Peter Brevick returns as crew coach

Cougar Crew tags experienced rowing alumnus to lead club this season, seeks culture change


RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

The Cougar Crew Alumni Association and University Recreation announced the new Head Coach of Cougar Crew earlier this month. Peter Brevick took the place of Arthur Ericson who had been with the team since 2004.

“Peter’s leadership will bring us to a new level of excellence while embracing, respecting and truly understanding our deep history and culture,” said Tim Richards, Cougar Crew Alumni Association chairman during a press conference. “He is one of our own.”

As a WSU alumni, Brevick worked for the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and the OKC Junior Rowing Program for the past five years. There, he coached the U.S. Men’s Lightweight pair at the 2014 World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Brevick made his decision to return to Pullman after seeing the commitment the team, alumni and university were putting toward the program. He saw an opportunity to change the direction of the program and has intentions of making Cougar Crew a top contender in the extremely competitive Pac-12, Brevick said.

“This year, the big goal is to change the culture and go from wherever we were to solid,” Brevick said.  “We have to be really fit, we have to row really well and we have to row really well together.”

The fundamentals are stressed during practice, Brevick said. His team will do the same drills as the World Championship teams.

“We try to make rowing as simple as we can but we do the simple things really, really well,” Brevick said.

NATHAN HOWARD | Daily Evergreen File

While Brevick is excited to be back in Pac-12 competition, he is aware of the challenges that lie ahead with a program that struggled to put up positive results last season.

“It’s a challenging conference,” Brevick said. “It takes a lot of work to be in contention with those teams. We’re not there right now, but we want to get a lot closer.”

The competition is not the only challenge Brevick faces in an attempt to put together a successful rowing program.

Cougar Crew is considered a varsity sports club, meaning they compete at the varsity level while being self-funded through dues and fundraising. It can be difficult to recruit students due to money and time commitments, Brevick said, but he tries to keep the program efficient so they can focus on rowing.

Recruits range from being big and strong to short and feisty regardless of their level of rowing experience, Brevick said.

“Rowing is really unique in that even at the best programs in the country, a lot of the team is made up of people who have never touched an oar before they get to college,” Brevick said.

Cougar Crew celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. Students interested in joining should visit the Cougar Crew website through University Recreation.