Ever wonder why MJC wears yellow bandannas at the Frostbite regatta every year?
Because the Frostbite was Kevin Coffey’s favorite race, and yellow was his favorite color.
But who is Kevin Coffey?
Kevin C. Coffey was recruited by a friend as a freshman in high school the fall of 2005. Kevin’s stipulation for showing up to the first practice was that a particular girl also try the sport, or so the story goes. She tried it—and quit the next day. For Kevin, on the other hand…the rest is history.
Kevin fell in love with rowing from day one. He loved the sport, the people, and the team. Rowing quickly became an everyday part of his life. His parents found themselves wondering if Kevin’s Eagle Scout project would ever get done with Kevin suddenly rowing year round.
Individual friendships were quickly formed with upperclassmen who drove the carpool for their younger teammates, and even deeper bonds were formed with his doubles partner as they learned to move their boat in perfect synchrony.
The cement of hard work and genuine friendships made the team as a whole a community for which Kevin would do anything.
When Kevin graduated high school (having successfully completed his Eagle Scout project as well), he made the difficult decision not to row at Temple University where he attended college. Despite not being on the team, he carried on indoctrinating all his new friends with his knowledge of the sport at every regatta he could watch during his time in Philadelphia.
In Kevin’s second year at Temple, however, the unthinkable happened. A double-decker bus he was riding collided with a low-clearance bridge, killing Kevin along with three others.
Needless to say, Kevin’s parents were devastated, and so was his team back home. In memory of Kevin’s passion for rowing, and for MJC specifically, Kevin’s favorite color—yellow—became one of MJC’s team colors.
Kevin’s parents, Maxine and Ray Coffey, generously chose to remember their son and his love of rowing by donating a pair of brand new Vespoli rowing shells to MJC. Named The Dance Goes On and the Kevin C. Coffey, these boats feature convertible rigging, serving the team as fours or as quads, providing ample flexibility in fielding a variety of lineups for years to come.
Further, the Coffeys continue to give back to the team that meant so much to their son by funding a $1000 college scholarship for any college-bound senior in high school who has rowed with the team for at least one year.
We still strive to build rowers that emulate Kevin’s love of team and sport and we encourage our seniors to apply to his memorial scholarship. Learn more here.