Orange Coast College is a relatively small community college, yet it makes big waves on the college rowing scene. This year the school’s rowers will attempt to win its 12th national championship by defeating much larger, better known and richer 4 year universities like Stanford, Boston College and UCLA.
What is truly amazing is Orange Coast College is doing it with rowers that are new to the sport. Their success is part of the legacy of Dave Grant, Orange Coast College’s former coach and school president and current assistant coach Steve Morris, who was head coach during the 1990s.
Those two men have helped to create a system that transforms novice rowers into national champions by teaching them how to become physically and mentally stronger while working as a harmonious unit.
As a result many members of the team have gone on to great success at major colleges, world championships and the Olympics. It’s an amazing accomplishment by a 2-year school that’s only been in existence for 60 years.
Founded in 1947, Costa Mesa, California based Orange College was created with two goals in mind. One is to offer students an inexpensive education in the skilled professions and licensed trades. The other is to provide remedial courses and transferable lower-division courses to students planning to transfer to a University of California or California State University campus to further their education. Learn more about Orange Coast College: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/about_occ/Pages/default.aspx
OCC is among California’s top transfer institutions for students attending UC and CSU schools. Of the U.S.’ over 5,000 community colleges, OCC ranks 65th in helping students earn associate degrees.
The school produces more than just top rowers and excellent students. The professional ranks have many Orange Coast College graduates. OCC has also produced politicians, spies, writers, professional athletes, fashion designers, painters, sculptors, film producers, musicians and stand outs in many other fields. Two of OCC’s best known graduates are actress Diane Keaton and singer Don Hồ.
The Orange Coast College student body is a snap shot of America’s diverse cultural tapestry. Its students are Caucasian, Black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American and come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.