On March 30, 2021, the world and the rowing community lost one of its brightest guiding lights when Larry Gluckman passed, at age 74.
An accomplished oarsman and one of the sport’s most revered coaches, Larry was a three-time U.S. National Team member. Coach Gluckman was involved with rowing programs at Columbia, Northeastern, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Trinity. Larry also coached at the Olympic level, and most recently, he was the sculling coach at the Craftsbury Rowing Center in Vermont. These are only the broad strokes of an incredible legacy of leading by example, a passion for teaching and mentoring, community involvement, and commitment to family and friends.
A Treasured Advisor to RowingPad LLC
Larry was a lifelong friend and teammate of RowingPad’s founder, Victor Pisinski, at Northeastern. When the idea of creating a better rowing seat pad was considered, Larry was involved from the start. He provided invaluable insight into how a pad, when properly designed and used, can improve rowing performance. As a coach, he saw the potential for the right pad to become an integral part of training for youth, collegiate rowers, and elite athletes in the next competitive stages of their careers.
“I viewed rowing pads during my career as a cushion for comfort while rowing. Larry instructed me otherwise,” Victor said. “Proper height adjustment for the rower in the seat is as important as adjustments made to the boat itself.”
Paying Tribute to a Truly Inspirational Coach
The highlights, accolades, and accomplishments of Larry’s rowing career and coaching legacy have been covered in wonderful detail by several publications, including Rowing News and Sports Illustrated. The websites of the many colleges and rowing programs at which he became a legendary figure also paid tribute, each sharing personal recollections from colleagues and rowers who knew Larry over the years. (See the stories from Northeastern, Dartmouth, Trinity College, Columbia, and US Rowing.)
To gain a true sense of how much rowing was at the core of Larry’s soul is this lovely passage from his obituary, which paints a picture of our friend perfectly situated in his home state of Vermont, finding reward in a routine equal parts hard work and reflection:
On early spring mornings in the far northeast corner of Vermont you’d find Larry in a single boat circling Shadow Lake. Steam rising off the cold water as a pair of loons call back and forth. After more than 55 years of being an oarsman, these movements were second nature, ingrained into his body. He still tracked his progress, jotting notes about his performance into a small notebook. Millions and millions of meters rowed. A post-workout dip in the chilly water led to a cup of black coffee and a quiet hour on the front porch.
A friend, coach, teammate and all-around inspirational human being. He is, and will always be, sorely missed.
Supporting Future Rowers with the Larry Gluckman Scholarship
On Saturday, July 17, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont will be hosting a Celebration of Life for Larry Gluckman. Friends, family, colleagues, and former students who attend will gather to share their favorite memories and honor the life of one of the best people to grace the sport and the world at large with his presence.
The Gluckman family has established a fund to help introduce more people to rowing. Recipients of the scholarship will be able to apply the awards to one of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s wonderful community rowing and sculling programs. If you would like to donate in Larry’s memory, please do so here. Your gift will allow a young rower the opportunity to enjoy the sport that brought Larry—and all of us—so much joy.