Sailor of the Week - March 10 - March 16
Few college head coaches in any sport, at any level has endured the kind of success that Sailor of the Week, Mitch Brindley has experienced at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, VA. Now in his 14th season, building the Monarchs to a national powerhouse in intercollegiate sailing, he has solidified his place among the nation’s best coaches and made a tremendous impact on the growth and development of the sport.
During his tenure ODU has captured four national championships in seven years, and the women’s team has qualified for eight of the last nine national championships. Mitch started racing as a preteen in Sunfish at the Houston Yacht Club. As he got older, he raced J-30s, J-35s, dinghies, and Laser IIs. “Sailing was always a sport I could fit into and be competitive. I wasn’t big enough to play football in Texas,” he joked. While attending Old Dominion, he was twice named sailing team captain and twice selected to Sailing World’s All-Star Crew. As both a crew member and a coach, Brindley has participated in nine of Old Dominion’s fifteen national championship titles. Brindley also coached eventual Olympic Gold Medalist and US SAILING 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Anna Tunnicliffe at ODU, through the Olympic Trials, and was a supporting coach at the Olympics in Qingdao, China. Additionally, Mitch serves as president of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of North America (ICSA), the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. “The ICSA has really done some great things for college sailing, we’ve improved our exposure, created more competitive championships, and ramped up our sponsorship capabilities” said Brindley. He is looking forward to working with Gary Jobson on this year’s ESPNU special on the ICSA National Championships, adding: “This is a great promo piece for the competing schools and college sailing. We’d like to make sailing more appealing to athletic directors and school administrators.” Brindley, a Sugarland, TX native graduated from Old Dominion University in 1989 with a degree in economics. Mitch currently resides in Smithfield, VA with his wife Dawn and two children.