Jack Sulger is a national champion in rowing, a three time champion in the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, former chairman and coach of the NYAC rowing program and a 1983 Hall of Fame inductee.
Sulger was born March 20th, 1913 in New York, NY, and attended Fordham University.
Notably, Sulger was a member of the NYAC’s 1935 national championship eight-oared team, who subsequently lost in the Olympic trials to the University of Washington. That team went on to win the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and is the subject of the book The Boys in the Boat.
In addition to his national championship in the US, Sulger won three Canadian championships at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in 1938 (Senior Double), 1947 (Quarter-mile Single) and 1948 (Quarter-mile Single).
After he retired from competition, Sulger remained steadfast in his commitment to rowing. He served as chairman of the NYAC rowing committee and head coach for nearly thirty years. In addition to his positions at the Club, Sulger was the president of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen and the chairman of the US Olympic Rowing Committee.
Sulger used his influence as a prominent figure in American rowing to advocate for student athletes. In all, Sulger assisted in the establishment or revival of 25 rowing programs at local high school and colleges.
Although he was a legend in American rowing, Sulger never lost his modesty or love for the sport. Sulger never received a salary for coaching, but commented that while “We don't have any money...we do have fun.”
Sulger died suddenly of a heart attack January 2nd, 1979. He was posthumously inducted into the NYAC Hall of Fame in 1983, and the National Rowing Hall of Fame in 2014.