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Contact: Dana Paxton, US SAILING, Tel: 401-683-0800, danapaxton@ussailing.org

US SAILING Recognizes 2010’s Outstanding Sailing Coaches

Portsmouth, R.I. (November 12, 2010) – US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has chosen two exemplary sailing coaches for the 2010 Coaches of the Year Awards. Based on nominations from the public, the OSC has named Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.) the National Coach of the Year and Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) the Developmental Coach of the Year. These two winners exhibited extraordinary dedication to the sport of sailing and made an impact on the sailors they coached in 2010.

The OSC has also nominated these winners to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for consideration for the 2010 Coaches of the Year Awards across all Olympic and Paralympic sports. The awards are a part of the USOC Coach Recognition Program, which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of coaches who train athletes at all levels of sailing.

US SAILING’s 2010 National Coach of the Year: Greg Wilkinson 2010 Coach of the Year Greg Wilkinson
As the Head Sailing Coach at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), Greg Wilkinson coached the sailing team to an impressive record and maintained the #1 national ranking for the majority of the year by winning three of five national Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) championships: ICSA Women's Singlehanded Championship and ICSA Sloop National Championship, in September, and ICSA/Gill Coed National Championship, in June. For the 2009-2010 school year, the BC Eagles received the Leonard M. Fowle Memorial Trophy, which annually recognizes the best all-around performance in college sailing determined by points accumulated at major Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Championships.

With the school year spread over two calendar years, the team competes in multiple coed and women’s events (there is no men’s collegiate sailing) on most weekends between September and November and again between February and May. In the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) Conference Championships for the 2009-2010 school year, the BC Eagles won four titles – Women’s Singlehanded, Sloop, Coed Dinghy and Team Race – and finished in third place at the Women’s. During the current 2010-2011 school year, the Eagles captured the Match Race title and finished in second place at the Women’s Singlehanded. 

Based on Wilkinson’s philosophy of being “one team, not individual sailors,” the Eagles draw on a large pool of talent among 36 athletes to field consistently successful teams. The team culture also paid off with seven BC sailors named to the 2010 ICSA All-American list including finalists in the coed Sailor of the Year and the Quantum Female Sailor of the Year categories. BC is the sixth school in 42 years of Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association history to win all three spring championships (ICSA Women's Nationals, ICSA/APS Team Race Nationals, and the ICSA/Gill National Championship).

In 2010 BC sailors and alumni won the Vanguard 15 Nationals (Andrew Schneider '09, crew) and the 2010 U.S. Team Racing Championship (Carrie Amarante '09, crew); finished second at the Snipe Nationals (Brian Kamilar '09, skipper); and fifth at Bermuda Gold Cup (Taylor Canfield '11, skipper and Alden Reid '08, crew).

In addition to coaching the highly successful BC Eagles, Wilkinson is heavily involved in the administration of collegiate sailing.  He served as Conference Commissioner of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association for four years, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the national governing body of college sailing, the ICSA. In late 2008 he joined the Eastern Yacht Club (EYC) in a newly created position - year-round Sailing Director/Sailing Professional. In 2010 he coached an EYC team to second place at the Hinman Master Team Race championship.

Previous winners of sailing’s National Coach of the Year Award are Mark Ivey (Tiburon, Calif.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Bill Ward (Newport Beach, Calif.), Zachary Leonard (Branford, CT), Rollin “Skip” Whyte  (Wickford, R.I.), Roger “Scott” Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.), Serge Jorgensen (Sarasota, Fla.), Jay Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.) and Luther Carpenter (New Orleans, La.).

2010 Developmental Coach of the Year Jay KehoeUS SAILING’s 2010 Developmental Coach of the Year: Jay Kehoe
Known for his energy, humor, teaching skills and work ethic over the past 17-plus years as a coach, Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) has inspired a generation of youth sailors ranging from the St. Petersburg  Yacht Club Optimist junior program (1991-1994), Sunfish/Laser educational programs (1995-1997), Yale University’s sailing program (1997-2000), U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s sailing program (2000-2001) to Stanford University’s sailing program (2001-2008). For the past two years he has served as Annapolis Yacht Club’s (Annapolis, Md.) Waterfront Director, transforming the marina and junior sailing programs into models for other clubs across the country.

