Rob Catloth wore a track uniform at Lawrence High in the mid-1970s and had considered changing it for Kansas University togs.
"I was thinking about walking on for coach (Bob) Timmons and trying the high jump and decathlon," Catloth said.
Then he discovered Kansas had a club rowing team.
"I talked to a guy in the art department who had rowed at Kansas State. So I tried it and I stuck with it," Catloth said.
He has been at it ever since. Except for two years on his own after graduation as a singles competitor, Catloth has been coaching rowing at Kansas, first as a volunteer then as a minimally-paid coach of the men's and women's club teams.
"My first year back and my second year back I was a volunteer," he said. "Then my third year I got $2,000 and then I went up to $5,000."
Clearly, Catloth couldn't live on what he was earning as a rowing coach, so he had to have another job.
"I kind of did this and that," he said. "Mostly, I worked as a trim carpenter to augment what I made from the club."
Now Catloth, 36, doesn't have to mess with hammers and nails anymore. On Feb. 20, he was named head coach of the first women's intercollegiate rowing team Kansas has ever had.
Note that he is the rowing coach, not the crew coach.
"Rowing is the sport, and the people in the boat are the crew," he explained. "However, Kansas will still have a women's club team -- I don't think it'll be big -- and they'll be known as the University of Kansas crew team. We'll be women's rowing."
KU's intercollegiate rowing team will debut on Oct. 15 at the Head of the Kaw Regatta directly behind Kemper Arena on the Kansas River.
Catloth's first-year varsity team will also go to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 22 and to the Head of the Iowa Regatta on Oct. 29 in Iowa City.
Rowing will resume in the spring with another series of regattas. Dates and sites are undetermined, but it's unlikely any of them will be on the KU courses at Clinton Lake and below the Bowersock Dam on the Kansas River.
"We probably won't have any home meets the first year," Catloth said.