Hall of Fame Induction Gallery
PHILADELPHIA Thirty-one years after coaching the first varsity women’s rowing team at the University of Pennsylvania, Joanne Iverson will be inducted into the inaugural Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Women’s Collegiate Rowing Coaches Hall of Fame on Saturday at the NCAA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Iverson will be inducted with fellow honorees Ernestine Bayer, Fred Emerson, Ed Lickiss and Patty Wyatt.
The purpose of this inaugural class was to honor coaches who have achieved competitive excellence over their careers and individuals who have had a major impact on collegiate women’s rowing. The five inductees of 2007 had a major impact in forming the first women’s rowing association, the National Women’s Rowing Association (NWRA), as well as the ensuing National Women's Rowing Championships. They also founded a number of the first collegiate varsity programs, started the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (NEAWRC) and the San Diego Crew Classic.
Iverson was Head Coach at Penn from 1968-75 and saw the inception of women’s rowing as a varsity sport in her final year at the helm. While still a club sport, the Quakers won various national championships under Iverson, most notably the NWRA Nationals at Seattle in 1972.
Prior to her tenure at Penn, Iverson and fellow inductee Lickliss co-founded the National Women’s Rowing Association in 1963. Iverson also started the first National Women’s Rowing Championships and was instrumental in organizing the first national championship event for collegiate crews.
While still coaching at Penn, Iverson was named to the United States Olympic Committee for Women’s Rowing in 1973. At the same time she was manager of the first U.S. Women’s squad to compete at the European Championships in Moscow, USSR.
In 1976 Iverson was appointed to President Gerald Ford’s Commission on Olympic Sports, serving with Rafer Johnson. She served as manager of the Women’s Olympic Rowing Team in 1976 in Montreal, Canada.
Currently, Iverson serves on the Board of Directors of the Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, where she still rows regularly, and provides private coaching to Junior and Masters competitors.