April 26, 2017
The University of Notre Dame Monogram Club surprised head rowing coach Martin Stone with an honorary monogram on Friday, April 21, 2017, just after the team's practice at the McConnell Family Boathouse on the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Indiana.
The only head coach in Notre Dame rowing history, Stone is in his 19th season with the Irish and has developed his program into one of the top rowing units in the nation.
Carol Ann Michel, a 2011 Notre Dame graduate, was a four-time Big East Champion rower with the Irish and former volunteer assistant under Coach Stone at Notre Dame, and she had the honor of presenting the honorary monogram. Michel currently serves on the Monogram Club Board of Directors. Here are her remarks in full:
One great example of his dedication to the growth of the Notre Dame rowing program is the beautiful McConnell Family Boathouse. Coach Stone was hired from the Naval Academy in 1997 as the first Varsity Notre Dame Women's rowing coach. At the time the boathouse was a tiny garage like structure with no plumbing and little room to fit all our boats. However, this didn't stop Coach Stone from building a successful rowing program that is recognized on a national level. So far Coach Stone has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA appearances, 10 consecutive Big East Championships, coached four All-Americans and a total of 81 national-honor scholars to name just a few of his many successes. However, I know that Coach Stone is most proud of the fact that the rowing team continues year after year to maintain one of the highest GPA averages among all sports at Notre Dame. This just shows how he is more than just a coach on the water and continually encouraging each of his rowers to grow in all areas of life.
Coach Stone loves winning races, but more than that, he enjoys helping each rower leave Notre Dame as a better person. He was the first to remind us that there was more to life than rowing. At the same time through rowing he showed us that we are capable of pushing our bodies and ourselves farther than we could imagine -- that being women athletes was a privilege and blessing that we could use it to make the world a better place.
It is not hard to see the impact that Coach Stone has had on his rowers. His office is a revolving door for rowers who are visiting campus throughout the year, his inbox often contains emails from rowers all across the country updating him on their lives, and every regatta has alumni rowers cheering on the current team and catching up with Coach Stone. We are all united as current and former ND Rowers, but we remain connected as a family even after graduation because of the influence and support of Coach Stone!"
The Irish will return to the water this weekend (April 29) at the Dale England Cup in Bloomington, Indiana.