What is a coxswain?

 A coxswain is an athlete that sits in the stern or bow of the boat (depending on the boat's style), and is responsible for steering the boat (by shifting the rudder), executing drills, maintaining the safety of the crew and the boat, and motivating the rowers. While they don't physically make the boat move, a good coxswain helps their crew row with more cohesion and efficiency, and therefore faster.

Who can join northwestern crew?

Northwestern Crew welcomes anyone that is enrolled as a student at Northwestern University. Northwestern Crew requires no prior rowing experience. Many of our medal earning crews are comprised of rowers that had no rowing experience prior to joining the team. 

How long are races?

In the fall we compete in longer "head races", which are typically around 5,000 meters. In the spring we compete in shorter "sprint races", which are typically 2,000 meters.

Who do we compete with?

We participate in a variety of regattas, where we compete with collegiate varsity and club programs from across the country.

Where do we row?

Northwestern Crew rows out of the Dammrich Rowing Center, along the North Shore Channel in Skokie, IL (3 miles from Northwestern's Evanston campus).

How do we get to practice?

The team makes use of university vans and university certified student drivers on the team to make the short 3 mile trip to and from the boathouse.

Do we pay dues?



Northwestern Crew is a student run club program, and is therefore funded by its athletes, alumni, and donations. In order to maintain our equipment, pay our coaches, enter and travel to regattas, it is necessary that our members pay dues. It is important to note that although each athlete pays quarterly dues, scholarships are available and we work with each athlete to insure athletes of varying financial situations are able to participate.

what do we wear to practice?


For outdoor practices, it is important for both coxswains and rowers to dress in layers, as the weather in Evanston can be somewhat unpredictable. Most rowers wear spandex shorts, leggings, or other fitted bottoms, as loose items can get caught in the slides inside of the boat. On top, most rowers wear a tank top with a sweat shirt or light windbreaker over top.

Additional questions?

Contact Betty, our recruitment chair: recruitment@northwesterncrew.com