As a familiar and well known figure at Burnaby Lake Rowing Club, Dick McClure coached and mentored nearly forty athletes who achieved international recognition in the sport of rowing. Over three decades, McClure’s charges have gone on to become medalists or multi-medalists at the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, and Pan American Games as well as the world rowing championships.

McClure’s greatest compliment from rowers was his indiscriminating coaching style, which benefited rowers of all levels and ages. Mulitple Olympic medalist Kathleen Heddle credited McClure for her three Olympic gold medals and praised him for his equal effort to coaching both junior and master rowers with the same commitment.

McClure’s interest in the sport went farther than adding more Olympic medals to Canada’s credit. His focus was on the sport itself, its participants and the broader community of rowing. Not only did he volunteer his time to coach young athletes, he gave financial support and opened his home to underprivileged, young athletes. In his spare time he was the official “boatman” at the club, repairing and maintaining the club’s equipment. Outside Burnaby Lake, he served as an executive of the provincial rowing association and coach of Canada’s national team at the 1983 world championships and the Olympic Games in 1996.

Al Morrow, who once served as head coach of the national women’s rowing team testified to McClure’s profound influence: “If we had ten Dick McClures to spread around our country at our key clubs, we would dominate international rowing for years to come.”

McClure is also inducted in the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. For his UBC biography, please visit