NORFOLK, VA. (May 21, 2018) – The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) honored four individuals for their contributions to the sport of college sailing by inducting them into the ICSA Hall of Fame at today’s annual ICSA Meeting, which is the kick off to the Spring College Sailing National Championships, hosted by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Kevin Coakley (Duxbury, Mass.) was recognized with the James Rousmaniere Award for student leadership; Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.) was honored with the Lifetime Service Award; Mitch Brindley (Smithfield, Va.) was awarded the Graham Hall Award for outstanding service by a college sailing professional; and Abby Reeg (Spring Lake, Mich.) was awarded Outstanding Service by a volunteer.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor individuals for either undergraduate competitive achievement in sailing or outstanding leadership and service to the establishment, development and growth of the sport. The names of the inductees will be added to the ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame, which is on permanent display in the Robert Crown Center at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.).
The James Rousmaniere Award for Student Leadership recognizes an undergraduate for extraordinary achievement in leadership whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the development, progress and success of his or her club or team, conference or the ICSA.
Coakley, a senior at Harvard University, has been a leader in the New England sailing conference for four years.
“As a freshman he filled in for the secretary of the conference at the Annual Meeting and since that time he has served as an At-Large Rep, Secretary and President on the Executive committee,” says Mike O’Conner, Harvard University head sailing coach.
“He is also a great leader on our team. He is the person I go to when I need something done that requires common sense, such as driving the team van. I have also been able to count on him to keep me apprise of any non-athletic issues that might affect his teammates,” explains O’Connor.
Coakley also spearheaded a research project to study head injuries in college sailing and he contributed to creating a developing team handbook, which has been shared to all college sailing conferences. He has dedicated a great deal of time and energy into contributing and developing the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association.
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes a career of extraordinary service to college sailing, as a volunteer or professional.
Gary Bodie has dedicated his career to developing college sailing. He began his coaching career at Old Dominion University in 1978 and grew the sailing program into a varsity sport at the school. He led the team to their first national championship in 1982. A few years later he became the head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he coached for 10 years. In 1995 Bodie started the varsity sailing team at Hampton University – the first sailing team at a historically black college and university. In 1998 Bodie was named head Olympic Coach and High Performance Director for the U.S. Sailing Team.
“His teams won 15 college sailing national championships, including four dinghy championships,” says Mitch Brindley, president of the ICSA, of some of Bodie’s accomplishments. “Individual sailors coached by Bodie have earned 30 first team All-American honors, 26 All-American crew, 11 All-American women, plus 11 Honorable Mentions. College Sailor of the Year has been awarded four times to sailors in Bodie’s programs.”
Bodie also developed the modern team race playbook for college sailing. An idea that was all his in the playbook is the 1-2-4 and the 3-Boat-Weave.
Bodie has continued to serve college sailing as a Principal Race Officer for several national championships, including being the PRO for the upcoming 2018 Gill College Sailing Dinghy National Championship.
The Graham Hall Awards for outstanding service by a college sailing professional recognizes organizers, administrators, advisors, or coaches who have served the best interested of College Sailing at the club/team, conference or national level.
Mitch Brindley has been the head coach at Old Dominion University for over 20 years and in that time has coached his alma mater to nine national championships. In 2008 he also coached one of his alumna, Anna Tunnicliffe, in the Olympics where she won a gold medal in the Laser Radial.
“Brindley has stewarded college sailing as the President of the organization at a time of massive investment by member schools in both infrastructure and a commitment to professional coaching,” says Mike Callahan, head coach of Georgetown University.
Brindley has devoted over 30 years to excellence in college sailing as a player, coach and leader.
“I am honored to be included with such an illustrious group,” says Brindley of this honor.
The Outstanding Service by a volunteer award honors an individual who has volunteered their time, talent and resources to advance the interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.
Abby Reeg has been a role model to students on the Hope College Sailing Team for a number of years, a team that she helped to found in the 1980s. Reeg has worked for nearly a decade at Hope College, her alma mater, in the Development/Alumni and Family Engagement office and as the Faculty Advisor of the Hope College Sailing Team.
Her passion for the team and the Midwest sailing conference has been an inspiration to those around her. She has specifically excelled at fundraising and has spoken at college sailing meetings about fundraising strategies and connecting with alumni. She is an invaluable resource of knowledge, leadership and grace.
“Reeg is the ultimate volunteer because she not only supports and helps at regattas, but she has created an environment for the students to learn and compete,” says Courtney Kingsley, MCSA Special Interests Chair. “She started a capital campaign to raise $50,000 to buy new boats. Through her efforts the Hope Sailing Team was able to buy 12 new Zim 420s, which also benefitted the Grand Valley State Sailing Team who uses the same facility; she bettered two college teams at once.”
“Reeg is one of the most committed people I know,” says Nick Zomer, Grand Valley State University past Commodore. “Without her the Hope College Sailing Team would not be the same. I’ve watched her navigate and support the ups and downs. She is sincerely a good person who loves collegiate sailing and is starting to make a big difference on the conference level. She is an asset and a model for what an advisor should be like in our conference.”