In his estimation, Kehoe said that he has coached over 1,000 junior sailors, but his biggest professional achievement has been, at one time in their careers, a coach to five members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team: Zach Railey, Stu McNay, Andrew Campbell, Amanda Clark and Charlie Ogletree, who Kehoe coached with the Team Pegasus Farr 40 team.

“Jay was my first coach in a full-time racing team at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club,” said 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). “His energy and passion for the sport of sailing is evident from the time you meet him. His sailors’ achievements are a direct result of his enthusiasm in helping them reach their goals. From Optimist world team members to Olympic medalists, Jay has had his hand in making many sailors dreams come true including my own!”

For 2008 Olympian Stuart McNay, who with Graham Biehl is campaigning toward a 2012 Olympic berth in the 470 class, Kehoe’s influence started early. “Jay coached me for most of my youth sailing, from the Opti to Radial to my first attempts at the 470,” he said. “He pushed me very hard in practice and taught me the fundamentals of racing. His coaching style kept sailing fun as we learned, and always made us want to sail more. Also, he helped me establish my goal of one day sailing in the Olympics. Jay was key in my development as a sailor.”

At the Annapolis Yacht Club, in the summer of 2009, Kehoe created innovative programs to provide AYC’s youth sailors a transition from Optimist racing to competitive international events.  Within the first year of the Kehoe introducing the I-420 class program, one of the teams, Brady Stagg and Jack Ortel, qualified for the world championship where they placed 27th. Stagg also joined Fletcher Sims to finish as the top international team in 9th place at the 2009 U.K. I-420 National Championship, in Haifa, Israel.

“Over the past two years, I have been among the many Annapolis junior sailors to be lucky enough to have Jay Kehoe as the Waterfront Director at Annapolis Yacht Club,” said Jack Ortel (Annapolis, Md.).  “His knowledge, experience, and commitment to junior sailing has benefitted us all. He came to our program at not only at a significant time in my sailing career, but also a year before my sister and I would begin the grueling college search.”
 
Brady Stagg’s father Geoff Stagg, who manages the highly-successful Farr 40 Class, summed up Kehoe’s influence on his son. “Brady has benefited hugely from Jay’s expert coaching and life skill lessons. He had a heck of a year in the I-420 and as a result is now on the Old Dominion University sailing team as a freshman starting skipper.” At the recently concluded Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, Kehoe facilitated getting a junior sailor on each Farr 40 for the last day of racing.  

The Youth Match Racing program sent a team – Mike Carr, Brady Stagg and Jack Ortel – to the Balboa Yacht Club’s Inaugural Youth Match Race Clinic & Regatta where they finished fifth and were recognized with the Nick Scandone Sportsmanship/Leadership Memorial for their generous, cooperative Corinthian attitude throughout the event. Named in honor of the late 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Nick Scandone, the award was presented by his wife, Mary Kate, who proudly congratulated each of the young men.

Previous winners of sailing’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award are Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.), Brett Davis (Naples, Fla.), Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.), Duffy Markham (Wellesley, Mass.), Tom Coleman (Hixson, Tenn.), Rob Hallawell (Marblehead, Mass./Coronado, Calif.), Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), Adam Werblow (St. Mary's, Md.), Mike Zani (Bristol, R.I.) and Amy Gross-Kehoe, who is married to Jay Kehoe.

The goals of the USOC’s Coaching Recognition Program are to recognize the tremendous accomplishments and contributions coaches make to sports at all levels of athlete development and to elevate the status of coaching as a profession. The winners of the USOC’s coaching awards across all sports will be honored at the 2011 National Coaching Educators’ Conference.

About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube, Bow Down Training, New England Ropes and Group Experiential Learning. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

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