In 1987, Grosse Ile students Corey Berends and Matt Weise rowed for Grosse Ile at Carlson High School. The following summer, interest grew to 20 rowers who participated in a program sponsored by the Grosse Ile Recreation Department at the Ecorse Rowing Club. This program served as the foundation for the Grosse Ile Rowing Club and the Grosse Ile High School rowing program.
In March of 1989, with the support of athletic director Bill Lowery, the Grosse Ile Recreation Department, the Ecorse Rowing Club and interested parents, head coach Ken Welch led the Grosse Ile High School Crew in its first season.
Rowing became a varsity sport at Grosse Ile in 1991 and since its inception, has experienced success at the local, regional, national and international level. The GIRC continues to provide important financial and logistical support for the high school team and thanks to the generosity of the residents of Grosse Ile, the program’s coaches and rowers continue to grow the program.