Moscow Olympics. Kerry is one of the most decorated oarsman ever tor wear the UCLA uniform. In addition to being the ultimate competitor, Kerry was a leader and a treasured teammate.

Kerry’s Penn Elite Coach, Ted Nash, commented that “Despite his easy going approach to life, Kerry was a fierce competitor on the water. Kerry was a loyal UCLA student athlete who represented the United States in its highest moments. Kerry‘s rowing accomplishments, coupled with his qualities as a teammate and the competitive spirit he took to the water are representative of the traits I would look for in a champion."

Kerry met and married Kina Tompson in June 1981. They raised two amazing children, Erin and Karl. He earned an MBA from Cal State Bakersfield in 1984 and later attended the Graduate School of Banking. His 30 year career in banking included positions with East West Bank and City National Bank. His untimely death in 2009 deprived us all of witnessing the full flowering of his gifts. Kerry exemplifies all the qualities and virtues we associate with the outstanding athletes who have represented Pac-12 Rowing during the past century.


And on the women's side, we celebrate the selections of Carol Bower '78-79 and of Jan Palchikoff '74-75. Further reading on these two Bruins can be found Here.

The 500 Club

As 2014 came to a close, we launched a campaign to surpass our goal of $500,000 for the endowment before December 31, 2014. Several arose to the call of the campaign and donated at least $500--with their contributions, we reached our goal!
At the 2015 Banquet, the donors in attendance were honored with we honored official membership into “The 500 Club” (pictured left to right – Norman E. Witt Jr., Kevin R. Still, Bruce N. Kroyer, Robert C. Newman, James C. Jorgensen, William W. Palmer, Robert J. Frassetto).


The 500 club members list

Alexander J. Frasco
Bill Palmer
Bruce N. Kroyer
Clare & Shari Jarvis
Craig D. Webster
Edward Jay Bold
Evan M. Faucher
Guy B. Weaser

James B. Pentlarge
James C. Jorgensen
Joel Breman
Kevin R. Still
Kina Turner
Mark A. & Debra D. Minich
Mark D. Breeding
Mark H. Rhee

Mark R. Klein
Mary Gray (in memory of Julian Wolf)
Norman E. Witt Jr.
Patrick M. Delaney
Robert Frassetto
Robert C. Newman
Robert H. Iezman

Scott C. Saylor
Scott T. Case
Stephen Bohlmann
Steve Dalzell
Terry M. Oftedal
Timothy E. Powers
Todd R. Wulffson