Harry Parker, 77, a former Penn rower who coached the Harvard men's heavyweight crew team to 22 undefeated seasons and eight official national titles since 1963, died Tuesday.
"Harry Parker was an absolute giant in his field, and we are proud to call him a Penn alum," Steve Bilsky, the Penn director of athletics, said on the school's website.
The cause of Mr. Parker's death was myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder once known as "preleukemia" in which blood-forming cells in the bone marrow are damaged. The diagnosis was made in 2011.
After Mr. Parker took over the Crimson program in 1963, his teams won eight official national titles, 24 Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints varsity titles and held a 44-7 record in the Harvard-Yale Regatta, according to the school's athletics department.