Coach Calvin Cupp is in his seventeenth year heading up Shocker Rowing. His tenure at the helm of Shocker Rowing is the longest of any coach in the history of the program.
In 2016 he decided to enter the Women's Varsity 8+ in to the open event where they raced head on with DI and DII programs, taking 2nd in the B final and saw his women's 2x take bronze in their event. At ACRA's he saw four of his seven boats make the grand finals, two make the B finals and 1 in a D final.
Then in 2015 not only did the Women's Varsity 8+ win their event at SIRA'S to retain their crown but the women's novice 4+ took 4th in the grand finals. At ACRA's the men's varsity 4+ took 8th and the women's varsity 8+ took 7th in their grand finals.
During the 2013-2014 year the Shockers competed at the San Diego Crew Classic after over a 13-year hiatus. Calvin led his team to take 4th in the women's varsity grand final and 7th in the men's varsity 8+ grand final. At SIRA's the women's varsity 8+ held onto their crown with another open water victory while the men moved into the B final. At ACRA's the men's novice 4+ took 6th while the women's varsity 8+ took 5th in their grand finals.
2012 marked the first year that the Shockers traveled to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to compete at SIRA's with the men's varsity 8+. Then at the 2012 ACRA National Championships a silver medal was achieved by the women's 1x.
During the 2010-11 season, Shocker Varsity won seven of eight events entered and this included a sweep of both the men and women’s varsity 8’s & 4’s at the Wichita Frostbite. 2011 saw a repeat gold medal at the ACRA National Championships in the Men’s 2x.
In 2010, he directed crews from both varsity squads to the medal platform at the ACRA National Championships.
The 2008-09 season saw Shocker crews make four grand finals at the ACRA National Championships and the 2007-08 ACRA National Championships saw the Varsity Women’s 8+ win the petite finals and the Women’s Novice 4+ finish 4th.
Under Coach Cupp’s leadership, statewide competitions have seen the Shockers take home the last nine Sunflower State Team Championships. Regionally, they won both Team Points' Trophies at the Upper Mid-West Championships in 2011, while the men also won in 2010, 2009 and 2007. Other regional medals of note include a 2008 Men’s Varsity 4+ gold and Men’s Varsity 8+ bronze at the John Hunter Regatta. Also, the team was the back to back team points winner in 2005 & 2006 at the Great Plains Rowing Championships.
Coach Cupp has traveled near and far with the team. The team traveled to the Knecht Cup in New Jersey 2003-2005. The crews did well at this East Coast regatta with top finishes each year, including second in the Women’s Novice 4+ in 2003, third in the Men’s Novice 4+ in 2004 & 2005 and second in the Men’s D1C 8+ in 2005.
The success of the program at these high levels under Coach Cupp goes back to the team’s first trip with him to the Dad Vail Championship in 2001 which saw the Shockers finish 4th in the grand finals of the Women’s Varsity Lightweight 4+.
Despite all of the medals, Coach Cupp teaches that the true success of each season is the growth of the individual student-athlete. “Being a student-athlete at the intercollegiate level is tough,” Coach Cupp says, “I work hard each year to be sure that each student athlete has a great environment in which to develop.”
“Rowing is a great platform for our student-athletes to learn much about themselves. In the shell on race day they have to rely on not just themselves but on their teammates. I cannot be there on the race course to motivate and direct them. It really does provide a great opportunity for them to develop life skills which they will use after college,” says Coach Cupp.
Before coming to WSU, Coach Cupp was at Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches, LA where he served as the head coach from 1993 to 1999. While there, he was director of the Marathon Rowing Championships and oversaw all spring training teams for the city of Natchitoches. In 1993 he received the Mayor’s award for his work in developing rowing for the city.
In Louisiana, he coached numerous Louisiana State Rowing Championship crews. In 1994 he coached NSU to a gold medal at the SIRA regatta in the WN4+.
He and his wife of twenty years, Christi, live in Wichita, Kansas with their two children. Ellen, who plays softball and Nolan, who is an avid Cub Scout. The family is also a member of Emanuel Baptist Church of Wichita.