Charley Butt Named Head Coach of Heavyweight Crew
After a nationwide search, the Harvard department of athletics on August 13 named Charley Butt, coach of the Harvard men’s lightweight varsity crews for the past 28 years, as the new Bolles-Parker head coach for men’s heavyweight crew. Butt succeeds the late Harry Parker, who passed away in June after leading the Crimson heavies for 51 seasons and compiling a record of unparalleled success in the sport.
Nichols Family director of athletics Bob Scalise also announced, on the previous day, that the endowed coaching position, formerly the Thomas Bolles head coach for men’s heavyweight crew, would be renamed the Bolles-Parker head coach in honor of Parker. Bolles, head coach of the Crimson heavyweights from 1937 to 1951 and director of athletics from 1951 to 1953, and Parker were the two most successful of the nine rowing coaches who have headed the Harvard program since 1852.
Working out of Newell Boathouse in parallel with Parker, Butt, too, has amassed an extraordinary record of success on the water. His varsities have won the Eastern Sprints 15 times and captured nine national championships, including those for 2012 and 2013, both decided at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta. By recording an unblemished record this spring, Butt’s lightweights completed their fourth consecutive undefeated dual-meet season. The Crimson have posted winning dual-meet records in 25 of Butt’s 28 seasons as head lightweight coach.
A 1983 graduate of Rutgers, Butt was a superb lightweight oarsman himself, winning, for example, a silver medal at the 1985 World Championships as a member of the U.S. lightweight eight. He has been a U.S. Olympic coach on four occasions.
A memorial service for Harry Parker will take place on Saturday, August 17, at 2 P.M. in Memorial Church.