The Doc Award

The Man, The Myth, The Doc Award

As the Eastern Surfing Association prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, we are proud to announce the latest recipients of the “Colin J. Couture Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Eastern Surfing Award.”

The “Doc Rock” is the most prestigious award in East Coast surfing because it honors dedication, commitment and service to the ESA and East Coast Surfing as a whole. There is not another award like it in the world. Doc’s spirit and inspiration is that which the ESA was built upon and which continues to guide us.

us-at-the-cape-doc-menehune-champThe “Doc Rock” award is named for Dr. Colin “Doc” Couture and honors volunteer service because that is what he was all about and much, much more. Although he was not involved with the formation of the ESA, during his time as executive director, from 1972 until his death in 1989, he took a fledgling surfing group and turned it into the proud and powerful organization it is today.

The “Doc Rock” located in Buxton, NC | Photo: ESM Dugan

Building on the foundation established by Cecil Lear and numerous other dedicated individuals and using the talent, enthusiasm and devotion of a wide-ranging group of volunteers, Doc dedicated his life to the ESA and its most important ingredient – its members. He made it happen with the sheer force of his will, his vast talents and an amazing ability to make everyone want to work at least half as hard as he was working. Doc’s accomplishments are recognized on a plaque that sits upon a large sandstone boulder at Natural Art Surf Shop in Buxton, North Carolina, – the “Doc Rock” as it has affectionately become known. Each recipient of a “Doc” Award has a plate added to the rock with their name and the date they received the award.

The list of dedicated ESA volunteers who have received the “Doc” award are as follows:

  • 1991 – Bette Marsh
  • 1992 – Cecil Lear
  • 1993 – David Reese
  • 1994 – Tom McClaren
  • 1995 – Bruce Walker
  • 1996 – Ruth Grottola
  • 1997 – Peter Panagiotis
  • 1998 – Ben Lane
  • 1999 – Michael Angiulo
  • 2000 – Linda Hanson
  • 2001 – Kit Henningsen
  • 2002 – Harry Purkey
  • 2003 – Marilyn Austin
  • 2004 – Jeff Phillips
  • 2005 – Kathy Phillips
  • 2006 – Lisa Roselli & Joe Grottola
  • 2007 – Russ Atwell
  • 2008 – Jeff & Tara Mosley
  • 2009 – Tom Warnke
  • 2010 – Allen & Bonnie Wolf
  • 2011 – Burgess Autrey
  • 2012 – Doris & Emile Couture
  • 2013 – Clark & Ginny Wallin
  • 2014 – Beth Schub
  • 2015 – Angie Youngblood
  • 2016 – Pamela Hill

These individuals have devoted incredible amounts of volunteer time and energy over the years to making the ESA what it is in its 50th year – the best, largest, proudest and oldest surfing organization in the nation, and quite possibly the world. Doc approached everything with humor, wisdom and tireless enthusiasm. He inspired people to always do their best, and he made everyone feel good about whatever they were doing.

The ESA is proud of its great history and knows that reaching its 50th anniversary is directly related to these individuals, along with the hundreds of additional volunteers who keep the organization running.