"The coxswain is considered the 'master of the vessel', both under maritime law and with respect to a rowing crew. As a coxswain, you are in charge of your crew anytime they are in or around a rowing shell. Most aspects of racing and practicing are organized and led by the coxswain; whether it be instructing your crew when to row, how to row, and when to row harder. Organized practices and racing would be impossible without competent coxswains, and so they are incredibly important members of any successful rowing program. Coxswains are generally small in stature; but what they lack in size they make up for in aggressiveness, intellect, and a driving competitive spirit. A good coxswain is a master tactician on the water and is always trying to give their crews a competitive advantage. He or she can dictate the outcome of any race, by either steering a good course or by simply motivating their crew. My four years as a coxswain for the University of Minnesota have proven to be full of valuable experiences, and have made me a vastly better person and leader. I have learned that most races are won and lost in the minds of your crew and the one next to you, and that's were the coxswain comes in. I encourage anyone who is remotely interested in giving it a try, you may be surprised with where it takes you..."
- Michael Schmidt '17