Storrs Announced as First Inductee of 2023 Row Ontario Hall of Fame Class
Nancy Storrs was honoured Monday as she was announced as the first member of the 2023 Row Ontario Hall of Fame Class. She becomes the first member of the Row Ontario Hall of Fame to be inducted into two categories at once, as she will enter the Hall as a Builder / Coach.
Storrs was born in Huntington, New York and her career in rowing began south of the border. After graduating from Williams College in 1973, Storrs embarked on a US National team career that saw her compete in five World Championships and an Olympic Games over the next seven years. She would claim two silver medals at the Worlds, in the eight in 1975 and in the coxed four in 1978. She qualified for the US rowing team in 1976 and competed at the Montreal Olympics, the first Olympics to feature women’s rowing, where she and her coxed four crew mates finished in sixth place. She also qualified for the 1980 US Olympic team but was denied a chance at competing at a 2nd Olympics due to the Western boycott of the Games.
Following her athletic career, Storrs transitioned to coaching and served as the manager of the US Junior Team at the 1983 World Championships, before settling in St. Catharines in 1985, where she would become an integral part of the Ontario and Canadian rowing communities.
Storrs began coaching at Ridley College in St. Catharines in 1985 and has remained a coach of the Ridley Graduate Boat Club and/or Ridley College for almost four decades. She has also left her coaching mark at the national and international levels, coaching the National Team at World Championship and Junior World Championship events throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and early 2000’s. She helped lead these teams to multiple World Championship medals, including a gold in the women’s lightweight four in Australia in 1990. She was also an assistant coach alongside partner Jack Nicholson as they coached the men’s quad featuring Doug Hamilton, Mel LaForme, Paul Douma, and Robert Mills to the first ever gold medal for a Canadian boat at a World Championships in 1985. Storrs was a two-time coach of the Ontario rowing team at the Canada Summer Games (1993, 2001) and earned Rowing Canada Aviron Female Coach of the Year award in 2014.
As a builder, Storrs was instrumental in starting masters rowing in Canada in the 1980’s, by helping implement masters rules and organizing regattas. She has made a tremendous impact as announcer, becoming the voice of the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in 1987 and announcing at four World Championships and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Storrs has also organized the Ontario Ergometer Championships for over 30 years and has helped the event grow to be a major indoor event on the Ontario rowing calendar. Indoor rowers look forward to the event every year and at its highest the event had close to 1000 entries. Additionally, she has been a Commission Member with the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta since 1997 and has organized Jack Nicholson Head of the Martindale Regatta for several years. Her outstanding contributions to rowing have earned a number of athletic, coaching and volunteer accolades throughout her career including an induction into the US Rowing Hall of Fame in 1991.
Storrs will be honoured as an inductee along with members of the first three Row Ontario Hall of Fame induction classes on Saturday, April 22 at the Ontario NextGen Performance Centre in Welland. Additional members of the 2023 induction class will be determined at a later date.
Visit Row Ontario Hall of Fame for more information.