Victor H. Michalson
Year Inducted: 1980
Victor H. Michalson, a 1940 graduate of the University of Washington, has completely re-written the history of crew at Brown while, at the same time, making the Bruins a national rowing power. The highlight of his 20-year career on College Hill came in 1979 when his varsity eight captured the prestigious IRA Regatta in Syracuse, symbolic of the national championship. That same season, his Bruins also took first place in the Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River in Cambridge. There have been many other high points at Brown for Vic Michalson, although he constantly had to work with men who were almost always recruited from other sports or “discovered” during Freshman Week at Brown. His boat won the Eastern Sprints at Worcester in 1963, beating Harvard, Navy, Penn, and Syracuse; his 1966 varsity eight competed at Henley in England, the 1972 boat won the Ivy title while defeating every crew on its schedule, and his 1970 freshman crew captured the IRA championship. A native of Duvall, Washington, Vic Michalson rowed for four years for the Huskies, served as PT skipper in World War II, and then spent 12 years as freshman crew coach at Syracuse, where he helped to develop both an IRA and EARC championship boat. The Bruin head coach served as director of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen and, from 1969 to 1973, he was chairman of the United States Olympic Rowing Committee. For two decades, the man who plans to retire in June has performed myriad miracles while playing the “shell” game with more richly endowed opponents. He has also earned the reputation of being one of the finest gentlemen in the history of intercollegiate rowing in this country. Mike and his wife, “Toby,” have five children: Robert (’73), Kathleen, Nancy, Laraine, and Martin.