Orange Coast College Crew: The greatest dynasty you’ve never heard of.

Orange Coast College Crew: The greatest dynasty you’ve never heard of.

Orange Coast College may be just a community college in Orange County, CA, but in the sport of rowing, they are towering giants. The two-year college competes at the highest level of the sport, taking on four-year colleges with more resources and with rowers that are older and more experienced. Despite the gulf in experience, OCC has won a remarkable 11 national titles in 60 years. Learn more:



Orange Coast College was founded in 1947 and has an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students at its campus in Costa Mesa, CA. OCC is one of the top institutions for academic transfers in California and in the nation, ranking first among all Orange County Community Colleges in transfers to schools in the University of California and California State University systems. Learn more:



So why then does OCC have one of the top Crew (as the sport of rowing is known) programs in the country? It might have something to do with the outstanding sailing program and the School of Sailing & Seamanship at the college. Over 5,000 people of all ages and experience levels are enrolled in one of the nation’s largest public boating education programs. The School also boasts an extensive nautical library and has a fleet of over 30 boats.



As one of the top Crew programs in the country, the college attracts many recruits. But because Crew isn’t as popular or as accessible as higher-profile sports, some of the participants never rowed before they came to OCC. The program is not for the faint of heart. As many as 80 students sign up for Men’s Crew, but by the end of the year, about half have quit. Practice starts at 6:30 AM six days a week, and with 20 hours of practice time, the toll the sport can take on a body can wilt even the strongest of wills. But for those who last, OCC Crew offers a chance to compete for a national title, life-long friendships, and for some, a transfer and a scholarship to a four-year college. The Crew program at OCC is the greatest dynasty that almost no one knows about.




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