The Dartmouth College Department of Athletics mourns the loss of former crew coach, Peter Gardner, often called the "Father of Dartmouth Rowing" for his leadership of the Big Green from 1957-1988. Gardner, who lived in Lebanon, passed away on the morning of April 10, 2011, Lou, his wife of 62 years, by his side.
Gardner rowed collegiately for Princeton, serving as captain of the heavyweight eights in his senior year in 1949. He spent seven years in Old Nassau, coaching for his alma mater before Dartmouth came calling in the fall of 1957. Gardner ushered in the modern era of Dartmouth rowing, seeing the sport reach varsity status in 1966.
Among Gardner's many achievements coaching the Dartmouth crews were the Henley Royal Regatta appearances by both the 1970 varsity heavyweights and the 1975 varsity lightweights. One of his proudest achievements as Dartmouth's coach was the construction of the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse in 1986.
Gardner was a World War II veteran, serving with a tank battalion in the South Pacific before returning to Princeton to complete his education.
A U.S. Rowing Association Hall of Fame inductee in 1987, Gardner coached numerous US National teams and brought selection training camps to Hanover. He won a silver medal as a coach in the Munich Olympics in 1972 and was again named a coach in 1980, but the Moscow games were boycotted.
A memorial service will be held for Peter Gardner on Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. at the Church of Christ on the Dartmouth College campus.
To read remembrances of Pete Gardner and contribute your own, please visit the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing website.